Daily news summary News

26-08-2004

Topolanek questioned by police over allegations of attempted bribery

The leader of the opposition Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, has been questioned over allegations his party tried to bribe a government MP. Zdenek Koristka of the Freedom Union says Mr Topolanek's party offered him 10 million crowns (over 300,000 euros) to bring down the government in a confidence vote. The Civic Democrat leader - who strongly denies the claim - was questioned by police on Thursday, two days after his party filed slander charges against Mr Koristka.

Czech National Bank raises interest rates

The Czech National Bank has - as expected - decided to raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points. On Friday the repo rate will grow to 2.50 percent, the discount rate will rise to 1.50 percent and the Lombard rate to 3.50 percent, a spokesman for the Bank said on Thursday. The increase will result in higher interest rates on loans and deposits at commercial banks.

Mrazovka tunnel intended to relieve traffic in Prague's Smichov

One of the biggest construction projects in Prague in recent years, a tunnel intended to relieve traffic in the Smichov district of the city, was opened on Thursday. The Mrazovka tunnel is almost one kilometre long and cost the city around 7 billion crowns.

President Klaus to visit UK for first time as president

President Vaclav Klaus is expected to begin a two-day official visit to the United Kingdom on September 6; he is due to meet Prime Minister Tony Blair and other senior officials, the Czech Press Agency reported Thursday. It will be Mr Klaus's first official visit to the UK as president.

Former dissident on hunger strike, calling for Gross to resign as prime minister

Former dissident John Bok, who has been on hunger strike since Monday, says he wants to increase pressure on Stanislav Gross to resign as prime minister. Mr Bok said he was inspired to begin the hunger strike by protests against Mr Gross's appointment of Pavel Pribyl as head of the Office of the Government. Mr Pribyl resigned when evidence emerged a riot police unit he commanded in 1989 used violence against anti-Communist protesters.

Bronze medal in modern pentathlon for Czech Republic at Athens Olympics

Libor Capilini has won bronze for the Czech Republic in the modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games in Athens. It is the first Czech medal since 1976 in the event, which consists of shooting, fencing, swimming, showjumping and a 3000m run. Capilini's success brings the Czech medal tally at Athens to eight.

Zelezny elected to International Olympic Committee for second time

One of the greatest Czech athletes of all time, javelin thrower Jan Zelezny, has been elected a member of the International Olympic Committee for the second time. Zelezny received the second highest number of votes among 29 candidates in Athens on Thursday. The javelin legend has three Olympic gold medals and will be hoping to add to that collection on Saturday evening, when he competes at the Games for the last time.

Litvinov ice hockey stadium renamed to honour Ivan Hlinka

The ice hockey stadium in the west Bohemian town of Litvinov is to be renamed the Ivan Hlinka Stadium, in honour of the much respected player and coach, who tragically died in a car crash last week. Mr Hlinka began playing for Litvinov in 1962 at the age of 12, and stayed at the club for 19 years. After a successful career as a player he coached the Czech team which won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Sparta Prague football club into lucrative Champions League

Sparta Prague football club have reached the biggest competition in club football, the Champions League. Sparta beat Ferencvaros 2:0 in Prague on Wednesday night to win the tie 2:1 on aggregate, after losing the first leg in Budapest 1:0. They will now face Manchester United, Lyon and Ferenbahce in the group stage of the lucrative competition.

Weather

Friday should be cloudy with rain in places. Temperatures are expected to range from 17 to 21 degrees Celsius.

26-08-2004