Former Czech president, Vaclav Havel, has appealed to Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek not to scrap existing coal mining limits in the north of the country in a bid to save miners' jobs. In an open letter, Mr Havel highlighted the fates of two villages threatened with destruction if limits set in 1991 are relaxed. A government decision on the issue is expected in the next few weeks.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, says he will keep fighting for more money for the Czech Republic during negotiations on the European Union's 2007-2013 budget in Brussels. Mr Paroubek said his main objection was that the budget proposed by Britain includes development fund calculations made on the basis of figures for Czech GDP growth which are below the current level of 5%. The prime minister said this could cost the Czech Republic up to 500 million euros.
The pilot of the plane on which terror suspect Oussama Kassir was arrested by Czech police on Sunday says the detention was carried out in an amateurish and dangerous way. Speaking to Mlada fronta Dnes, pilot David Reimer said the plane had to sit on the runway for at least 15 minutes, during which time Mr Kassir could have posed a danger to fellow passengers. A police spokesperson said the arrest of the suspect was proof the operation had been a success.
Czech football star Tomas Rosicky looks set to join the Spanish club Athletico Madrid in the coming weeks, both Czech and Spanish newspapers have reported in recent days. Midfielder Rosicky, who is 25, is under contract at Germany's Borussia Dortmund until 2008 but the club may sell him for financial reasons.
Meanwhile, the Czech labour minister, Zdenek Skromach, says if other EU states do not lift restrictions on Czech workers, the government could consider introducing similar measures against Romania and Bulgaria, which are due to join the bloc in 2007. Of the "old" EU members, only the UK, Ireland and Sweden have opened their labour markets to workers from the states which joined last year.
Parliament has extended by another four months the mission of the Czech field hospital in Pakistan sent out to help earthquake victims. The thirty member team of doctors and nurses are to continue providing medical care until April 30th of next year. The Czech government has earmarked over 100 million crowns for humanitarian aid to the region.
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