Later at the Ministry of Industry and Trade the commissioner praised the performance of the Czech economy and the country's approach to the issues of free trade and internal competition. Mr Mandelson also commended the Czech Republic's low unemployment in comparison with neighbouring states and relatively low public debt.
Health Minister David Rath has called on doctors leaders to meet him before a large demonstration against his policies due to take place in Prague on February 24. Private doctors, dentists and pharmacists have called to changes to the system of payments for treatment, and want a halt to bills currently being prepared. For his part Mr Rath says the doctors have no reason to protest, and says the opposition Civic Democrats are behind the dispute.
The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, has the described a boycott of Danish goods by some Muslim countries as a complete over-reaction to the publication of cartoons of Mohammad in the Danish press. Mr Svoboda said the burning of the flags of European Union states was an attack on values important to Europeans. He made the comments after talks with the European commissioner for trade, Peter Mandelson, who visited Prague on Tuesday. Mr Mandelson called for a sensitive and moderate resolution to the controversy.
Star ice hockey winger Patrik Elias has been called up for the Czech squad for the Winter Olympics in Turin, after Petr Prucha was ruled out after spraining his ankle. Elias, who plays for New Jersey Devils, returned from a long injury after the original squad was named by coach Alois Hadamczik. The Czech team play their first game against Germany on Wednesday week.
A group of Romanies who said they had suffered discrimination at the hands of the Czech education authorities have lost a case against the Czech state at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Eighteen Romanies from north Moravia said the fact they had been sent to a so-called special school constituted a violation of their human rights. Their claims had previously been dismissed by the Czech Constitutional Court.
The sacked chairwoman of the Supreme Court, Iva Brozova, has filed a lawsuit challenging her dismissal against the whole of the Czech government. She had previously filed suits against President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek. Mr Klaus dismissed Ms Brozova last week at the request of the minister of justice, who said the Supreme Court was not fulfilling its duties.
President Vaclav Klaus also told reporters on Monday he was not satisfied with the final version of the bill on registered partnerships of same-sex couples passed by both houses of the Czech Parliament. The president has until next Thursday to either sign or veto the bill. In case he does not do either, the bill will become law anyway.
The Czech Republic's diplomatic mission in Ramallah has heightened security measures in connection with ongoing attacks on European embassies in various Arab countries, a spokesman for the Czech Foreign Ministry has said. Western governments are stepping up security measures at their embassies in Arab countries as demonstrations continue against cartoons satirising the Prophet Muhammad published in a newspaper in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe.
President Vaclav Klaus said on Monday that the legal and constitutional complaints, filed by Iva Brozova, who was dismissed as the chairwoman of the Supreme Court last week, only strengthened the prevailing opinion about her performance in the post. Mr Klaus said he was not going to change his decision about her dismissal. President Klaus dismissed Ms Brozova at the request of Justice Minister Pavel Nemec who had repeatedly complained about the state of the Supreme Court.
The Culture Minister, Vitezslav Jandak, has decided to dismiss his advisory council for state monument preservation. A spokeswoman for the ministry said the reason for the dismissal was a finding that the council's activities lead to non-transparent distribution of state money for the renovation of monuments.
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