Daily news summary News

02-02-2006

President dismisses Supreme Court chairwoman

President Vaclav Klaus has dismissed the chairwoman of the Supreme Court, Iva Brozova, a Presidential Office spokesman said on Thursday. Ms Brozova's dismissal was discussed by the government on Wednesday and co-signed by Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek. President Klaus dismissed Ms Brozova at the request of Justice Minister Pavel Nemec who had repeatedly complained about the current state of the Supreme Court. According to speculation, Ms Brozova might be replaced by ex-justice minister and 2003 presidential candidate Jaroslav Bures.

Healthcare workers to protest against Health Minister's policies

Doctors, pharmacists and representatives of small hospitals have announced they will hold a joint demonstration on February 24th in Prague in protest against the policies of Health Minister David Rath. Another protest took place on Monday, when most pharmacies in the Czech Republic closed their doors to the public for three hours.

Extradition proceedings against "Pirate of Prague" Kozeny begin in Bahamas

Extradition proceedings against fugitive Czech businessman Viktor Kozeny have begun in the Bahamas. The United States has filed for his extradition on charges of large scale fraud and money laundering in connection to a privatisation deal in Azerbaijan. Mr Kozeny, dubbed the Pirate of Prague, is also wanted in the Czech Republic on fraud charges. Now an Irish citizen, he has been living in the Bahamas for ten years.

Law on foreigners would halve waiting period for permanent residence

The lower house has passed a bill under which foreigners would be able to apply for permanent residence after five years spent in the Czech Republic. Currently the waiting period for application is ten years. The new law on foreigners would also allow people from European Union countries to use any form of identification proving they are EU citizens while in the Czech Republic.

Czech anti-terrorism unit to return to Afghanistan

The Senate has approved sending a Czech Army anti-terrorism unit to Afghanistan to join US forces there for six months. The government approved the Defence Ministry's proposal last month and it has yet to be passed by the lower house. The opposition Communists say they will vote against it. A similar contingent was sent to Afghanistan two years ago. Now the 120-strong unit should leave for Afghanistan in April.

Four people die in night fire at Prague housing estate

Four people died in a fire in an 11th floor flat in a high-rise building in the south of Prague on Wednesday night. Fire fighters said three people burnt to death in the building and a fourth person who suffered severe burns of the head and hands died after he jumped down from the 11th floor. Another eight people were taken to hospital for treatment after inhaling smoke. Police say the cause of the fire is not yet known.

Weather

The next couple of days should be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures just above freezing.

02-02-2006