Thursday, March 3, 2011

News 3.3.2011

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Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

By: Jan Richter

* A new report by the Council of Europe says "deeply rooted
anti-Gypsyism" is one of the main obstacles to Romanies' inclusion in
the Czech society.

* The Czech Senate has postponed a vote on the European Stability
Mechanism.

* A group of senators have filed a constitutional complaint against the
26-percent tax imposed on solar power producers.

* Most Czechs oppose the adoption of the euro, a new poll has shown.

* Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Jan Vokal the new bishop of the
Hradec Kralove diocese.

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Council of Europe report calls for bigger efforts for Roma inclusion ��
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A new report by Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner, Thomas
Hammarberg, sees "deeply-rooted anti-Gypsyism" as one of the main
obstacles to Roma's inclusion in the Czech society. The report, which
was released in Brussels on Thursday, also highlights continued
segregation that the country's Roma community faces in education and
housing. Mr Hammarberg, who visited the Czech Republic in November
2010, noted frequent racist and anti-Roma discourse among leading
politicians and the media, and said the country should strengthen its
efforts and implement inclusive policies.


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Senate postpones vote on EU crisis mechanism
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The Czech Senate postponed on Thursday a vote on the planned European
Stability Mechanism which should safeguard financial stability in the
eurozone. The news agency CTK reported that some senators wanted to
coordinate their stance on the issue with that of the lower house which
is scheduled to vote on it in two weeks' time. The Czech government
needs an approval by both chambers of Parliament to be able to
negotiate changes to the EU's Lisbon treaty required for the mechanism
to be adopted. European leaders will debate the mechanism at an EU
summit in Brussels later this month.


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New legislation to allow authorities to release details about dealers
of low-quality fuel
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Senators on Thursday also passed new legislation that will allow the
authorities to release details about gas stations selling low-quality
fuel. The Czech Trade Inspection, which oversees the quality of goods
sold in the Czech Republic, first published the names of such gas
stations in January but said new legislation was needed to make sure it
will be able to do so regularly. Industry and Trade Minister Martin
Kocourek said the amendment to the Czech Fuel Act would require the
inspection to publish the details about the sellers, suppliers and
producers that are found to sell low-quality fuel. The new bill has yet
to be signed by the president to enter into force.


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Group of Senators complain about solar power taxation
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A group of Christian Democrat senators have filed a complaint with the
Czech Constitutional Court against a 26-percent tax imposed earlier
this year by the government on producers of solar power. Senator Jiri
Cunek said they were motivated by concerns that the Czech Republic
might face international arbitration over the new tax; if the
Constitutional Court rejects the complaint, the senators believe it
will diminish solar power producers' chances of winning possible
arbitrations.

Following a solar power boom, the Czech government imposed a 26-tax in
January on its producers to prevent an imminent hike in power prices.


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Poll: Most Czechs against euro adoption
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A new poll by the Medea Research agency suggests that 77 percent of
Czechs opposed the adoption of the euro while 15 percent of those
polled agree with the introduction of the single European currency. The
survey, which was carried out in January, shows 8 percent of those who
took part have no opinion on the matter.

The Czech Republic is required by its EU accession treaty to eventually
adopt the euro; however, no deadline has been set by the government.
Prime Minister Petr Necas said in January the country would adopt the
currency once it fulfils the criteria, the eurozone is stable and the
euro's advantages prevail over those of the crown.


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Pope appoints new bishop of Hradec Kralove
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Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday appointed Jan Vokal the new bishop of the
Hradec Kralove diocese which has been vacant since Dominik Duka last
year became the Archbishop of Prague. Jan Vokal, a native of Hlinsko in
eastern Bohemia, left Czechoslovakia in 1983, and became a priest five
years later. Over the past two decades he worked at Vatican's
Secretariat of State. Czech TV reported Jan Vokal was the second choice
for the position as another candidate turned the offer down.


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Some 7,000 elderly people in Prague threatened by rising rents
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Some 7,000 elderly people living in Prague are threatened by rising
rents, according to a survey commissioned by Prague City Hall. They are
retired and live alone in apartments larger than 38 square metres which
means they might soon be unable to afford the recently liberalized
rents. The survey found that around 270,000 retired people live in the
capital, most of them in rent-controlled apartments.


