Warner Home Video (WHV), a company responsible for the distribution of videos and DVDs in 98 countries, has decided to close its branches in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The Czech news agency, CTK, reports that the decision comes as a result of the high degree of piracy in the two central European countries, as well as the saturation of the home video market. Sales of DVDs in the Czech Republic dropped by 19% last year, a figure that experts say illustrates the high rate of digital piracy. As of October 2006, the license for distribution of WHV programs in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be acquired by Magic Box entertainment, a division of the central European group AQS.
Social Democrat chairman and outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has
said that his party is prepared to support a minority Civic Democrat
cabinet or to agree with the Civic Democrats on a caretaker government.
Speaking after a party leadership meeting on Tuesday morning, he said that
his party was unlikely to accept the offer made by Civic Democrat chairman
Mirek Topolanek to join the ongoing coalition talks. In an article
published in Tuesday's Hospodarske noviny, Mr Paroubek indicated that he
considered the formation a caretaker government agreed on by the Social
Democrats and the Civic Democrats to be the only solution to the
Reacting to his rival's declaration, Mr. Topolanek says that his Civic Democrats are not prepared to accept the idea of a caretaker government composed of his party and MPs from the Social Democratic Party. Mr. Topolanek says that Mr. Paroubek's rejection of Monday's offer to participate in coalition talks is destructive.
The centre-right coalition of the Civic Democratic Party, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens offered the Social Democrats a place in the coalition cabinet on Monday. Before the weekend, the coalition also said that it was ready to support the election of a Social Democrat as the speaker of the lower house of parliament. The next round of talks about the creation of a new government is scheduled for Wednesday.
Healthcare workers have registered a sharp increase in salmonella cases in north Bohemia. The cause of the three-fold increase in cases is being credited to a wedding reception—half of the guests experienced digestive problems afterwards—and to the seasonal temperature highs. Doctors are warning people to ensure that foods are properly cooked, and to pay special attention to grilled meats during the summer barbeque season.
Health Minister David Rath has dismissed the director of the National Drug Control Institute, Milan Smid. Mr. Rath told reporters that Mr. Smid failed to fulfill tasks assigned to him in January, which included compiling detailed reports on certain drugs and their position on the global market. The minister says he required the report while drafting his controversial cost-saving proposal that would require Czechs to pay for certain medicines. Mr. Smid has not commented his dismissal.
Milan Baros's move to Hamburg is in doubt, after the chairman of his present club Aston Villa described an offer made by the Germans as unacceptable. The Czech international striker has not made a great impact since joining Villa last summer; however chairman Doug Ellis said the club would not let him go on the cheap, after paying almost 12 million dollars for him.
President Vaclav Klaus, who is on an official visit to Romania, has
said that it is necessary to seek a solution to the current election
stalemate and involve the Social Democratic Party in the process. But
Mr Klaus said he could not predict whether Mr Topolanek's offer to the
Social Democrats to join the emerging coalition was a way out of the
Speaking to reporters in Bucharest on Tuesday morning, Mr.Klaus said that he intends to meet with leaders of all five parliamentary parties during the course of Thursday and Friday, so that he can hear their views on the current post-election deadlock. Mr. Klaus said that the time for him to become engaged in the process of forming a new government has come, and that he intends to devote his attention to matters of the domestic political scene upon return to Prague Wednesday evening.
A third attempt to elect a leader of the lower house is planned for Friday, though it remains unclear who the candidates will be.
The Czech traffic police say that the number of road accidents over the weekend was around half the number compared to the same time last year. While there were 1450 accidents on the second weekend of the summer holidays in 2005, this year the number was 860. The decrease has been attributed to the new and stricter transport law introducing a new points system for driving offences which came into force earlier this month.
President Vaclav Klaus, who is on an official visit to Romania, has said that it is necessary to seek a solution to the current election stalemate and involve the Social Democratic Party in the process. But Mr Klaus said he could not predict whether Mr Topolanek's offer to the Social Democrats to join the emerging coalition was a way out of the situation.
Social Democrat chairman Jiri Paroubek has written an official letter to his colleagues from the Party of European Socialists in which he complained about the actions of the Civic Democrats before the elections in early June, the daily Hospodarske noviny writes. Mr Paroubek is reported as saying that the election victory of the Civic Democrats had been achieved through unfair methods and contempt of principles of decency and European political traditions. Elite detective Jan Kubice submitted a report in late May that hinted at links between organised crime and the Social Democrat-led civil service sector. The report also included allegations concerning Mr Paroubek's personal life. The Social Democrats believe that the Civic Democrats, their main rival, were behind the scandal. The Civic Democrats say Mr Paroubek's letter casts the Czech Republic in a bad light.
The centre-right coalition of the Civic Democratic Party, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens has offered to the Social Democrats to become members of the coalition cabinet, Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek told journalists on Monday. The coalition also said that on Friday, it was ready to support the election of a Social Democrat as the speaker of the lower house of parliament. In response to the offer, the outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said that he believed a coalition of his Social Democrats with the three parties was unlikely but he said a party leadership meeting would discuss the matter on Tuesday. The next round of talks about the creation of a new government is scheduled for Wednesday.
Martin Nekola: Czech Chicago and other untold stories of Czechs abroad
Czech President Zeman addresses Council of Europe
How should socialist architecture be treated now?
Czech pre-election battle plugs into war of words over lithium mining deal
Czech ministry mulls massive recruitment of foreign workers to fill jobs