Daily news summary News

04-10-2004

German chancellor Schroeder, in Prague, confirms he will not back Sudeten property lawsuits

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Prague for a day of talks with Czech President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Stanislav Gross, confirmed he would not back property lawsuits filed by Sudeten Germans at the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Speaking after meeting with the prime minister on Monday Mr Schroeder said that past issues should not hinder Germany and the Czech Republic's relations in the European Union. Earlier, on a visit to Poland in August, the German chancellor made a similar statement saying the German government disagreed with claims for compensation raised by ethnic Germans expelled from regions in Central and Eastern Europe after World War II.

Prostitution bill will require Czech Rep to repeal commitment to1958 treaty

A new bill on prostitution currently under preparation in the Czech Republic will require the country to back out of an international agreement signed in 1958, aimed at fighting the trafficking of women. By signing the International Convention Against Trafficking in Women then-Czechoslovakia agreed not to pass future legislation supervising prostitutes, something the new bill has proposed in order to regulate legal age of prostitutes and their frequency of medical checks.

The government, which gave the go-ahead for the bill in April, is set to discuss the Czech Republic's repealing its commitment to the international treaty on Wednesday.

Over thirty companies addressed as potential buyers of majority stake in Czech Telecom

The Czech government has addressed over thirty companies - mostly international firms - as potential buyers for a 51 percent majority stake in the fixed-line telecommunications giant Czech Telecom. According to one source preliminary interest in the stake is high, and could go to a single bidder or be offered on capital markets, or both. Monitoring interest among potential investors through its advisor, the consortium of Credit Suisse First Boston and the Czech bank Ceska Sporitelna, should help the government choose the method of Telecom's eventual privatisation. The government is expected to address the issue in November.

More than one third of drivers admit to breaking rules of road

A poll published in Monday's Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes has indicated that more than one third of Czech drivers admit to breaking the rules of the road. But, according to the poll, most would also be happy if the police imposed tougher fines on errant drivers. Finally, almost 40 percent of those polled said speed checks on Czech roads were insufficient.

South Bohemia's Kovarov na Pisecku named "Village of the Year"

South Bohemia's Kovarov na Pisecku, a village of just over 1,400 inhabitants has been named "Village of the Year" in an annual competition. Important criteria include rich community life and social events, village reconstruction and care, and the non-traditional use of property. As reward for its efforts the village of Kovarov will receive one million crowns - the equivalent of approximately 35, 000 euros - from the Ministry for Local Development.

Harry Potter series tops Czech readers' poll

J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series has topped a survey in the country titled "My Favourite Book" which ran in Czech libraries from March this year. Over 4,000 readers listed the Harry Potter books as their favourite, followed by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings in second place, and the Bible, in third. The top ten featured just one book by a Czech author, Saturnin, by Zdenek Jirotka. In all 93,000 Czech readers took part in the book survey, among them both children and adults.

Weather

Tuesday is expected to be sunny with daytime temperatures reaching as high as 23 degrees Celsius.

04-10-2004