Daily news summary News

15-10-2006

Former deputy minister remanded in custody

A Prague district court has decided to remand former deputy local development minister, Vera Jourova, in custody. Ms Jourova has been accused in a case of suspected corruption in the handling of EU structural funds channelled via the Local Development Ministry. Ms Jourova was arrested shortly after her plane landed at Prague-Ruzyne airport on Friday afternoon. Besides Vera Jourova, three men have been accused of corruption in the same case. They are Zdenek Dolezel, a former senior aide to two former Social Democrat prime ministers, Ladislav Peta, mayor of the town of Budisov, and Miloslav Rehulka, an Agriculture Ministry employee. All three have been in custody since Friday.

Paroubek admits possible grand coalition, Topolanek dismisses it

Social Democrat leader and former Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has admitted that his party and the Civic Democrats could start discussing a grand coalition but he said he himself would not take part in it. Speaking in a lunchtime discussion programme on Czech Television on Sunday, Mr Paroubek said he would only remain chairman of the Social Democratic Party. Prime Minister and head of the Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek dismissed such an option.

Topolanek: US missile base probably not to be built in the Czech Republic

Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek also said that a proposed US anti-missile defence site will most probably not be built in the Czech Republic. Speaking on Czech TV on Sunday, Mr Topolanek said that a radar site might be built in the country instead. The United States plans to build a base in Central Europe which would house defensive missiles, and be under the administrative control of the United States. US military experts have visited potential locations in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Polls released regarding upcoming elections

A new poll by the STEM agency suggests that over 50 percent of Czechs are planning to cast their votes in the upcoming Senate elections next Friday and Saturday, while up to 70 percent are planning to take part in the local elections on the same days. A different poll by the Factum Invenio agency suggests over 50 percent of Czechs believe that the Senate, the upper house of the Czech Parliament, is a useless institution and should be abolished. The trend has been visible ever since 1996 when the Senate was established but the number of those believing that it is a useful and beneficial institution has slightly increased.

Chelsea's Cech undergoes skull surgery

Chelsea's goalkeeper Petr Cech has undergone surgery for a depressed fracture of the skull after he was knocked unconscious in the champions' 1-0 win at Reading on Saturday. The 24-year-old Czech keeper Cech was caught by a challenge from Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt in the first minute and was carried off. Coach Jose Mourinho said he thought Cech was lucky to be alive after being caught in the head by Hunt's knee, branding the Reading man's challenge "a disgrace".

Weather

The beginning of next week should be partly cloudy with daytime highs at 16 degrees Celsius.

15-10-2006