Daily news summary News

21-12-2005

Lower house passes bill on public tenders

The lower house has passed a bill on public tenders aimed at curbing corruption and increasing transparency. Under the legislation it would no longer be possible to "direct" a public tender towards one company. The bill's authors also hope that announcing tenders on the internet will lead to a decrease in corruption levels.

Deputies have also voted to strip Civic Democrat Vladimir Dolezal of his immunity. Police accuse Mr Dolezal of acting as a go-between in a bribery affair involving a Prague councillor who is also a member of the Civic Democrats.

Czech Army surgeons complete mission in southern Iraq

A team of Czech Army surgeons have returned from Iraq. The six surgeons' mission came to an end due to a redeployment of British troops, who were their main patients. The team carried out around 70 operations in a year and a half in Shaiba in the south of Iraq.

Pirate of Prague Kozeny to remain in custody until extradition hearing

A court in the Bahamas has refused to release Viktor Kozeny from custody. Mr Kozeny will remain on remand until January 30th, when a hearing begins into whether or not he will face extradition to the United States. The Pirate of Prague, as he is known, is wanted in both the US and the Czech Republic on charges of large-scale fraud.

Remains of general executed during WWII may receive state funeral

The remains of Czech General Alois Elias, who was prime minister of the Nazi Protectorate but was later executed by the Germans for his work organising the resistance, have been acquired by the Military History Institute. The cabinet is now deciding what to do with his ashes, which were saved by a friend. The defence minister, Karel Kuhnl, has called for a state funeral with military honours for the general and his wife, who also supported the anti-Nazi resistance.

Quarter of a million to visit over Christmas, New Year

A quarter of a million visitors are expected to spend Christmas and New Year in the Czech Republic, a tourism monitoring agency told Hospodarske noviny. Most tourists are expected to visit Prague, though the country's health spas will also do good business in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, around 12,000 Czechs are planning to spend the festive season on exotic beach holidays, while twice that number will go skiing abroad.

Spidleruv Mlyn hosts first Alpine ski world cup event in Czech Republic

The first ever Alpine ski world cup event in the Czech Republic began in the north Bohemian resort of Spindleruv Mlyn on Wednesday morning, despite unfavourable weather conditions. World cup competitions were held in Czechoslovakia, but in the Tatra Mountains in what is now the Slovak Republic.

Nedved's Juve target Grygera, says website

The champions of the Italian football league, Juventus, are interested in signing Czech international full-back Zdenek Grygera from Ajax Amsterdam, the website channel4.com reported. Grygera would join Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved at the world famous club if the deal goes ahead.

Prima audience decreases with end of reality show

Viewing figures for Prima TV have dropped by around a quarter, since its popular reality show Vyvoleni came to an end a week and a half ago, according to figures released on Tuesday. The station is now watched by around 22% percent of viewers, as was the case before Vyvoleni started. Nova is the country's most popular station, with around 40% of the TV audience.

Weather

It should be cloudy with some sunny spells over the next couple of days, with temperatures around 3 or 4 degrees Celsius. Forecasters say it will most likely rain on Christmas Eve.

21-12-2005