Daily news summary News

14-02-2005

Eurobarometer: support for EU Constitution rises

A new Eurobarometer survey suggests that the level of support for the European Union Constitution in the Czech Republic is at its historic high but also that Czechs are among the biggest Euro-sceptics in the EU. Last autumn almost two thirds of Czechs said they supported the EU Constitution, which is by 15 percent more than a year ago. Less than 50 percent of Czechs see EU membership as an advantage.

Mesec.cz: Czech employment in high skilled jobs below EU average

Employment in high skilled professions in the Czech Republic is below the EU average but higher than in Austria, Spain and Italy, according to European Union Council documents published by the Czech financial internet server Mesec.cz. In the Czech Republic employees in high skilled jobs account for 34 percent, the fifteenth highest figure in the 25-nation block. At the top of the ladder are the Netherlands, Sweden, Finland and Denmark with more than 40 percent. Low-skilled employees make up 45 percent in the Czech Republic. A lower number within the EU can only be found in Italy, Spain, Portugal and Slovakia.

Social Democrats could lose 400 million crowns in court battle

A legal dispute with a lawyer who won a court case for the Social Democratic Party in 1997 could cost the party as much as 400 million crowns (over 17 million dollars), according to party leader Stanislav Gross. The lawyer, Zdenek Altner won a legal dispute over Lidovy dum, the Social Democratic Party headquarters, and is demanding a vast sum of money for services rendered. Mr Altner signed an agreement with then party leader Milos Zeman under which the party would pay him ten percent of the value of the building, if he won it for them, plus ten percent of the profit from the lease of the office space. The party is disputing his claims in court.

Ivo Kacaba likely to head government's anti-drug council

The Czech government's anti-drug council is likely to have a new head, two months after its former chairman Josef Radimecky was sacked. Ivo Kacaba, a former counter-intelligence officer who has worked for charities in recent years, has won the selection process and is likely to head the office and implement the government's anti-drug strategy by 2009, according to a government spokesman. The strategy, passed by the government last autumn, focuses more on the dangers of using marihuana and so-called party drugs.

Church holds St. Valentines service, holiday mostly ignored by Czechs

A special Roman Catholic service was held on Thursday in the Church of St. Peter and Paul on Prague's Vysehrad hill, dedicated to St. Valentine, celebrated in some countries as the patron saint of lovers in secular tradition. The church at Vysehrad claims to own the holy relics of St. Valentine. The holiday came to the Czech Republic with the fall of communism but has not taken root in the country. This year many sweetshops and florists have put up special Valentine's Day decorations but have not reported increased sales, the CTK news agency said.

Weather

We can expect the weather to continue to be partly cloudy with occasional snow and daytime temperatures around zero degrees Celsius.

14-02-2005