The South Korean company Hyundai is actively looking for high-quality accommodation for its managers, despite the fact a deal to open a huge car plant in north Moravia has not yet been finalised, Pravo reported on Saturday. Industry and Trade Minister Milan Urban says he expects a decision on whether the factory will be built in the Czech Republic to be made in April, several months after originally expected.
Dagmar Havlova, the actress wife of former Czech president Vaclav Havel, made her first stage appearance in almost a decade on Friday evening when she appeared in a production of Moment of Truth by US playwright Israel Horovitz. Critics have described the performance at Prague's Vinohradske Divadlo as a resounding success, while Mr Havel said he was very glad his wife had returned to her profession.
The Czech Republic may have to make a huge pay-out after losing an
international arbitration case taken by the Japanese bank Nomura over the
sale of IPB bank. The Czech government put IPB under forced administration
when it collapsed in the year 2000 before selling it to another Czech bank,
CSOB. Nomura, which owned almost half of IPB, said the Czech state had
failed to protect its investment; it is now demanding over one and a half
billion US dollars in compensation. The actual amount it receives will be
set by a second arbitration hearing.
But Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, whose Social Democrats were in power at the time of the sale, said there was no immediate threat of the country having to pay the compensation; he said negotiations would continue and it could take years for the matter to be resolved.
Jakub Janda has become the first Czech ever to win the ski jumping World Cup. He finished just 29th in a competition in the Slovenian resort of Planica on Saturday, but a poor placing by his closest rival meant the Czech could not be overtaken on points. Janda came first in five World Cup competitions during the season, and was joint winner of the prestigious Four Hills event.
A new poll released by the STEM polling agency has suggested the Green
Party - not in Parliament - has continued to gain ground ahead of
general elections this year. The survey suggests that if elections were
held tomorrow the Greens would get 9.4 percent of the vote - a marked
jump from earlier polls which showed the party at around 5 or 6
percent. The right-of-centre Civic Democrats continue to top the poll
at 26.7, followed by the left-of-centre Social Democrats at 21.8, and
the Communists at 12.4.
According to the STEM poll the last party to cross Parliament's 5 percent threshold would be the Christian Democrats at 6.1 percent.
The Chamber of Deputies has included provisions in a bill that should further deter the illegal importing of waste to the Czech Republic, raising the upper on fines to up to 50 million crowns - the equivalent of more than 2 million US dollars. The provisions will also allow police to check incoming transport trucks more effectively. The bill will now be discussed by the Senate and assessed by President Vaclav Klaus. According to Czech Environmental Inspection estimates, some 15,000 tonnes of waste were illegally imported from Germany into the Czech Republic in recent months.
The Senate has lifted a previous age restriction for artificial fertilisation in the case of married or common law couples wishing to have children. But, age restrictions will apply for example for anonymous egg or sperm donors, 35 and 40 years of age, respectively. The changes are part of the provision on artificial reproduction in legislation on embryonic cell research. Senators also decided that married couples would not have to undergo an expensive genetic examination procedure that would have complicated efforts in having a child, besides leading to additional expenses. The bill will now go back to the chamber of deputies for reconsideration.
Vaclav Cihak, the former head of the finances department at the Czech embassy in Albania has received a three year suspended sentence for financial machinations with the embassy's funds. Cihak pleaded not-guilty but admitted to having moral responsibility for the loss of 1.8 million crowns from the embassy's funds in 2002. He said he had not used the money for his own private purposes and was merely guilty of mismanaging funds. He claims to have no idea where the money went.
The board of directors and supervisory board of the General Health Insurance Company (the VZP) has failed to approve cost-saving measures for the health insurance plan for 2006, meaning forced administration at the insurer will continue. A member of the board of directors revealed the information on Friday. Both the Health Minister David Rath and the prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, had linked the approval of addtional cost-saving measures with the cancellation of forced administration. According to Minister Rath, the VZP will run its finances according to a stopgap budget which includes cost-saving measures. Mr Rath imposed forced administration on the VZP last November - to prevent the insurer from slipping into further debt.
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