Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

09-08-2003

Unemployment up to 9.9 percent, Czech economy in deflation

Unemployment in the Czech Republic was at 9.9 percent in July, up from 9.5 percent in June, according to figures released by the Labour Ministry on Friday. Some 520,000 Czechs are now without a job, though unemployment rates have dropped from the first three months of this year, when joblessness broke the 10 percent barrier for the first time. Meanwhile, it was also announced on Friday that the Czech Republic has gone into deflation, with a 0.1 percent drop in consumer prices in July.

PRAVO: Supreme Audit Office report suggests valuables missing in presidential offices

The Czech daily Pravo, reported in its Saturday edition that office equipment and art were found to be missing from the Czech presidential offices since former President Vaclav Havel stepped down in February. The missing items and several financial discrepancies were cited in a Supreme Audit Office report on Mr Havel's former offices at Prague Castle and the Lany chateau, the paper said. About 1.2 million Czech crowns (42,000 US dollars) in office equipment and supplies are missing from Prague Castle, including two satellite dishes, a computer, a VCR and two radio-telephones. Lany's missing inventory list includes about 98,000 crowns worth of statues and paintings. Mr Havel's former office manager Ivo Mathe told Pravo he could not comment because he had not seen the report.

Czechs transiting USA now need visas

As of this Saturday, all Czechs transiting the United States to another country can only do so with a transit visa. According to the consular section of the US embassy in Prague, the procedures for issuing and applying for transit visas will not differ from those concerning ordinary visas but all applications from travellers who may be immediately impacted will have priority. On August 2, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS) suspended two programs, known as the Transit Without Visa program and the International-to-International transit program that allowed certain international air passengers to travel through the United States for transit purposes without first obtaining a visa. Both programmes were suspended to serve as additional security measures to keep terrorists from gaining access to the United States or US airspace without going through the consular screening process.

Weather

Sunday is expected to be a hot and dry day with temperatures reaching a maximum of 32 degrees Celsius.

09-08-2003