The Czech national football team beat Malta 1:0 in a friendly game in Jablonec on Friday. It was the Czech squad’s first match under the new coach František Straka who was appointed last month. The new manager selected many newcomers into the team, including both goalkeepers. The Czechs were better throughout much of the game but the Maltese had several good opportunities as well. Tomáš Necid, of CSKA Moscow, scored the winning goal in the 79th minute. It’s not clear whether the new coach will be kept on for the remainder of the World Cup qualifier; the Czech Republic is currently ranking 4th with eight points in the 3rd qualification group.
The owner of the Brno-based tractor maker Zetor has filed a lawsuit against the Czech Republic demanding compensation of 830 million crowns, or more than 43 million US dollars, for alleged errors in the company’s privatisation. The daily E15 reported on Friday that the lawsuit was filed last week. The owner of Zetor – the Slovak company HTC Holding – bought the tractor producer in 2002 for 310 million crowns, or over 16 million US dollars. The tractor maker soon plunged into the red, and one thirds of its employees were let go. In 2007, however, Zetor registered a profit of 240 million crowns.
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout and his Austrian counterpart Martin Spindelegger agreed in Vienna on Friday that the Czech Republic and Austria are ready to cooperate in diplomatic and consular services. In countries with only the Czech or Austrian embassy, citizens of the other country should be able to use the services of that embassy. The Czech and Austrian foreign ministers also talked about the Lisbon treaty, the Beneš decrees and the issue of the Temelín nuclear power plant. They agreed that such meeting should be held every six months; the next one is scheduled for September.
Football manager Ivan Hašek officially announced on Friday his bid to become the new head of the Czech football association. The widely respected coach spent last two seasons with Al-Ahli in the United Arab Emirates after coaching in Japan and France; he also ran for the post four years ago but was not elected. Some football experts believe Hašek, who is 45, might restore the reputation of the Czech FA, damaged by corruption scandals and poor performance of the national team. An election to the post will be held later this month; the only other candidate is Luděk Vinš, the head of the Prague club Viktoria Žižkov.
Czech President Václav Klaus has warned against state interventions into the economy. Speaking at a conference on economic transformation of central and eastern European countries in Warsaw on Friday, Mr Klaus said any tendency to regulate the market must be resisted. He said these interventions would not solve the economic crisis but instead “ruin the future of the whole world”. The Czech president believes that the current economic crisis was the result of many years of politicians manipulating the market.
Contrary to previous comments, former Czech Prime Minister Mirek
Topolánek has admitted that he appears in one of the photos taken at the
summer home of the Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi last year. The picture
shows a naked man with a blurred face and a white wristband of the kind Mr
Topolánek wore at the time. The former Czech prime minister said however
that the photograph had been tampered with.
Some 700 paparazzi pictures showing Mr Berlusconi and his guests at the his summer home were confiscated by the Italian authorities but the Spanish daily El País printed some of them on Friday. Mr Topolánek accused “European socialists” of being behind what he called a “brutal intrusion” into his privacy, and printing the photos on the first day of the elections to the European Parliament.
A team of Czech scientists have discovered a substance that they say slows ageing. Scientists from the Czech Academy of Sciences and Palacký University in Olomouc told reporters on Friday that the new drug was based on vegetable hormones. The substance is said to be effective against rough skin, wrinkles and pigmentation disorders and also heals erysipelas and acne. Both institutions together with the US cosmetics firm Senetek PLC have applied for patent protection. The company will produce the drug under a licence agreement in the United States; in the Czech Republic, the new drug should be available within a year
Czech President Václav Klaus says he will vote in the elections to the
European Parliament, despite having earlier this week suggested they would
be a waste of time. Mr Klaus told Czech Radio that there were new parties
standing who regarded the future direction of the EU as important. The
president also said that while the country’s two biggest parties the
Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats disagreed about domestic issues,
they had similar views on Europe. An active opponent of the EU’s Lisbon
treaty, Mr Klaus said the European elections could represent something of a
referendum on the document, after Czech voters were denied a real
referendum on the matter.
In Paris on Tuesday the Czech president described the elections as unnecessary. His comments have led to a war of words with France’s foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, who said Mr Klaus was trying to “demolish” Europe. In reaction, the latter said in a statement issued on his website on Thursday that Mr Kouchner was trying to demolish democratic discussion.
Two far-right groups the Workers’ Party and the National Party appear to have obtained registration at the interior ministry under false pretences, Mladá fronta Dnes reported. It said police were investigating the possibility that they used membership applications bearing fake signatures during the registration process. A lawyer told the newspaper it would be difficult to ban the far-right groups over false signatures. However, the interior ministry said that could prove useful if moves are made to outlaw them in future. A Czech court earlier this year turned down a government request to bar the Workers’ Party. The National Party was recently in the news over a pre-election advertisement promising the “final solution to the Gypsy problem”.
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