Daily news summary News

30-08-2005

Education Minister Petra Buzkova to quit politics next year

The minister of education, Petra Buzkova, says she is leaving politics and will not stand for the Social Democrats in elections next summer. She made the announcement in an interview in Tuesday's Pravo. Ms Buzkova, who is 39, has been one of the country's most popular politicians in recent years. She was appointed education minister, her first cabinet post, in July 2002.

Czech Republic puts back target date for euro adoption

The Czech Republic is aiming to adopt the euro currency in 2010, the Finance Ministry has announced. Previously it said the target date was between 2009 and 2010. The country looks set to meet conditions for joining the eurozone in 2008, when the public finance deficit should fall below 3 percent of GDP.

Terror attack exercise planned for Prague Metro

An exercise aimed at dealing with the possible consequences of a terrorist bombing on the Prague Metro system is to be held next month, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. Around 120 people will play distressed and injured passengers in the exercise, which will take place in the early hours of Friday September 23rd.

Average monthly salary in second quarter up 5 percent on last year

In the second quarter of this year the average monthly salary in the Czech Republic rose by almost 1,000 crowns to 18,763 (almost 800 US dollars). This represents an increase of over 5 percent compared to average earnings in the same period last year.

Gas prices to rise steeply ahead of heating season

Some of those increased earnings may be spent on energy: the cost of natural gas for household consumption is set to rise by an average of over 17 percent from October, the country's Energy Regulation Office announced on Tuesday.

Parties agree first step towards pension reform

Representatives of the main political parties have agreed to vote for a reserve pension fund ahead of next year's elections. The fund is aimed at covering a future shortfall in pension costs caused by the aging population and low birth rate. There was also agreement to preserve the current continual system of pension funding and on the need to gradually increase the age of retirement. However, major differences remain over how much of the pension should be guaranteed by the state.

President signs bill on licence fees, ads to disappear from public broadcaster

President Vaclav Klaus has signed into law a bill which will see television licence fees rise considerably over the next few years. Public broadcaster Czech Television will have increased powers to enforce licence fee payment, with all consumers of electricity regarded as TV owners. Also under the new legislation advertisements will disappear from Czech TV, a move which some analysts say may benefit the country's two commercial channels.

Truck carrying property of fugitive businessman seized

A truck carrying property belonging to fugitive businessman Radovan Krejcir has been seized in central Bohemia. The police say it is not clear where the truck was going. Mr Krejcir is wanted on charges of large scale fraud and has been on the run since escaping during a police search of his house two months ago. His wife, who is accused of money laundering, absconded last week. The couple are believed to be abroad.

Former head of Prague's Jewish Community under investigation

The former head of Prague's Jewish Community Tomas Jelinek is being investigated for alleged breach of trust and abuse of personal data. A police spokesperson told the CTK news agency he was suspected of making an unauthorised payment of half a million crowns and providing members' personal data to two companies. For his part, Mr Jelinek says he is innocent and that the cases are linked to a power struggle within the Jewish Community which saw him ousted last year.

Czech footballer Heinz joins Turkish club Galatasaray

The Czech international footballer Marek Heinz has joined the Turkish club Galatasaray after an unsuccessful year at Germany's Borussia Monchengladbach. Heinz was a key player for Banik Ostrava when the club won the Czech league in 2004 and appeared for the national side at last summer's European Championships.

Tickets for Holland game sell out fast

Over 18,000 tickets for an important football World Cup qualifying game between the Czech Republic and the Netherlands sold out within hours on Tuesday. Organisers said they could have sold five times as many tickets for the game, which takes place in Prague on October 8th.

Weather

The good weather we have been having looks set to continue for the next couple of days, with sunshine and temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius expected.

30-08-2005