An Austrian company says it is hoping to sell 30,000 mobile phones for the elderly on the Czech market every year. A representative of the firm Emporia said its target market were the 1.5 million people in the Czech Republic over the age of 65. A number of other companies are already selling mobiles for seniors in this country.
With the subject of who will become the Czech Republic’s next European commissioner sure to heat up in the wake of Mr Klaus’s signing of Lisbon, his former party the Civic Democrats have said they should be allowed to make that choice. Leader Mirek Topolánek said on Tuesday that the party deserved that right as they had come first in the last elections to the Czech lower house. Mr Topolánek also said he would discuss the matter with Prime Minister Fischer and the leader of the Social Democrats, Jiří Paroubek, on Wednesday. Mr Fischer has said that if the political parties cannot agree on a candidate, his interim cabinet will select one themselves by the start of next week.
Civic Democrat MP Marek Benda has admitted that his academic title was acquired improperly at the law faculty at Plzeň’s University of West Bohemia. The faculty has been embroiled in controversy since it emerged that some students had received academic qualifications there without having done the necessary work. Mr Benda, who is chair of the lower house’s constitutional-legal committee, said he had neglected some formalities in connection with his doctorate. He has asked to be allowed to defend his dissertation again once it has been completed. Former justice minister Jiří Pospíšil, who was appointed dean of the disgraced law faculty on Monday, said he would seek legal advice on whether that was possible. Meanwhile, the Social Democrats have called for Mr Benda to step down as chair of the constitutional-legal committee.
Czech ice hockey player Tomáš Kaberle has been named first Star of the Week in the NHL. The defenceman received the accolade after registering two goals and 10 assists in four away games for Toronto Maple Leafs. The Czech player, who is 31, was credited with helping Toronto take points in all four games, though the club suffered three overtime losses.
The Czech economy should grow by 0.8 percent in 2010, according to a newly released forecast from the European Commission. Its prognosis is rather more positive than that of the Czech finance ministry, which expects a 0.3 percent rise in gross domestic product next year – following a fall of 5 percent this year. The European Commission said the Czech Republic had come out of a recession in the second quarter of 2009 after real GDP had stabilized; it predicted mild growth in the final two quarters of 2009. Looking further ahead, it forecast growth of 2.3 percent in 2011.
The Czech president, Václav Klaus, has put his signature to ratification
of the European Union’s Lisbon treaty, allowing the document to come into
force across the whole of the 27-member bloc; the Czech Republic was the
last state in the EU to complete ratification of Lisbon. Mr Klaus released
a statement saying he had signed the treaty at 15:00 on Tuesday, only hours
after the Czech Constitutional Court ruled that it did not contravene the
In a statement, the Czech president said he had expected the court to rule in favour of Lisbon. However, he also said that its verdict had not been legally neutral but represented a biased political defence of the document. Mr Klaus also said the Czech Republic would cease to be a sovereign state once the Lisbon treaty was implemented.
The caretaker Czech prime minister, Jan Fischer, co-signed the Lisbon treaty later on Tuesday afternoon, meaning that ratification has been completed on the part of the Czech Republic. The document must now be lodged in Rome.
The Czech state deficit widened to 138.1 billion crowns by the end of October, the Ministry of Finance announced on Monday. This represents a 50.8 billion crown deepening of the deficit compared with the end of September. The Czech government initially planned for the budget deficit for the whole of 2009 to total 38.3 billion. But the economic crisis has had a far bigger impact than expected, cutting the state’s direct and indirect tax revenues and increasing the amounts it must pay out in unemployment and other benefits.
Only three companies have made bids to build two new nuclear reactors at
power company ČEZ’s existing Temelín facility with the option of a
further three at other sites, according to the news server of the Czech
daily Lidové noviny. The paper listed the three as US-based Westinghouse,
France’s Areva and Russian state-controlled firm Atomstrojexport.
Expectations had been that around a dozen companies would put in tenders
for what the Czech media has described as the contract of the century which
is worth an estimated 500 billion crowns or around 28 billion US dollars.
The contract has already stirred up a lot of lobbying and interest. Some Czech politicians have warned that handing such a big contract to a Russian firm would increase Czech dependency on Moscow. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Martin Barták, said on Sunday that the government could exert enormous influence over who wins the tender. Around two-thirds of ČEZ shares are state-owned.
Czech senators who lodged a complaint against the EU’s reforming Lisbon
treaty have made a further submission to the Czech Republic’s highest
court aimed at supplementing their case. An official at the Czech
Constitutional Court said on Monday that the mostly right-leaning senators
had lodged their new material on Friday. The court is due to meet on
Tuesday over their complaint about whether the treaty is in conflict with
Czech law. A decision is looking likely. Senators added to their original
submission when the court sat last Tuesday with court chairman Pavel
Rychetský complaining then that the move bordered on obstruction.
The court verdict is the last barrier standing in the way of Czech ratification of the Lisbon treaty after President Václav Klaus was granted an exemption from part of the treaty, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, at a meeting of EU leaders at the end of last week. President Klaus said he wanted guarantees that Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia at the end of World War Two could not use it to reclaim their property.
Collapse of Prague footbridge raises concerns regarding state of other bridges
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ANO leader Andrej Babiš appointed Czech prime minister
Czech wage rises continue apace, low earners seeing larger increases
Czech protesters run out of patience as Prague brutalist building faces demolition