Czech troops are to monitor the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul for four months starting in December, the Czech Army chief of staff Pavel Stefka said after a meeting with a senior NATO official. He said a team of 50 Czech soldiers - including de-mining experts and meteorologists - would be in charge of both civilian and military flights in Afghanistan.
The Czech foreign minister, Cyril Svoboda, says it is necessary to
maintain continuous political pressure on Belarus to negotiate with the
country's opposition. Mr Svoboda said Sunday's presidential elections in
Belarus, which President Alexander Lukashenko is widely predicted to win,
were not democratic.
The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, said he was not enthusiastic about Mr Lukashenko's expected victory, but said it was very much an internal matter for Belarus.
A Social Democrat politician has been kicked out of the party after
being accused of corruption. The local branch of the party in Velke
Mezirici expelled Josef Laznicka just over a week after he and six
other people were arrested on charges of bribe giving and receiving.
The head of the Velke Mezirici Social Democrats said the case could
have harmed the party in general elections due to take place in June.
Mr Laznicka, who worked at the State Fund for Transport Infrastructure, is the second person to have lost his party membership over the affair: last week lobbyist Frantisek Vybiral was expelled by the Olomouc branch.
Speaking on a TV debate programme on Sunday, Prime Minister Paroubek also said the Czech Republic may just have to pay token compensation to Japan's Nomura bank. An international arbitration court ruled that the Czech state had failed to protect Nomura's investment in the Czech bank IPB, and it is now seeking over one and a half billion US dollars in compensation. The actual amount Nomura will receive is to be set by a second arbitration hearing.
The South Korean company Hyundai is actively looking for high-quality accommodation for its managers, despite the fact a deal to open a huge car plant in north Moravia has not yet been finalised, Pravo reported on Saturday. Industry and Trade Minister Milan Urban says he expects a decision on whether the factory will be built in the Czech Republic to be made in April, several months after originally expected.
Dagmar Havlova, the actress wife of former Czech president Vaclav Havel, made her first stage appearance in almost a decade on Friday evening when she appeared in a production of Moment of Truth by US playwright Israel Horovitz. Critics have described the performance at Prague's Vinohradske Divadlo as a resounding success, while Mr Havel said he was very glad his wife had returned to her profession.
The Czech Republic may have to make a huge pay-out after losing an
international arbitration case taken by the Japanese bank Nomura over the
sale of IPB bank. The Czech government put IPB under forced administration
when it collapsed in the year 2000 before selling it to another Czech bank,
CSOB. Nomura, which owned almost half of IPB, said the Czech state had
failed to protect its investment; it is now demanding over one and a half
billion US dollars in compensation. The actual amount it receives will be
set by a second arbitration hearing.
But Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, whose Social Democrats were in power at the time of the sale, said there was no immediate threat of the country having to pay the compensation; he said negotiations would continue and it could take years for the matter to be resolved.
Jakub Janda has become the first Czech ever to win the ski jumping World Cup. He finished just 29th in a competition in the Slovenian resort of Planica on Saturday, but a poor placing by his closest rival meant the Czech could not be overtaken on points. Janda came first in five World Cup competitions during the season, and was joint winner of the prestigious Four Hills event.
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