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. Prime Minister Topolanek, who has three children with his wife of twenty-seven years, Pavla, on Sunday called on the Czech media to respect his privacy.
The outgoing Foreign Minister, Alexandr Vondra, says the policy statement of the new cabinet of Mirek Topolanek will most likely not include any definitive stance on the European constitution and its ratification. Mr Vondra who has been nominated for the post of deputy Prime Minister for European affairs in the new cabinet, added that a timetable will most likely be approved during Germany's presidency of the EU specifying further negotiations on the document. Mr Vondra's proposed successor, Karel Schwarzenberg, says it is vital for the EU to have a constitutional treaty. The Czech President Vaclav Klaus, however, in his New Year's address, warned against efforts to revive the European Union constitution under Germany's presidency.
The first unit of the Temelin nuclear plant in South Bohemia has been reconnected to the national grid after it was shut down temporarily for routine tests early on Saturday morning. The equipment has been tested once a month since mid last year when the Czech Republic's nuclear authority issued an order to that effect. The Temelin plant, which went into operation in 2000, has been the subject of fierce criticism in neighbouring Austria which says the plant, combining Soviet design and Western operating technology, is unsafe.
Social Democrat chairman and former prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, says his party needs to modernise and open itself to the public. Speaking on Saturday at regional conferences ahead of the March party congress, Mr Paroubek said the party's should revitalise and rejuvenate at all levels as soon as possible. Mr Paroubek also said he would like to see the percentage of women in the 17,000-member party increase. He reiterated the Social Democrats, who came second in last year's general elections, are not going to support the proposed centre-right cabinet of Mirek Topolanek in a confidence vote. The South and Karlovy Vary regional branches of the Social Democratic Party on Saturday pledged support for Mr Paroubek for the upcoming party congress which will elect a new party chief.
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.
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.
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