Prime Minister Paroubek has secured the support of the Communist Party
for his plans to hold a referendum on the European Union constitution
next June. He needs their support to push a bill on the referendum
through parliament. In meeting the party's leader Miroslav Grebenicek
the prime minister confirmed his policy of talking to all opposition
parties, including the Communists.
The prime minister has just set off on a week-long trip to Japan and China.
Former Czech football international Tomas Repka has signed a new two-year contract with English club West Ham United, who he recently helped win promotion to the Premier League. Repka, who is 31 and has a poor disciplinary record, joined West Ham from Italy's Fiorentina in 2001 for nine million US dollars.
A Prague tram driver has been charged with attempted murder, after setting a homeless man on fire in a night tram, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. Another man has also been charged in connection with the incident. The two are suspected of similar attacks on night trams, setting fire to sleeping passengers' hair, clothing and belongings, the paper said.
Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has called on police president Jiri Kolar to consider resigning, after a man escaped from police custody during a search of his house last weekend. Mr Paroubek also said the police officers who allowed businessman Radovan Krejcir to escape should be punished. On Monday the interior minister, Frantisek Bublan, said there was some evidence that Mr Krejcir had fled the Czech Republic. The fugitive faces charges of fraud and tax evasion amounting to almost three billion Czech crowns (around 120 million US dollars). He is also suspected of planning a murder. Both Czech and international warrants for his arrest have been issued.
The Czech film Cesky Sen (Czech Dream) is to be shown at the famous Glastonbury music and arts festival in England on Thursday night, the eve of its official release in the UK. The makers attracted hundreds of shoppers to the opening of a non-existent hypermarket and captured their reaction in a film which is seen as a comment on consumerism in today's Czech Republic.
A pensioner who killed an official at the Nigerian Embassy in Prague two years ago has received an eight-year prison sentence. Jiri Pasovsky lost 15 million Czech crowns (over 600,000 US dollars) in a Nigerian email investment scam. In an effort to retrieve his money the retired doctor set up a meeting at the embassy, during which he pulled out a pistol and shot the consul dead. Mr Pasovsky, who says he has no recollection of the incident, has appealed the verdict.
Plans to film "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" in Prague may be abandoned; the father of the boy who plays the main role, Daniel Radcliffe, said he did not want him to be exposed to the Czech capital's wild night life and sex industry, according to reports in the Czech press on Tuesday. Prague has gained a reputation as a centre for cheap prostitution in the United Kingdom in recent years.
Cheap shops and market stalls run by Chinese and Vietnamese traders are the main or second "most important place for buying clothes" for Czech consumers, according to a study by Incoma Research quoted in Monday's edition of Hospodarske noviny. The traders have an annual turnover of 10 billion crowns (400 million US dollars) on textiles alone, the report says.
The interior minister, Frantisek Bublan, says there is evidence that fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir has evaded a police search and fled the Czech Republic. Mr Krejcir managed to escape from custody soon after he was arrested; he gave the police the slip after asking to use the bathroom during a search of his home near Prague at the weekend. He faces charges of tax evasion and fraud amounting to almost 3 billion Czech crowns (around 120 million US dollars); he is also suspected of planning a murder. Mr Krejcir, who is 36, is reported to be one of the richest people in the Czech Republic.
Two to three hundred Czech doctors are leaving for western Europe every month, according to figures from the Czech Doctors Association published in Monday's Mlada fronta Dnes. The Association bases its figures on applications it receives for a certificate needed to work abroad. Britain is one of the most popular destinations for Czech doctors, with some of them commuting home to the Czech Republic at weekends, the paper says.