The strong winds and heavy snow which have hit the Czech Republic in recent days have been blamed for a number of deaths on Czech roads. Eleven people were killed in accidents on Friday and Saturday, with the police called out to almost 2,000 accidents. A police spokesperson said it looks like being one of the most tragic weekends of 2005 on Czech roads.
The police have arrested two boxers who acted as bodyguards for fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir, the Sunday newspapers reported. The two recently visited Mr Krejcir in the Seychelles, where he fled after escaping from the Czech police. Meanwhile, the businessman says he will release documents proving he paid bribes to the governing Social Democrats. Radovan Krejcir is wanted on charges of plotting the murder of a customs officer and large scale fraud.
Czech customs officers have seized 19 kg of heroin in a truck entering the country from Slovakia. The find has been partly credited to use of a large mobile x-ray detector. A spokesman said the heroin was moving along the so-called Balkan trail, on which Czech customs also seized a large quantity of the drug earlier this year.
If the South Korean company Hyundai opens a car plant in Moravia Czech gross domestic product could increase by 1.5 percent in the year 2009, an official from state agency CzechInvest said on Czech Television on Sunday. A deal has been struck to buy land for the proposed plant, which would employee 3,000 people; a decision on whether it will be built is due by the end of the year.
The Foreign Ministry is to help 200 ethnic Czechs living in Kazakhstan return to the Czech Republic next year, Czech Television reported. The ministry is to spend around a million US dollars helping them find work and accommodation. Their families moved to Kazakhstan in two waves, in the mid-19th century and at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Union of Communist Youth has staged a protest outside the Constitutional Court in Brno against moves to ban the organisation because it promotes violent revolution. The Interior Ministry has threatened to outlaw the group if they do not change their policies, on the grounds that the young Communists are registered as a civic association, not a political party. They say they have no intention of dropping their call for a workers' revolution.
A site has been secured in Nosovice, north Moravia for a proposed new Hyundai car plant; the Moravia-Silesia regional authority announced on Friday that all owners of the land designated for the plant had agreed to sell. A decision on whether Hyundai will build in the region is due to be made by the end of the year.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, says he is extremely satisfied
with the compromise European Union budget agreed on by EU leaders in the
early hours of Saturday morning. He said most of the Czech Republic's
demands had been met in Brussels and the country could receive up to 3.1
billion euros a year net in the period 2007 to 2013.
Mr Paroubek added that Czechs could receive more per capita from EU cohesion funds than any other state.
Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has warned that alienation with
Czech politicians is growing and that new faces are needed. Speaking in
an interview in Lidove Noviny, Mr Havel said fewer Czechs were
bothering to vote and more believed politicians were corrupt.
The former president also criticised the country's approach to China, and admitted to being fascinated by a reality TV show that ended last weekend, though he said he had not voted for any contestant.
The Czech BBC is to cease broadcasting. After the BBC World Service
axed it and several other language services, the Czech BBC had hoped to
continue as part of BBC Worldwide with commercial backing. But efforts
to save the station failed: its current affairs broadcasting will end
next Friday, while news bulletins will cease on January 31st.
Meanwhile the BBC World Service is hoping to win the agreement of the Czech Broadcasting Council to maintain its English broadcasting in the Czech Republic.