Daily news summary News

16-06-2006

Czech parties agree government seats, still no majority

Three Czech centre-right parties have agreed how they will divide seats in a cabinet they are forming after an election earlier this month, though they have offered no clues on how they will secure a majority in parliament. The right-of-centre Civic Democrats won the election but together with their partners, the centrist Christian Democrats and the Greens, they control only 100 seats in the 200-seat lower house. Civic Democrat chief Mirek Topolanek said on Friday after negotiations between the three parties that the Civic Democrats would take nine seats in the new cabinet, while the smaller parties would have three each. The party leaders reiterated that they expected to sign a coalition agreement ahead of the first session of the newly elected parliament due on June 27.

Topolanek to meet Paroubek by Sunday

Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek has said he is going to meet the outgoing prime minister and Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek by Sunday. Speaking after a meeting on Friday with the leaders of a possible government coalition Mr Toplanek said that negotiators from both his Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats, which are the second biggest party in the lower house now, would meet next week. The emerging government coalition wants to seek the Social Democrats' support since it does not have a majority in the lower house. However, the Social Democrats say that they will not support a centre-right government.

Court rules St Vitus' Cathedral belongs to Catholic Church

The Prague City Court has ruled that St Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle belongs to the Roman Catholic Church and not the state, upholding an earlier verdict by a Prague district court. The Church and the state have been fighting over ownership rights for over thirteen years. A 1954 government resolution gave Prague Castle the authority to manage the cathedral and surrounding property but the court decided that the transfer of management did not automatically imply a transfer of ownership. The state plans to appeal at the Supreme Court.

BBC World Service FM broadcast under threat

The BBC World Service will consider taking legal steps against the decision by the Czech broadcasting council which ruled this week that the BBC had broken license regulations by sharing its local frequency with a Czech Radio news station. The former editor-in-chief of the BBC's Czech Section and now a representative of the licence holder, Radiocom, Vit Kolar, said on Friday that at the moment the London headquarters is considering three options, one of them being legal action. The BBC Czech Service was discontinued earlier this year and the BBC now faces the threat of losing the FM license for its English-language broadcasts in the Czech Republic.

Five die in head-on car crash

Five people were killed in a traffic accident on Friday afternoon when two passenger cars collided head-on near the town of Breclav, South Moravia. Fire fighters and a helicopter were called to the scene of the accident. Only one passenger, a woman from Slovakia, survived the crash and was rushed to hospital.

Weather

The current warm and sunny weather is expected to continue into the weekend but thunderstorms have been forecast for Friday night. Daytime highs over the weekend are expected to reach 32 degrees Celsius.

16-06-2006