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Time Warner increases stake in CME
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The US media group Time Warner has acquired 3.1 million shares in
Central European Media Enterprises, or CME, increasing its stake in the
company to nearly 31 percent, Reuters reported on Thursday. Time Warner
spent more than 60 million US dollars on the transaction that drove CME
shares on the Prague exchange up by 8.4 percent. CME is the owner of
the Czech Republic's most-watched television station, TV Nova, and
other commercial broadcasters in Central and Eastern Europe. The Czech
news website ihned.cz reported that Time Warner bought the shares from
the firm Testora Limited, CME's third largest stakeholder controlled by
the financial group PPF.


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Number of marriages hit record low in 2010
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The number of marriages hit a record low last year, according to
figures released on Thursday by the Czech Statistical Office. In the
first three quarters of 2010, 39,000 marriages were contracted in the
country, which is the lowest number recorded since 1871 when the
statics were first complied, the news agency CTK reported. The highest
number of marriages was registered in 1973 when nearly 100,000 couples
got married. Experts say the Czech society is undergoing changes
similar to those registered in Western Europe some 40 years ago.


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Tennis: Safarova advances to quarterfinals at Malaysia Open
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Czech tennis player Lucie Safarova beat Russia's Dinara Safina 6:3,
4:6, 6:3 n the second round of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur on
Thursday and advanced to the tournament quarterfinals. The fifth-seeded
Czech took broke Safina's first serve and won the first set but was
losing 4:0 in the second. Safarova then failed to convert two
opportunities to equalize and lost the set. In the third, she broke
serve again and wrapped-up the match. In the quarterfinals, the
24-year-old Czech will face second seed Marion Bartoli of France.


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Weather
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Clear skies and spring temperatures of around 7 degrees Celsius are
expected to last over the next few days before they drop again and
we'll see snow in places.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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A new report by the Council of Europe says "deeply rooted
anti-Gypsyism" is one of the main obstacles to Romanies' inclusion in
the Czech society.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A new report by the Council of Europe says "deeply rooted
anti-Gypsyism" is one of the main obstacles to Romanies' inclusion in
the Czech society.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#1


The Czech Senate has postponed a vote on the European Stability
Mechanism.
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The Czech Senate has postponed a vote on the European Stability
Mechanism.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#2


A group of senators have filed a constitutional complaint against the
26-percent tax imposed on solar power producers.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A group of senators have filed a constitutional complaint against the
26-percent tax imposed on solar power producers.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#4


Most Czechs oppose the adoption of the euro, a new poll has shown.
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Most Czechs oppose the adoption of the euro, a new poll has shown.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#5


Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Jan Vokal the new bishop of the Hradec
Kralove diocese.
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Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Jan Vokal the new bishop of the Hradec
Kralove diocese.

http://www.radio.cz/en/news#6


Politicians push ahead with formula for direct presidential elections
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Political parties in the Czech Republic have just agreed some of the
main lines of how a future president would be elected by the people for
the first time. But while the main agreement is in place a lot of the
details are still missing - and that's where the devil lurks. We look
at the progress towards direct presidential elections. Justice Minister
Jiri Pospisil on Wednesday outlined the main planks on how a future
president could be elected.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/politicians-push-ahead-with-formula-for-direct-presidential-elections


Scandals snowball for Education Minister
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Education Minister Josef Dobes is under increasing pressure as a series
of minor affairs have built up over recent weeks into opposition calls
for his resignation. Reports indicate that even some members within his
Public Affairs party are seeking his replacement. However, party
officials and Prime Minister Petr Necas are standing by Mr Dobes and
blaming the media for sensationalism.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/scandals-snowball-for-education-minister


Harry Pollak, the man who saved Aston Martin
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When Harry Pollak left Czechoslovakia for France in the autumn of 1938,
he had no idea what the future would hold for him. As a teenager, he
joined the exile Czechoslovak army fought the Nazis who murdered his
family, before fleeing his country again after the communist coup of
1948, and build a career in England from scratch. Mr Pollak gives an
account of his extraordinary life in his recently published memoirs. In
this edition of Panorama, we talk to Harry Pollak about how a boy from
a south Bohemian village ended up saving the famous British car-maker
Aston Martin.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/panorama/harry-pollak-the-man-who-saved-aston-martin-1


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