Czech farmers are planning to blockade the Austrian border in protest against increased imports of pork by chain stores in the Czech Republic, the president of the Czech Agrarian Chamber Jan Veleba said on Monday. He said Czech pig husbandry was threatened with collapse and that the practices of chain stores led to billions of crowns in losses a year. Mr Veleba would not say when the blockades will take place or at which border crossings.
The government has approved a revised version of its convergence programme, including a target date for euro adoption of 2012. The document concedes the public finance gap will reach 4 percent of GDP this year, higher than the 3.3 percent envisaged in the original version. Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek said the programme could expect justified criticism from the European Commission, but said if Prague could prove it was serious about reforms there would be no real threat of sanctions.
The Czech speed skater Martina Sablikova set a new world record on Sunday when she completed the 5,000 m in a time of 6:45.61. As well as a new record the 19-year-old took gold in the event at the World Speed Skating Championships in Salt Lake City. Sablikova also took gold in the 3,000 m at the championships.
The environment minister, Martin Bursik, wants to replace the head of the State Nuclear Safety Office, Dana Drabova, following two radioactive leaks at the Temelin nuclear power plant. Mr Bursik told Czech TV that Ms Drabova bore direct responsibility and should take active measures instead of downplaying the problem.
Eight people have been charged after clashes between members of far-right and hard-left groups in Prerov on Saturday, police said. Bottles and cobblestones were thrown as police struggled to keep 180 members of a group called National Corporativism apart from 150 left-wing extremists in the north Moravian town.
The Education Ministry is planning to allow Czech parents to teach their children at home to a later age, Hospodarske noviny reported. Currently home-teaching is permitted for pupils to the fifth grade of elementary school, meaning to age 11. Under the new system they could be taught at home until the final, ninth grade, to age 15.
The head of the Czech military intelligence Miroslav Krejcik is to be let go before his term of office comes to an end. Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek said Mr Krejcik's departure was part of a planned reform of the secret services. Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanova recently criticised Mr Krejcik for appearing in the media, which she said devalued his agency's work.
The number of foreigners working legally in the Czech Republic rose significantly in the last year, according to figures released by the Labour Ministry. There were almost 190,000 foreign citizens working legally in this country in the period to the end of February; that is 40,000 more than in the previous twelve months. Half the foreign workers are Slovaks, with Poles making up the second biggest group.
The Health Ministry is planning a new law under which all hospital staff and patients would have to wear clear identification, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. The move is intended to increase security in hospitals and protect patients, the paper said. The new law also envisages hospitals preparing and maintaining their own security regulations.
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ANO leader Andrej Babiš appointed Czech prime minister
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