Daily news summary News

06-03-2005

Christian, Civic Democrats: PM's apology insufficient

Both the coalition Christian Democrats and the opposition Civic Democrats have said that they consider Prime Minister Stanislav Gross's Saturday public apology as insufficient. Mr Gross's Social Democrats, on the contrary, welcomed the apology as an end to tensions within the ruling coalition.

Prime Minister Gross officially apologised on Saturday for giving rise to a political row by some of his ill-advised statements in connection with the controversy over the way he financed his apartment. In a live address to the nation in Czech Television's evening news programme, Prime Minister Gross also announced his wife was going to terminate all her business activities in order to put an end to the current political crisis. Mr Gross has been under fire for several weeks because of his failure to provide a plausible explanation of how he financed a Prague apartment five years ago and how his wife funds her business.

Crisis-ridden Czech PM calls on cabinet to get back to work

Earlier on Saturday, the Prime Minister Stanislav Gross said he considered the government crisis, triggered by the controversies surrounding his family's private finances, to be over and called on his cabinet to get back to work. In a confidence vote on Saturday morning, his party gave Mr Gross the strong backing following weeks of crisis of confidence focusing on him personally. In three weeks' time Prime Minister Gross, who is the acting head of the Social Democrats, will seek election as party chairman at the Social Democrats' national congress.

National Library to bid on manuscript at Paris auction

The Czech National Library has said it is interested in acquiring a 14th-century manuscript which is on offer at a Paris auction room. The 24-page parchment book is a fragment of a Latin translation of the "Chronicle of Dalimil" - the oldest Czech language chronicle in verse and one of the fundamental documents of Czech historiography. The Latin translation is believed to have been made in Italy in the second half of the 14th century. The Czech National Library is in talks with the Culture Ministry over a financial contribution by the state towards buying the manuscript. The catalogue price of the artefact is between 120,000 and 150,000 euros but according to experts its final price could climb up to 1 million euro at the auction.

"Horem padem" voted best Czech film of 2004

"Horem padem" or "Up and Down" in English - has won the Czech Lion award for the best Czech film of 2004. The film, directed by Jan Hrebejk and produced by Ondrej Trojan, won a total of four prizes at Saturday's award ceremony in Prague; for best Czech film, best director, best script and best actress in a leading role.

Bauer wins men's World Cup 15km freestyle race

Lukas Bauer won the men's World Cup 15-kilometre freestyle race in Lahti, Finland on Sunday for his second win this season and third overall. He timed 36 minutes 06.2 seconds to come in 12.1 seconds ahead of Austria's Christian Hoffmann with Italy's Thomas Moriggl third at 21.5 seconds.

Weather

The skies should remain overcast on Monday with daytime temperatures hovering around 0 degrees Celsius. The rest of the week should be partly cloudy and snow showers are expected to continue throughout the week. Daytime temperatures should not exceed 3 degrees Celsius.

06-03-2005