Czech football midfielder Jaroslav Plašil on Thursday joined Bordeaux from Spanish club Osasuna in a four-year deal, the French League champions announced. The 27-year-old spent seven years at Monaco and at Creteil before moving to the north Spanish club two years ago. Plašil joins a squad which has been reinforced by the permanent signing of playmaker Gourcuff and the arrival of goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso from Toulouse.
Defence Minister Martin Barták has criticised an article in Lidové noviny on the alleged mothballing of the Czech Army’s remaining 30 tanks, saying on Friday it was speculative and not based on the truth. Earlier the Czech daily reported that the tanks could soon be put into storage due to cuts in spending; modernisation of the T-72M4 tanks requires around 4.5 billion crowns, a source said. The army general staff was reported as saying a final decision on the tanks would be taken in the autumn, once the depths of spending cuts became clear. Although he criticised the article, the defence minister did not completely rule out the tanks could be put into storage.
A group of Czech senators could file a constitutional complaint against the Lisbon treaty – the EU’s reform document – as soon as the first half of August. On Friday, Civic Democrat Senator Jiří Oberfalzer confirmed the move, telling Czech Radio the challenge had the support of 17 senators. If it goes ahead, it will be the second time a complaint has been filed against the treaty in the Czech Republic. Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic’s parliaments have all approved the document but ‘Lisbon’ has not been signed by those countries’ heads of state. President Václav Klaus, who opposes the treaty, has made clear he could be the last to put his signature to paper. The Lisbon treaty must be ratified by all 27 EU states in order to come into effect.
In tennis, the Czech Republic begins its Davis Cup quarterfinal tie against Argentina in Ostrava on Friday. Tomáš Berdych faces Juan Monaco. In the second match, Davis Cup captain Jaroslav Navrátil has opted for Ivo Minář to play Juan Martin del Potro. Minář stands in for Radek Štěpánek who is nursing a knee injury. Štěpánek is due to play in Saturday‘s doubles and could take the court for the final singles encounter on Sunday. Minář - who is ranked 64th in the world – has only played Davis Cup tennis for his country once before. Del Potro is ranked in the world top 10.
Discussions on the name and portfolio of the future Czech European commissioner will begin in the summer months, the Foreign Minister Jan Kohout has told journalists. He made the statement on Friday after meeting the chairpersons of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate committees for European and foreign affairs. He said that he respected an agreement by the major parties that they would only announce the name of the Czech Republic's candidate to the European Commission after the country’s early election. Mr Kohout stressed that the process on choosing the next Czech commissioner needed to begin sooner so that a consensus could be reached quickly on a suitable candidate.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has repeated an earlier warning that Russia could deploy missiles in Kaliningrad, near Poland, if the US pushes for a missile defence shield in Europe. He discussed the issue at a press conference at the G-8 Summit in Italy on Friday. Under former president George W. Bush, the US first proposed a tracking radar in the Czech Republic and a missile installation in Poland as part of its planned defence umbrella. The warning by the Russian president comes just days after he met with current US President Barack Obama. At their meeting in Moscow, the two world leaders signed a preliminary agreement on new offensive nuclear weapons cuts. But Russian officials have suggested Moscow will not sign a final agreement unless the US abandons it plans for missile defence.
Star Czech football midfielder Tomáš Rosický, out for 18 months due to injury, is said to be planning to return to action for Arsenal in the autumn. The 28-year-old initially suffered a hamstring injury and was expected to return sooner, but then his knee tendons were also affected - a problem surgery failed to remedy. The player told Sport he could have already begun playing at the end of last season but that he understood why manager Arsene Wenger had opted for caution.
The Czech Republic has fully recognized the International Criminal Court after President Václav Klaus signed on Wednesday into law the treaty on which the court is based. The Czech Republic was the only EU state not to have recognised the international court, which was established in 2003 and handles serious crimes against humanity and war crimes. Both chambers of the Czech Parliament voted to approve the treaty, known as the Rome Statutes, last year. In January, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe criticized the Czech Republic for its failure to ratify the treaty.
Some 55 percent of Czechs approved in June of the caretaker government of Jan Fischer, which was nearly three times the number of people who trusted the previous cabinet of PM Mirek Topolánek, according to a new poll by the CVVM agency published on Wednesday. Only 28 percent of people trust the Senate and a mere 25 percent of Czechs trust the Chamber of Deputies. Approval ratings for both houses of the Czech Parliament are up four and six percent, respectively, compared to polls conducted in May.
The head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso will discuss
Canada’s intention to reinstate visas for Czechs at the G8 summit in
Italy, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kohout told a Czech radio station on
Wednesday. Canada is considering the move due to an increase number of
Czech citizens who apply for asylum in that country.
In 2008 and the first four months of 2009, Canada granted asylum to 132 Czech nationals, the ČTK news agency reported on Wednesday citing sources from the Canadian embassy in Prague. Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board dealt with 334 applications of Czech citizens over that period of time, which was only a fraction of the overall number of asylum seekers - nearly 3,000 applicants, mostly members of the Czech Republic’s Romany community.
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