Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

21-09-2003

New government MP to help pass government reforms

A new member of parliament for the junior coalition Freedom Union, Tomas Vrbik, who will replace Hana Marvanova in the Chamber of Deputies, is likely to help the ruling coalition pass its planned fiscal reforms. Ms. Marvanova, who gave birth to her third son last Tuesday, announced on Friday that she was giving up her parliamentary seat. Her motherhood sparked fears that the government would loose its fragile majority in the lower house just days before crucial votes on the package of fiscal reforms take place. Political observers agree that Vrbik represents a certain hope for the ruling coalition to get the public finance reforms pass the Chamber of Deputies.

EU candidate health ministers agree on joint position

Health ministers of the ten EU candidate countries have agreed that health care should become one of the priority policies of the European Union. At a three-day conference in Senohraby near Prague, the ministers agreed that medical degrees from schools in the region will be recognised in all of the countries. They also discussed plans to curb unwanted migration of patients and agreed to adopt unified rules for organ transplants.

Police arrest fugitive kidnapper

The police in North Moravia have arrested the last member of a gang suspected of kidnapping a Prague businessman and his 3 years old daughter last week. The four kidnappers, who pretended to be police officers, forced the entrepreneur and his daughter into a car in Prague and drove them to a place near Tachov, west Bohemia. They then released the man to bring them 5 million crowns as ransom for his daughter. The police soon arrested three of the four kidnappers and seized nearly 3 million crowns of the ransom. The fourth suspect, arrested on Saturday, is believed to possess the remaining 2 million crowns. The police hinted that a possible motive for the kidnapping could have been disputes between Prague businessmen. If convicted, the four kidnappers face up to 12 years in prison.

Telsource to offer 27-percent Czech Telecom stake

The Dutch-Swiss consortium Telsource will put its 27-percent stake in the leading Czech phone company Czech Telecom on offer. The consortium of KPN and Swisscom has been looking for an exit from the fixed and mobile phone operator since KPN and other European telecom companies accumulated substantial debt to buy licences for third-generation mobile networks several years ago. The 27-percent stake in Czech Telecom has a value of nearly a billion USD, at Friday's closing price of 321 crowns per share. The Czech government now holds a 51 percent stake in Telecom but plans to sell it to a strategic investor.

Tennis - Czechs secure place in World Group of the Davis Cup

Tennis - Czech Jiri Novak beat a low-key Paradorn Srichaphan of Thailand 6-4 6-4 6-4 on Sunday to secure the Czech Republic's place in the elite 16-team World Group of the Davis Cup next year. Novak came through three matches in three days without dropping a set. In the remaining singles, Tomas Berdych overcame Danai Udomchoke 7-6 6-3 to complete the Czech victory.

Weather forecast

We are expecting another warm and sunny day, with the highest daytime temperatures ranging from 26 to 30 degrees Celsius.

21-09-2003