The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, is to cut short a visit to Japan
in order to meet the president of China, Hu Jintao. Mr Paroubek had been
due to leave Japan for China on Sunday but will now set off a day earlier,
after a meeting with the Chinese leader was organised at the last minute.
The Czech prime minister said it would be mistake not to take the
opportunity to meet Hu Jintao, who he described as the second most
powerful man in the world.
While in Japan Mr Paroubek has met Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Emperor Akihito; on Friday he took part in Czech national day at the World Expo, which is being held in the city of Aichi.
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night has been premiered at the annual Shakespeare festival at Prague Castle. Other plays being performed at the outdoor theatre include Hamlet and the Merchant of Venice. The festival, which usually sells out, travels on to Brno and the Slovak capital Bratislava later in the summer.
The lower house has rejected a proposal to end free flights for MPs within the Czech Republic. The bill, which would also have seen a reduction in expenses on foreign trips, was proposed by Christian Democrat leader Miroslav Kalousek. Social Democrat MP Petr Sulak was one of those who voted down the proposal; he described it as populism.
Between 30 and 35 percent of music compact discs sold in the Czech Republic are illegal pirate copies, a spokesperson for the Czech branch of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said on Friday, as the organisation released an international report on the counterfeiting of music.
A lower house deputy for the Social Democrats, Josef Hojdar, has been expelled from the party. The local branch of the Social Democrats in the northern town of Most voted to expel Mr Hojdar at an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, saying rules were broken during his election as chairman earlier this year. The government has a majority of just one, but the MP has said he will continue to support it. Several Social Democrats have given their backing to Mr Hojdar, who says he says he will appeal against the expulsion.
The greatest Czech footballer of his generation, Pavel Nedved, has
extended his contract with Juventus by another two years, meaning he
will now stay with the Italian champions until 2008. Nedved, who is 32,
is expected to decide during the summer whether to return to the Czech
Meanwhile, Czech defender David Rozehnal has completed a move to France's Paris St Germain from Belgian club Bruges.
Increasing numbers of foreigners have been coming to the Czech Republic for fertility treatments, Hospodarske noviny reported on Friday. Assisted reproduction is considerably cheaper here than in neighbouring states Germany and Austria, the paper said, adding that some Czech clinics actively promote their services abroad.
A new party, called the Independent Democrats, has been founded in Prague, former Social Democrat MP Jana Volfova announced on Thursday and said its manifesto was put together by MEP Vladimir Zelezny, the former CEO of the successful commercial TV Nova. Mr Zelezny who is not a member of the Independent Democrats said the manifesto will be released in late July or early August after it is approved by the party conference. Mr Zelezny also said the party will mainly focus on the defence of Czech national interests and it will also address EU-related issues.
The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek who is on an official visit to East Asia, has met Japanese Emperor Akihito in Tokyo. After the meeting on Thursday, Mr Paroubek said they spoke about Prague, culture, music, issues related to global warming and also about the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Mr Havel was host to Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko who visited Prague in July 2002. Prime Minister Paroubek started an eight-day visit to Asia in Tokyo on Wednesday, he is due to visit China next.
The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) which represents the recording industry worldwide has included the Czech Republic among a group of 31 countries where more counterfeit CDs than original ones are sold. According to the federation the situation in the Czech Republic is getting worse. The IFPI did not disclose the source of its data.
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