Daily news summary News

15-06-2004

Lower house fails to discuss confidence vote

The Chamber of Deputies has failed to discuss the possibility of an eventual confidence vote reconfirming the mandate of the Czech Republic's coalition government, which suffered a major defeat in last weekend's European Parliament elections. The government saw just four elected to a possible twenty-four MP posts. The Social-Democrat-led government is now at a crossroads over how to react to its failure at the most recent polls, with some calling for a cabinet shake up. Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla has himself confirmed he will call for his party's executive committee to reconfirm his and his deputies' mandates on July 11th.

That is not to say the government might not face a vote of "no confidence" in the near future, called by the opposition Civic Democrats. However, at the moment the opposition in the lower house lacks enough votes to bring down the government. The coalition, led by the senior Social Democrats, enjoys a slim majority of 101 in the 200 member chamber.

Foreign Minister's chauffer to stand trial for negligence leading to bodily harm

The public prosecutor's office has confirmed that a 29-year-old chauffeur to Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda will stand trial for negligence leading to bodily harm. This for a road accident in which the foreign minister suffered a serious neck injury in April. It has confirmed the driver was driving dangerously fast, leading to the accident. If found guilty he could face a fine or even up to five years in prison.

Czech president accepts Karel Cermak's resignation from post of Justice Minister.

President Vaclav Klaus has accepted the resignation of Justice Minister Karel Cermak from his post. Mr Cermak, nominated by the senior ruling Social Democrats, confirmed his resignation in protest of the government's recent decision to strip judges of additional 13th and 14th salaries. Mr Cermak has said he considered the move as an attack on the judiciary. Now Mr Cermak is expected to be replaced by another Social Democrat, Zdenek Koudelka.

Former Castle Guard counsellor receives suspended sentence for sexual abuse

Milos Topolovsky, a former social counsellor at Prague's Castle guard, has received a 2-year suspended sentence for sexual abuse of a national serviceman in an extended case dating back several years. Two earlier rulings found 36-year-old Mr Topolovsky not guilty on one count of rape and two counts of attempted rape in the case which had shaken the reputation of the elite Castle Guard. The state attorney had charged Mr Topolovsky committed the crimes while inebriated, and drinking with the younger servicemen. Had he been found guilty he could have faced a sentence of 8 years in prison.

High court rules Bohdalova's name should be struck from internet version of StB list

The Prague high court ruled has ruled that the name of popular Czech actress Jirina Bohdalova should be struck from the Interior Ministry's list compiling the names of agents who cooperated with communist-era secret police, the StB. The ruling applies, however, only to the internet version of the list, because, said the court, erasing Mrs Bohdalova's name from existing files was not technically possible.

Euro 2004: Czech Republic 2 Latvia 1

The heavily favoured Czech national football side has won its opening match at the Euro 2004 football tournament in Portugal. Despite concentrated pressure by Czech players inlcuding Karel Poborsky, Milan Baros, and Pavel Nedved in the first half, Latvia scored just before half-time on a beautiful cross by Blagonadezdins to Verpakovskis. He tapped the ball easily into the open net.

Latvia then led 1-0 well into the 2nd before Czech striker Milan Baros scored in the 73rd minute to put his side back in the game. Marek Heinz then added a 2nd in the 85th to put the Czechs ahead for good.

Weather

Wednesday is expected to be sunny with daytime temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius.

15-06-2004