Registrations of new cars and light utility vehicles rose by more than 4 percent to over 170,000 in the Czech Republic in 2006 compared with the previous year, the Association of Car Importers announced on Friday. Registration of new cars fell by 2.7 percent but those of light utility vehicles soared by almost 27 percent over the same period, it added. Local car maker, Skoda Auto, part of the Volkswagen Group, topped both categories, accounting for almost 42 percent of new car registrations and 24 percent of light utility vehicles. Skoda Auto's Fabia was the most popular model of the key small car segment of the market.
President Vaclav Klaus says he will decide on the date of appointment of Mirek Topolanek's new government once he is provided with all necessary documents regarding its members, a spokesman said on Friday. Those include the biographies and security screening certificates of the proposed ministers. President Klaus has also expressed reservations regarding the cabinet line-up and has criticised the prime minister for failing to secure majority support for it in the lower house. Mr Topolanek's first government failed to win confidence in early October and resigned. The Czech Republic has been without a stable government since inconclusive elections in June.
The first unit of the Temelin nuclear power plant in South Bohemia was shut down overnight while tests were carried out on the operating equipment, a spokesman said on Saturday. The unit is expected to be reconnected to the network on Sunday. The equipment has been tested once a month in compliance with an order from the Czech Republic's nuclear authority in mid-2006. The Temelin plant, which started operation in 2000, has been repeatedly criticised by neighbouring Austria which says the plant, combining Soviet design and Western operating technology, is unsafe.
Czech first division team FC Brno said on Friday they had rejected an approach from Middlesbrough for goalkeeper Martin Lejsal. The 25-year-old, who was part of the Czech squad for a friendly against Denmark in November, played for Italians Reggina, Padova and Venezia before joining Brno at the end of 2005.
Prime Minister and Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek has announced he has separated from his wife Pavla and is now living with his girlfriend, Civic Democrat MP Lucie Talmanova. The Czech media had speculated about Mr Topolanek's domestic crisis and his relationship with Ms Talmanova for six months. In Saturday's edition of Lidove noviny, the 39-year old MP Talmanova confirmed she was pregnant but declined to identify the father of her baby and said she was prepared to raise her child as a single mother.
Following a stormy debate on Thursday, the Civic Democratic Party leadership agreed to back the prime minister's centre right coalition government, asking deputies to support it in the upcoming confidence vote. The decision was approved unanimously despite the fact that many senior party members do not approve of the division of ministerial posts. President Klaus has also expressed reservations regarding the cabinet line-up and has criticized the prime minister for failing to secure majority support for it in the lower house. It is not yet clear when he will appoint the new government.
The Social Democratic Party has ruled out support for the proposed
centre-right government. Following a meeting of the party's executive
leadership, party boss Jiri Paroubek said his Social Democrats would
not enter into talks on supporting or even tolerating the centre-right
coalition government since both its line-up and policy programme were
incompatible with his party's priorities.
Party leader Jiri Paroubek on Thursday met with President Klaus and proposed his own solution to the drawn-out political crisis. He said that if the prime minister's second attempt at forming a government failed, his party would be open to negotiations on a coalition between the two strongest parties and the Christian Democrats. He said that in this manner the country could avoid a constitutional crisis.
A total of 157 drivers have lost their drivers licenses after receiving 12 penal points for traffic offences since a strict new road law went into effect in July of last year. Traffic police say penal points are most frequently given for speeding and drinking and driving. Both independent experts and traffic police agree that the new road law has significantly influenced drivers' behaviour and statistics show a steady decline in the number of road deaths.
Under fire from many of his party colleagues, Prime Minister Topolanek said on Thursday he would resign as party leader if his second attempt at forming a government failed. Mr. Topolanek's first attempt at forming a cabinet failed in October, but President Klaus entrusted him with the task once again a few days later. His chances of securing majority support in the upcoming confidence vote are slim due to an even division of power between right and left parties in the lower house.
The provisional Social Democrat chairman of the lower house Miloslav Vlcek has said he would, with all probability, resign from his post on January 30th. Before his election to the post of chairman Mr. Vlcek pledged to give up the job if two attempts to form a government failed. That was because it is the chairman of the lower house who will have the task of selecting a prime minister designate for the third attempt and, as a Social Democrat, Mr Vlcek's choice would be open to allegations of a party bias. The parliamentary parties will need to reach some kind of consensus on who should succeed Mr. Vlcek and select the next prime minister.
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