Pharmacy owners meeting with Health Minister David Rath and Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka on Friday reached agreement on a changing the profit margin system for medicines along two-tier lines. Until now, pharmacies and distributors have enjoyed a 29-percent margin profit on all medicines. Under the proposed system, the margin for cheaper medicines would be raised to 33 percent, but more expensive medicines would see a drop to just 6 - 10 percent. The health minister has indicated that specialists will meet to further discuss the issue next week.
Tottenham have won a three-way race to sign highly-rated Czech teenager Tomas Pekhart from Slavia Prague. The 16-year-old striker will move to London in July after signing a three-year contract with a further option of two years. Spurs sporting director Damien Comolli told the club's website that two other Premiership clubs had been interested in signing the player.
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.
There were 90 newly recorded cases of HIV infection in the Czech Republic in 2005, a new record. The total number who were HIV positive at the end of last year was 827, 650 men and 177 women. The head of a centre for victims of the disease, Miroslav Hlavaty, said on Thursday that figures for the first two months of this year indicate a further increase is possible in 2006. Almost 200 people in the Czech Republic have contracted AIDS, of whom 118 have died.
The Senate has approved a bill under which foreigners could be granted permanent residence in the Czech Republic after only five years, as opposed to the present ten. The bill concerns some 38,000 foreigners living in the Czech Republic and is seen as a fundamental breakthrough. It is yet to be signed by President Vaclav Klaus.
Czech tennis player Tomas Berdych has been knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells Masters Series. The 20-year-old was beaten 6-4 6-1 by Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus. Last year Berdych caused an upset by winning the Paris Masters, the biggest Czech success in tennis in some years.
Around 50 people demonstrated outside the Cuban embassy in Prague on Thursday demanding the release of political prisoners on the island. The protest was held on the third anniversary of the 2003 brutal crack down on Cuban dissidents when 75 members of the opposition were thrown into jail. The protesters in Prague read an open letter asking the Cuban regime to release its political prisoners many of whom are in seriously bad health. The Cuban embassy's doors remained closed.
Train drivers went on a half hour token strike on Thursday in protest of proposed changes in the labour code. The association's chairman Petr Cechak said 90 percent of train drivers on duty at midday had joined the strike, but Czech Railways said there had been almost no disruption of rail transport as a result. Only five percent of the days train connections were allegedly affected by the strike, with a maximum 15 minute delay.
The leader of the so-called Berdych Gang, David Berdych, has received a five-year prison term for counterfeiting banknotes. He already faced five years in jail for blackmail. Around three dozen other members of the alleged criminal gang have also been appearing in court on charges of kidnapping, robbery and murder. Several police officers have also been implicated in the case.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”