The Ministry of Finance aims to increase its influence at the state-owned power giant ČEZ, Euro reported. The business magazine said ministry officials intend to push through changes to the company’s statutes at its next general meeting with the aim of giving the state more say in the choice of suppliers in the construction of two more reactors at the Temelín nuclear power station. Finance Minister Eduard Janota said the building of the nuclear plant was of strategic importance and the Czech state needed to have more ways of influencing it. France’s Arena, the American firm Westinghouse and Russian-Czech consortium Atomstrojexport are taking part in the large tender to build the two new reactors at Temelín, which is located in south Bohemia.
Czech robot engineers have taken home two silver and two bronze medals from Field Robot Event, a robot engineering competition that took place in Germany over the weekend. Two Czech teams from Charles University and the Czech University of Life Sciences participated in the competition. Czechs won medals in categories such as advanced navigation. Now in its eighth year, the competition featured twenty-two teams from seven countries.
Two men charged with human trafficking went on trial at a court in Ostrava on Monday. The two defendants, aged 32 and 24, face prison sentences of up to twelve years. They are suspected of having forced seven females, one of them underage, into prostitution between 2008 and 2009. The prostitutes operated out of private apartments that the two men rented. One of the two defendants attempted to commit suicide while under arrest prior to the trial.
Ondřej Liška is to stand again for the post of chairman of the Green
Party. Following the party’s failure to make it back into the lower
in recent general elections, Mr Liška resigned as leader. At a party
meeting on Sunday, the leadership of the Green Party evaluated its defeat
in the recent general elections and decided that a party congress would
take place in November, after senatorial elections. At their congress, the
Greens will elect a new leadership and discuss the party’s campaign
strategy for the next lower house elections.
In May’s lower house elections, the Green Party did not gain the five percent of the vote that is necessary to win seats in the parliament. Following a poor election result of 2.44 percent of the vote, Mr Liška resigned from his post as party leader.
Czech President Václav Klaus says that the results of general elections
in Slovakia, which took place on Saturday, are very different from the
results of recent Czech lower house elections. In both countries, the two
biggest left-wing parties came first, but both the Social Democrats in the
Czech Republic and Smer in Slovakia appear likely to go into opposition.
Klaus said, however, that the results differed in a number of significant
points. One was that Smer was able to improve upon its last election
result, while the Social Democrats lost a large portion of their vote.
On Sunday, leaders of three Czech right-of-center parties currently in talks on forming a coalition commented on the results of the Slovak elections, drawing close parallels between the results in both countries.
British singer-songwriter Sting is to perform at Prague’s O2 Arena in September. He will be backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. The orchestra will be conducted by Steven Mercurio who has collaborated with Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli in the past. The former front-man of The Police and holder of 16 Grammy awards last performed in the Czech Republic in 2004. The upcoming concert will be his seventh performance in the Czech Republic. After a huge success and sold out performances of his US tour, Sting is currently touring Europe.
The most likely prime minister, the acting leader of the Civic Democrats Petr Nečas and Miroslav Kalousek, of the Civic Democrat’s coalition partner TOP 09 said on Sunday that this year’s state budget had to lowered by another ten billion Czech crowns or more to achieve a state budget deficit of 5.3 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Mr Nečas said that the future government should take steps to actively create next year’s state budget. Last year, the state budget deficit reached a record sum of 192.4 billion Czech crowns. One of the conditions for the Czech Republic to join the Eurozone is that the state budget deficit be lowered to three percent of GDP by 2013.
The director of the Ministry of Justice’s investment department has stepped down after public tenders that he was responsible for garnered criticism in recent days. A spokeswoman for the ministry said on Monday that the minister of justice, Daniela Kovářová, was not planning to fill the position again. On Friday, two Czech dailies reported that the Ministry of Justice had awarded two public tenders for a total of 266 million crowns just days after the lower house elections took place. This step was criticized as not being in line with Prime Minister Jan Fischer’s instructions. After the elections, the head of the caretaker cabinet called on all ministries to withhold from making any major decisions during the last weeks that the caretaker government is in office.
Customs police have confiscated eighteen exceptionally rare parrots of the Lear’s Macaw breed, a spokesperson said on Monday. In May, police confiscated five rare parrots after they stopped a car near the Moravian town of Břeclav. Subsequent house searches lead to the discovery of another 18 rare parrots with a value of about a million Czech crowns. Lear’s Macaw parrots live in Brazil; there are only about 700 specimens living in the wild left.