The European Commission is going to extend until 2010 an exemption under which construction work in the Czech Republic is in the lower, five-percent value added tax bracket, the Czech Press Agency reported. The exemption had been due to come to an end in January, and there were fears of a subsequent rise in house prices. The EC is due to officially announce the news next week.
Three Czechs are among the 22 people confirmed dead after their small plane crashed in Cambodia on Monday. There were no survivors. Cambodian authorities said bad weather was the most likely cause of the crash, which occurred in a mountainous area. The Russian made twin-propeller plane was travelling between two tourist destinations in the country. The Czech Foreign Ministry said the Czech victims were two men and a woman, aged 19 to 21.
The Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has filmed part of her latest movie Wanted at Krivoklat castle in central Bohemia. The British actor Terence Stamp also took part in Tuesday's shoot, the Gothic castle's warden told reporters. Ms Jolie, her husband Brad Pitt and their children have been in Prague on and off since May during shooting of Wanted. Her co-star Morgan Freeman, meanwhile, has been spotted playing golf near the Czech capital.
The deputy mayor of the Brno suburb of Kralovo Pole Rene Pelan has on his own initiative removed a hammer and sickle symbol from a memorial to Soviet soldiers, TV Prima reported. Brno City Hall and the Defence Ministry had earlier this year decided to replace the communist symbols, which had been taken down in the early 1990s, during renovation of the 1946 monument. However, councillors in Kralovo Pole were opposed to the return of the hammer and sickle. Mr Pelan's removal of the symbols prompted clashes between supporters and opponents of his action at an unveiling ceremony on Wednesday. Police are investigating whether the local official broke the law by taking them down.
A Czech pilot is under investigation for sleeping in the cockpit while flying a Travel Service plane from Tenerife to Prague two months ago, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. Furthermore, the pilot was allegedly alone in the cockpit at the time, which contravenes regulations. When the sleeping pilot's Boeing 737 appeared without authorisation in Swiss air space, the Swiss authorities sent fighter jets to investigate, the paper said. The airline Travel Service denies the latter allegation.
The director of Prague airport, Miroslav Dvorak, says preparations have been completed for its privatisation. The privatisation process is set to begin this year, though the Ministry of Transport has not yet set a concrete date for the sell-off. However, Mr Dvorak said Prague airport should be in private ownership by spring next year.
The investigation of the corruption case involving Deputy Prime Minister
Jiri Cunek will be completed sometime in August, according to Arif
Salichov, the state attorney who recently took over the case. The state
attorney said he would ask for new evidence, review all the given
testimonies and hear a number of new witnesses before making up his mind
whether to file charges against Mr. Cunek.
The police have accused the deputy prime minister of accepting a half a
million crown bribe while he was mayor of the town of Vsetin, north
Moravia in 2002.
The case has rocked Czech politics for the past six months, with the deputy prime minister disregarding calls for his resignation and insisting that he is innocent of any wrong doing. The case even provoked a motion of no-confidence in the centre right government last week, which it survived. Prime Minister Topolanek has said he would dismiss Jiri Cunek only if corruption charges were filed against him.
The planned enlargement of the Schengen border free zone on January 1st of 2008 has evoked concerns on both sides of the Czech-Austrian border, says Tuesday's edition of Lidove Noviny. While Austria fears growing crime, the mayors of some Czech border municipalities are afraid of the growing amount of illegal imports of foreign waste. Villages in the vicinity of Kaplice now have to dispose of tons of waste in the nearby forests and along the roads that are evidently brought there by Austrian tourists, the paper says. On the other hand, the mayors welcome the introduction of joint Czech-Austrian police patrols within which Austrian policemen can operate in Czech border regions and vice-versa.
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Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
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Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czech agencies smash spy ring operated by “very aggressive” Russians
Prague City Hall terminates memorandum with e-scooter operator Lime
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home