The Czech Republic does not fulfill the conditions necessary to adopt the euro, the European Commission stated in its Convergence Report published on Wednesday. The commission criticized the Czech government’s fiscal ambitions, stating that planned measures to reduce the state budget deficit in 2011 and 2012 were insufficient and too unspecific. Wednesday’s report evaluated the fiscal situation of nine countries that are hoping to adopt the euro. Of the nine countries, the only one to fulfill all conditions is Estonia, which the European Commission believes could join the euro zone in 2011.
The city police of Prague celebrated its 18th anniversary on Prague’s Old Town Square on Wednesday. Selected police officers were given awards for their work performance. Visitors also had a chance to see antique and modern police cars on display along with an exhibition about the history of the city police. Hundreds of Prague residents and tourists visited the celebration, which will continue on Saturday in Prague’s Stromovka park. The city police of Prague was established in 1992. Over 2500 officers work for the force.
Public service broadcasters in the Czech Republic have begun airing party advertisements on Wednesday, just over two weeks before general elections. The ads will appear on Czech Television at 2 pm every day, while Czech Radio will broadcast spots at different times on three of its stations. Twenty-six parties are contesting elections on May 28 and 29. The Social Democrats are favorites to come first, while opinion polls suggest that two or more new parties could reach the five-percent threshold needed to enter the Chamber of Deputies
The leader of the Green Party, Ondřej Liška, has called on the state-owned energy company ČEZ to publish information about its suppliers and its foreign acquisitions. Mr. Liška said on Wednesday that he suspects the company of inefficient management. In an open letter to ČEZ’s general director, Martin Roman, Mr. Liška asked that the requested information about CEZ’s financial operations be made public by May 25, before the upcoming general elections. According to the Green Party, ČEZ has become a center of power that is beyond the control of the government.
The Czech brewing company Plzeňský Prazdroj has opened its first Pilsner Urquell Original Restaurant outside of the Czech Republic, in the German city of Düsseldorf. A spokesman for the company said on Monday that projected beer sales for the restaurant are about 50,00 liters of beer a year. The restaurant will feature self-service taps, along with offering traditional Czech fare. In the Czech Republic, Plzeňský Prazdroj has 19 original restaurants in nine different cities.
A testimonial game for the Czech soccer player Vladimír Šmicer is being held at Prague’s Eden stadium on Tuesday. A Slavia 11 will take on a Sparta 11 in the charity match, which takes place six months after the midfielder retired at the age of 36. Šmicer, who began and ended his career at Slavia, won a Champions League medal with Liverpool in 2005 and played 81 times for the Czech national team.
The Czech prime minister, Jan Fischer, says the financial crisis in Greece may lead to a tightening of the criteria for states adopting the common European currency. Mr Fischer made the comment in a lecture in Paris. He said the Maastricht criteria, which have up to now been used to determine whether a country can adopt the euro, will probably be supplemented by additional readiness tests. Mr Fischer also said the Greek crisis had strengthened the camp of those in the Czech Republic opposed to the country joining the eurozone.
Jan Hřebejk is in the frame to direct a film version of Simon Mawer’s novel The Glass Room. Rudolf Bierman, who produced the Czech director’s last film, said he had acquired the rights to the book and would like Mr Hřebejk to helm the adaptation. The Glass Room is set at the Tugendhat Villa in the Moravian capital Brno, and Mr Bierman said part of the film would have to be shot there, once renovation work is completed in 2012. Jan Hřebejk has made ten movies, including Cosy Dens and Divided We Fall. Simon Mawer, who is British, is due to attend Prague’s Book World trade fair this week.
A man has been arrested on charges of killing his mother and another woman, the news website idnes.cz reported. Police apprehended the man after finding the bodies of his mother, aged 78, and a woman of 64 in a house at Úvaly near Prague on Monday. The two victims were reported to have not been seen leaving the house in some time, while local people said the man, who is 50, had previously been in trouble with the law.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey players have been beaten 3:2 by Norway at the World Championship in Germany, missing out on their first chance to guarantee themselves a place in the next phase of the competition. Previously the best the Norwegians had achieved against the Czechs was two draws. Both the Czechs’ goals were scored by star forward Jaromír Jágr. Their next game is against Sweden on Thursday.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott