Daily news summary News

29-06-2004

Coalition leaders weigh options ahead of cabinet resignation

The leaders of the three parties in the coalition government, which is set to step down on Wednesday, have met to discuss further options regarding the current government crisis. Stanislav Gross, the acting head of the Social Democratic party, Pavel Nemec of the Freedom Union, and Miroslav Kalousek of the Christian Democrats, all expressed a willingness on Tuesday for further cooperation, though all conceded they would now have to wait for a decision by Czech President Vaclav Klaus. If he follows constitutional procedure, the president is expected to ask the leader of the largest faction in Parliament, Stanislav Gross, whose Social Democrats have 70 seats, to try and form a new government.

Besides discussing options on Tuesday all three party leaders rejected future cooperation with the Communist Party and praised out-going Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla.

Freedom Union appears set to lose deputies group

Government junior-member the Freedom Union appears set to lose its deputy group by the end of the week: party head Pavel Nemec told journalists on Tuesday that MP Marian Bielesz, had announced he was planning to quit. No final decision, however, has been taken as yet. Another MP, Tomas Vrbik appears set to do the same if the Freedom Union decides to remain in a coalition with its current government partners. Till now the Freedom Union's deputies' group had boasted just ten members: the minimum number of members needed in order for the group to exist.

Karol Sidon dismissed as head rabbi of Prague

Sixty-two year-old Karol Siddon has been dismissed as Prague's head rabbi by Prague's Jewish Municipal Council, following increased dissatisfaction over Mr Sidon's role in his post. Regarding the dismissal Municipal Council chairman Tomas Jelinek reportedly praised Mr Sidon's work in the 1990's, but criticised the rabbi for not meeting the demands of his office of late, including responsibilities pertaining to property administration. Mr Sidon told CT, the Czech News Agency, on Tuesday it was possible the Federation of Jewish Communities would strip him of the title of the country's chief rabbi, as well.

Police apprehend rapist in Prague 4

Prague police say they have managed to apprehend a 30-year-old man - possibly a Romanian national - wanted on several charges of violent rape, bodily harm, and theft. Three women had been brutally attacked in the district of Modrany in Prague 4. The suspected rapist was captured several days ago while trying to brutalise an experienced female officer in the early hours of the morning.

UEFA rejects any doubt over Nedved yellow card

The Czech Republic have asked the UEFA football association to look into an incident which resulted in the Czech national football side's captain Pavel Nedved receiving a yellow card against Denmark at last Sunday's quarter-final at Euro 2004. Petr Fousek, the general secretary of the Czech Football Association, said on Tuesday the move was not a formal appeal, which is not allowed under the European body's disciplinary procedure, but indicated the matter needed looking in to. UEFA, however, responded earlier than expected, saying Nedved's yellow card would stand.

Weather

Wednesday is expected to be partly sunny with daytime temperatures of 22 degrees Celsius.

29-06-2004