Daily news summary Regional court quashes verdict in racial violence case

12-02-2004

Regional court quashes verdict in racial violence case

The regional court in the city of Olomouc, North Moravia, has quashed the verdict of a first instance court in the town of Jesenik, which in January gave suspended sentences to three youths for attacking a Roma couple in the town. The verdict at that time outraged human rights groups and Romany activists. The three youths burst into the couple's flat in Jesenik last June after saying they were policemen. The woman, who was pregnant at the time, was hit in the eye with a cobblestone, leaving her with permanent injuries. The Olomouc court has ruled that the woman's condition must be taken into account and ordered a retrial of the case.

Czech Railways engine drivers plan two-day strike in March

Around 7,500 engine drivers working for Czech Railways say they are ready to launch a two-day strike on March 1 due to their employer's failure to meet their wage demands. In line with the original agreement with engine drivers, Czech Railways executive board were to approve changes in wage tariffs by the end of January. The management however failed to keep the promise. A spokesman for the Federation of Engine Drivers said the strike could be averted if the federation's demands are met by the end of February.

Czechs Malenovsky, Pelikanova to join European courts

The government decided on Wednesday to appoint Constitutional Court judge Jiri Malenovsky as the Czech member of the European Court of Justice, and lawyer Irena Pelikanova to the European Union's Court of First Instance. Mr Malenovsky and Ms Pelikanova are to join the courts on May 1, the date of the Czech Republic's EU entry. Judges of the European Court of Justice are appointed by their respective governments for six years. The European Court of Justice is the EU's top legal instance, responsible for a single interpretation and application of European law. The jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance contains complaints from people and firms against decisions made by EU institutions, and it also deals with disputes between Brussels officials and the EU. Its verdicts can be appealed at the European Court of Justice.

Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs plan redundancies after EU accession

Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, afraid of growing expenses after the Czech Republic's accession to the European Union, are planning redundancies, according a poll conducted by the STEM/MARK agency. The poll suggests that twelve percent of companies will reduce the number of their staff and 15 percent are likely to. Two percent of small and medium-sized firms have already laid off some of their employees. Once the Czech Republic joins the European Union, entrepreneurs are most afraid of rising wages, having to comply with EU standards and investing in new technologies.

Radio Prague launches electronic ticket exchange for Ice Hockey World Championship 2004

And now an announcement for ice-hockey fans: Radio Prague has launched an electronic ticket exchange for the Ice Hockey World Championship 2004, taking place in the Czech Republic. Because tickets for the World Championship are only available on a daily basis - that is for both the games at a given venue on a given day - most people who have bought tickets for a game they wish to attend, also have tickets for a second game on the same day that is of less interest to them. For this reason Radio Prague offers an internet Ticket Exchange on its website www.radio.cz. Through Radio Prague you can contact other hockey fans, with a view to gaining the best possible combination of tickets.

Weather

Friday will be an overcast day. Snow is expected in most parts of the country. Daytime temperatures should range from minus 2 to plus 4 degrees Celsius.

12-02-2004