The Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, signed a bill into law on Thursday
that requires all cash register activities of small businesses to be
recorded and monitored. The lower house of Parliament proposed to
monitor cash registers in order to help the government fight against
the grey economy. Small retailers and restaurants will be obliged to
use the registers as of January 2007. Those who would fail to comply
could be fined up to half a million Czech crowns.
Also on Thursday, the President has refused to sign bills into law with which the government hoped to simplify the work inspection system.
The government of New Zealand has decided to increase the number of Czechs permitted to work in the country. Under a bilateral agreement on work stays, which took effect in March, one hundred Czechs between the ages of 18 and 30 were to be granted short-term work permits of up to one year in New Zealand. That number is to be raised to one thousand as of July.
Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek held meetings with Health Minister Milada Emmerova and the head of the Czech Medical Chamber David Rath on Thursday to discuss the financial state of the health sector. According to Mr Paroubek the health ministry's most recent plans to solve the financial crisis look promising and could save billions of Czech crowns in the ailing public health-insurance system. The ministry's proposal is to be discussed by the coalition parties within the next two weeks.
One of the most popular Czech actresses Stella Zazvorkova has died at age 83. She died of a heart attack in her Prague flat. Mrs. Zazvorkova has over 180 films and countless theatre performances to her name. She was both a great character actress and comedian. Just a few months ago she received the Czech Lion award for her outstanding contribution to Czech cinematography.
The government has approved a bill which is to improve conditions for adoption and foster care. The bill supports all forms of alternative child care and should speed up the process of placing children into adoptive or foster care rather than having them spend years in orphanages due to legal hurdles. NGOs involved in child protection have welcomed the move.
The Czech football club Bohemians Prague have been saved from bankruptcy, team representatives announced on Monday. The club was stripped of its professional licence and knocked out of the second football league several weeks ago because of crippling debts. At a news conference on Monday representatives of the recently-formed AFK Vrsovice company said they had taken over the club. According to the club's website, British company New Europe Entrepreneurs Counsellors is the full owner of AFK. Bohemians, who were founded in 1905, won the Czech title in 1983 and in the same year reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.
The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, the chairman of the lower house, Lubomir Zaoralek and other top officials have unveiled a statue of the second Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes in front the Foreign Ministry at Prague Castle. Mr Zaoralek said that President Benes stood at the birth of democratic Czechoslovakia and stood firmly on the side of those who fought Nazism. Mr Zaoralek also dismissed criticism of President Benes coming from some Sudeten German groups. For example, Bavaria's state premier Edmund Stoiber said at the weekend's meeting of the Sudeten German Landsmanschaft that the unveiling of President Benes's statue was a provocation. Mr Stoiber again criticized the so called Benes decrees which formed a legal basis for the expulsion of over 2.5 million Sudeten Germans from post war Czechoslovakia.
Around 2,000 Czech war veterans have been awarded by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, as WWII is called in Russia. The Russian General Consul in Brno Viktor Sibilev said the awarded Czech veterans had fought in the Red Army or in partisan resistance units. The Russian diplomat, who on Monday presented the medals to 44 veterans from the eastern Vysocina region, said Russia had been putting together the list since November.
A crowd of around 20,000 ice hockey fans welcomed the Czech ice hockey team who arrived in Prague on Monday afternoon after winning the Ice Hockey World Championships in Vienna on Sunday. The Czech team beat the Canadians 3:0, breaking Canada's bid to win a third consecutive championship. The win handed Czechs their fifth title in ten years. Vaclav Prospal opened the scoring in the first period, while Martin Rucinsky scored in the 2nd, and Josef Vasicek added an empty-netter in the final seconds of the game.
More than fifty percent of Czechs believe that the European Union should have a common constitution, according to a recent poll carried out by the CVVM polling agency. Six out of ten respondents said that a referendum should decide on the approval of the EU constitution in the Czech Republic and an absolute majority of respondents said that they were not informed about the content of the European constitution at all. The new government of Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek announced that the ratification of the EU Constitution was its top priority.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events