Czech star midfielder Pavel Nedved, who plays for Italian football club Juventus, has not yet said whether he is planning on giving up professional football, after he helped his side's being promoted back to the top flight. Nedved has said he will make a public announcement about his future on June 30th. He has made clear that even if he retires from the pitch he and his family will continue living in Italy, where Nedved has played since 1996. He enjoyed arguably his best season with Juventus in 2003 when he won the Best European Player of the Year award.
Dutch brewer Heineken has announced that it has acquired the Czech Krusovice brewery for an undisclosed sum, giving Heineken the number three position in the Czech market. The transaction will be funded from existing cash resources, Heineken said on Thursday. The Dutch brewer already owns the Starobrno brewery in the Czech Republic which makes the Starobrno, Hostan and Zlaty Bazant brands. Annual Czech beer consumption is estimated at 16 million hectoliters. In 2006, Czech per capita consumption was 159 litres per year, the highest in the world, Heineken said.
Jiri Paroubek, the leader of the country's largest opposition party the Social Democrats, has expressed the conviction that the current ruling coalition will fall within the next three months. On Friday he told the CTK news agency that the country could see early elections in roughly one year's time. The Social Democrats have called a no confidence vote for next week which the government is expected to survive. The opposition can count on only 98 out of 200 votes. The ruling coalition has itself staked its future on the success of its proposed fiscal reforms.
The opposition Social Democrats have again threatened to initiate a vote
of no confidence on the government of Mirek Topolanek next week if
coalition MPs on Friday obstruct an extraordinary session of the lower
house which is to discuss the case of deputy Prime Minister and Christian
Democrat chairman Jiri Cunek. The Social Democrats first considered this
step last week when the prosecutor in Mr Cunek's case was replaced. The
party then accused the government of trying to manipulate proceedings.
Mr Cunek has been under investigation for several months now over allegations that he accepted a bribe of half a million crowns five years ago when he was mayor of the Moravian town of Vsetin.
Fourth seed Tomas Berdych has coasted into the last four of the ATP Halle tournament after quarter-final opponent and sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny withdrew through injury. Russia's world number 14 pulled out with a back injury and is unable to play Berdych - last year's beaten finalist at Halle - in Friday's quarter-final, giving the 21-year-old Czech extra rest before Saturday's semi.
Customs officers in the west Bohemian town of Cheb say they have seized 12,000 pairs of counterfeit brand shoes worth over 30 million crowns. The shoes were found in a truck from China. The customs officers have notified the rightful owner of the brand so the company can take legal action against such imports. Earlier this week, customs officers in nearby Chomutov confiscated another 45,000 pairs of counterfeited brand shoes worth over 22 million crowns.
NATO and US officials said on Thursday that the United States is moving
forward with missile shield talks with Poland and the Czech Republic, as
it explores the idea of a joint radar base with Russia. NATO defence
ministers agreed in Brussels on Thursday to examine the implications of
the US move to extend the shield into Eastern Europe and see how the
alliance's planned theatre missile system might fit in.
Washington announced in January that it wants to install 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar base in the Czech Republic linked to an early warning system, probably in the Caucasus, all to be operational by 2013. The shield is aimed at countering attacks from nations that Washington regards as "rogue states" such as Iran. Russian President Vladimir Putin surprised his US counterpart George W. Bush last week by proposing that they set up a joint US-Russian radar base in Azerbaijan. US and Russian officials are studying the proposal.
Four Czech speleologists have been rescued from a flooded cave in Slovenia, the Czech Embassy to Slovenia said on Thursday. All four are reported to be in good health. While exploring the Crnelskaja Jama cave they were trapped inside far below the surface after an underground river swelled on Monday following heavy rains.
TV Nova reported that a court in Johannesburg will decide on a possible release of Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir on bail on June 21. Until then Mr Krejcir will stay in a South African prison. He is now back in police custody eight days after walking out of jail on a legal technicality, police said on Thursday. Radovan Krejcir, wanted in the Czech Republic on charges of fraud and conspiracy to commit murder, was released by South African police on June 4th after a 40-day period of waiting for extradition documents from the Czech Republic expired, according to a police spokeswoman. For over a week, Interpol and the authorities had no idea where Mr Krejcir was until he surrendered to police on Wednesday. Radovan Krejcir was arrested in April at Johannesburg's International Airport on an Interpol "red notice", which allows for an arrest and possible extradition.
The EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini, has said the Czech Republic is well prepared for joining the Schengen border-free zone. Speaking to journalists after meeting Czech Interior Minister Ivan Langer and Justice Minister Jiri Pospisil in Prague on Thursday, Mr Frattini said preparations went according to plan. Checks at border crossings will be abolished at the end of this year, but they will last until March 2008 at international airports around the Czech Republic.
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