Daily news summary News

15-09-2005

Employers, unions walk out of talks with government

Talks between representatives of the government, the trade unions and employers broke down on Thursday when the latter two groups walked out, saying they were dissatisfied with the government's approach to joint negotiations. The unions and employers say they received documents at the last minute, or after they had already been approved by the government. They have called for an extraordinary meeting of the tripartite, which they want Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek to attend.

Kavan fined for failing to show up for court hearing over false assistant

Jan Kavan, a former foreign minister, has been fined 30,000 crowns (over 1,000 US dollars) for failing to show up for a hearing at a Prague district court. He had been due to give evidence in the case of Lukas Kohout, who pretended to be Mr Kavan's assistant and flew around the world on government planes. If found guilty, Mr Kohout faces up to eight years in prison.

Senate votes to make Good Friday state holiday

The Senate has approved a new bill under which Good Friday would be made a state holiday. One of the bill's backers Senator Martin Mejstrik said the Czech Republic was still a Christian country and should mark Good Friday. Neighbouring Slovakia made it a state holiday after the two countries split in 1993.

Local branch call for Gross to resign as head of Social Democrats slammed by PM

A call by the Bruntal branch of the Social Democrats for Stanislav Gross to resign as chairman has been described as harmful to the whole party by the prime minister, Jiri Paroubek. Mr Gross - who preceded Mr Paroubek as premier - has come under pressure over corruption allegations, but says he has no intention of stepping down.

President Klaus ends state visit to Israel

The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, has ended a state visit to Israel. Mr Klaus's trip concluded with a tour of the old city of Jerusalem and a visit to the Wailing Wall. While in Israel the president described the country's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a groundbreaking peace initiative.

Town to remove Gottwald from list of honorary citizens

Sternberk in north Moravia is set to remove Communist-era president Klement Gottwald from a list of people given honorary citizenship of the town. Some local people have been calling for the change since the list was published earlier this year. Gottwald was in office from 1948 to 1953, and died just nine day's after attending Stalin's funeral.

New film Something Like Happiness receives Czech premiere

The new film Stesti (Something Like Happiness) received its Czech premiere in Prague on Wednesday night, hours after director Bohdan Slama returned from showing the movie at the Toronto Film Festival. It is a low-key film about three young friends who live in the same run-down block of flats.

Sparta Prague take one point from first Champions League game

Sparta drew 1:1 with Ajax Amsterdam in Prague on Wednesday night in their first game in this season's Champions League. The Czech side took the lead through substitute Miroslav Matusovic on 66 minutes, and looked set to take all three points until Ajax equalised in time added on. Sparta's next Champions League game is away to Swiss club Thun in two weeks' time.

Weather

It should be cloudy with rain in places over the next few days. Temperatures are expected to reach around 20 degrees Celsius.

15-09-2005