Daily news summary News

05-08-2005

Controversial judge appointed to Constitutional Court

President Vaclav Klaus has appointed judge Vlasta Formankova to the Constitutional Court, after the Senate approved her nomination by a slight majority on Thursday. However, critics say she should not have been appointed, after it emerged that during the communist era she sentenced a pub manager to prison for ten months for insulting party members. Ms Formankova now says she was young at the time she handed down the verdict, which she describes as a mistake.

Senate passes resolution saying police used excessive force at CzechTek

The Senate has passed a resolution saying that the police used excessive force when they broke up the CzechTek free techno music festival last weekend. It also called for a quick and thorough investigation into the police's actions. On Thursday the police announced that a special team had been set up to establish exactly what happened; hundreds were injured on both sides after riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse an estimated 5,000 festival participants. The Ombudsman's office has also launched an investigation.

The issue has been dominating the headlines for the last week, with strong criticism of the police's actions from President Vaclav Klaus, his party the opposition Civic Democrats and former president Vaclav Havel. However, Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan continue to insist the intervention was justified, though both men say some individual police officers may have broken regulations.

Daily: huge increase in number of Czechs taking out mortgages

There has been a huge increase in the number of Czechs taking out mortgages, thanks to low interest rates and concerted advertising campaigns, Lidove noviny reported on Friday. All of the country's major banks have recorded significant increases in the number of mortgages they have sold, with CSOB bank, for instance, recording a rise of 106 percent.

Meanwhile, foreign real estate funds invested over 600 million US dollars in property in the Czech Republic in the first half of 2005, a year-on-year increase of 75 percent, Hospodarske noviny reported.

Promoters sue dancer Flatley after cancellation of "Celtic Tiger" show

A new show by Irish-dancer Michael Flatley due to be performed in Prague later this month has been cancelled. The "Celtic Tiger" show had been postponed from an original date in early July. Its Prague backers have sued Mr Flatley for damages after the latest cancellation. The Chicago-born performer rose to world fame with "Lord of the Dance".

Weather

Temperatures over the next three or four days should not exceed around 20 degrees Celsius. We can expect rain but also some sunny spells.

05-08-2005