Daily news summary News

08-08-2006

President Klaus to hold talks with party leaders

President Vaclav Klaus has invited the leaders of all five major Czech political parties for talks at Prague Castle on Wednesday morning. Mr. Klaus intends to discuss the current political stalemate with the heads of the Civic Democratic Party, the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Communists and the Greens, all of whom are represented in the lower house. Mr. Klaus plans to speak with each party leader in private before holding a joint meeting with all to discuss possibilities for a way out of the post-June election deadlock.

More than two months after the elections, the formation of a government remains unclear and MPs have repeatedly failed to elect a speaker of the lower house—a key step in forming the next government.

Czech Airlines starts down-sizing

Czech Airlines, or CSA, the country's national carrier, has begun down-sizing its staff. A plan to restructure the company during the years 2006 - 2008 is responsible for the policy, which aims to get Czech Airlines out of debt. According to CSA, the down-sizing plan will see the departure of approximately 20% of the company's employees, thus about 1100 people of the 5500 that CSA currently employs. In addition, CSA plans to sell two of its Boeing 737 fleet.

Vodafone offers new business communication service

Vodafone, one of the three leading mobile phone operators in the Czech Republic, has introduced a new service for its company-based clients. Starting Tuesday, Vodafone is offering company subscribers access to e-mail, address books and electronic calendars, all via mobile phone services. The new Vodafone service is called Business E-Mail and faces competition from Blackberry offered by T-Mobile, and Office Connector, a service of Eurotel; both of the later have been on the market for more than a year. Vodafone registered 2.26 million clients in the Czech Republic in June, numbering over 11.5 million active mobile phone numbers.

Man dies in Prague 6 public pool

Tragedy struck a swimming pool in Prague 6 on Tuesday afternoon, when a thirty-two year old man drowned. Lifeguards pulled the man's lifeless body out of the water but paramedics could not revive him. Doctors have not yet determined the cause of his sudden death.

Nicole Vaidisova in top ten

After reaching the semi-finals in San Diego, Czech women's tennis player Nicole Vaidisova has reached the top-ten for the first time in her career. Ms. Vaidisova is currently ranked ninth on the WTA tour.

Farmers in Vysocina hit by floods

Farmers in the Vysocina region between Bohemia and Moravia are busy harvesting grain from fields in danger of flooding. The heavy rains are causing damage to grain and sugar beet crops, as well as to potatoes, which experts say will have an effect on the profits farmers could otherwise expect to yield. Over 145 000 hectares of land in the Vysocina region are devoted to grain crops, while potatoes occupy one-third of agricultural land in the region.

Flooding not over on the Jizera and Elbe rivers

Meanwhile, after heavy rainfalls earlier in the week, experts at the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute warn that flooding is expected to affect the central Bohemian region in the coming days. High-alert warnings have been issued for the River Jizera, which is expected to see the worst flooding in over five to ten years, and the River Elbe is also affected. The flood-watch warnings will be in effect until at least Thursday's morning hours, until which time experts expect water levels to continue rising. Continued rains are also expected in parts of Moravia and Silesia, and these should taper-off by mid-week.

Weather:

In addition to the expected flooding, daytime highs will hover around about 22 degrees Celsius in most parts of the country, with partly cloudy skies.

08-08-2006