The ruling Social Democrats have slipped further in the opinion polls despite replacing the prime minister, a poll by the CVVM agency showed on Thursday. The poll was conducted between April 18 and April 25, during which time former regional development minister Jiri Paroubek replaced Stanislav Gross as prime minister, amid allegations of unethical behaviour surrounding Mr Gross' personal finances and his wife's business dealings. The new CVVM poll puts the Social Democrats at 10.5 percent support compared with 14.5 percent support one month ago. The centre-right Civic Democrats retain a commanding lead of 31 percent support, while the largely unreformed Communist party polled at 16.5 percent. The Christian Democrats have the support of 8.5 percent of those polled, enough to cross the 5 percent threshold necessary for parliamentary representation.
In related news, users of Czech public television's Internet site have named former Prime Minister Stanislav Gross the second "Greatest Scoundrel" in Czech history, behind the late Communist leader Klement Gottwald. The current Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, got the dubious honour of third place.
Revellers from the north west of England could be given "codes of conduct" to stop them causing trouble in European cities, the Manchester Evening News reported. The move follows an explosion in binge-drink related disorder in continental stag-night hotspots like Prague, said the newspaper. Police in Prague say that 20 percent of all weekend crime in the Czech capital involves British men on stag nights. Czech tourism officials estimated there are 500,000 British "sex and booze" tourists each year, said the daily, and Manchester city councillors are now looking at ways of cracking down on troublemakers.
The Czech foreign trade balance posted a 6 billion crown surplus in March, the equivalent of about $230 million dollars. It was the best result for the month since 1993, and confirms a long-term favourable trend, said the Minister of Industry and Trade. Car and machinery exports accounted for the bulk of the surplus. The Czech currency strengthened on the news, to 23.12 crowns to the US dollar.
A Prague court has ruled that the Czech generic drugs maker Zentiva may resume distributing its anti-cholesterol drug, overturning an earlier ban imposed as part of a dispute with US drug giant Pfizer. The court had earlier banned the Czech company from distributing it's a-tor-vast-a-tin drug after complaints from Pfizer about its marketing campaign. Zentiva's drug is a generic version of Pfizer's Sortis, whose patent expired last month.
The documentary Death in Gaza by British cameraman James Miller, who was killed during the film's shooting in 2003, has received the top prize at a human rights film festival in the Prague. A total of 120 films were shown since April 27 at this year's seventh edition of the festival, organised by the Czech charity People in Need. The jury at Prague's One World 2005 human rights documentary film festival said it appreciated the film's "professional approach", its "humanism" and its "dynamic action". The film documents the Israeli army's destruction of hundreds of homes in the Palestinian territories.
Partly cloudy skies and scattered rain showers is the forecast for the remainder of the week. Daytime temperatures aren't expected to go above 15 degrees Celsius.
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