The newly appointed minister without portfolio hopes a new institution will help prevent the formation of ghettos. Dzamila Stehlikova of the Green Party, who is also responsible for minority and human rights issues, says the creation of such an institution and the introduction of an antidiscrimination law would be her priorities. It is estimated that up to 80,000 of the country's population of ten million live in ghettos or under poor social conditions.
Police officers from around the country are planning to stage a large demonstration in Prague at the end of the month. The officers are concerned about a new salary system that has been in effect since the start of the year. While Interior Minister Ivan Langer and Czech Police Chief Vladislav Husak say no-one in the police force will be at a financial loss with the new system, trade union estimates expect over 5,000 officers to end up with lower salaries.
Plastic surgeons in the United Kingdom have protested against a lottery, organised by a British firm, in which first prize is cosmetic surgery in the Czech Republic. Plastic surgery costs up to a third less at Czech clinics than in the UK, and hundreds of British people undergo such operations in the Czech Republic every year.
A Russian man who forced a plane to make an emergency landing in Prague is to be tried in a court in the Czech Republic, Pravo reported. The defence lawyer for Yevgenii Dogayev told the daily he was trying to have his client's charge changed from breaching aviation safety to giving false information, which carries a lesser sentence. Mr Dogayev, who was drunk when he tried to force the plane to land in Cairo, says he remembers nothing of the incident. He has paid Czech Airlines for the costs incurred by the emergency landing.
In a live televised discussion with representatives of the three parties
in the new government, Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek said his party
would neither tolerate nor support the coalition with a confidence vote.
The government of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the
Green Party, which was appointed on Tuesday, has to gain a vote of
confidence within the next month. But it holds only half of the 200 seats
in the lower house of Parliament and needs at least one vote from a
Communist or a Social Democrat deputy.
Though the leaders of both parties have said they would not support the coalition, two Social Democrat MPs - Milos Melcak and Michal Pohanka - have not made it clear whether they share their party's official stance.
The Czech brewer Budvar has struck an historic trade alliance with Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser. The American giant has agreed to distribute Budejovicky Budvar's rival beer in the US. However, the Czech beer will remain under the Czechvar name in America, due to an ongoing trademark dispute. Both firms have also vowed to continue their fight over the Budweiser brand name elsewhere in the world.
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