Saturday, April 16, 2011

News 4.16.2011

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

News Saturday, April 16th, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* Prime Minister Petr Necas has indicated that he should be the one to
nominate the country's next interior minister, albeit with support from
all three coalition parties.

* Outgoing Interior Minister Radek John has suggested in an interview
that he would never have gone into politics had he known some of the
"awfulness" involved.

* Bohuslav Sobotka, the leader of the Social Democrats, has said he
hopes his party will gain more than 30 percent of the vote if early
elections are held.

* Czech doctors have come out against health care reform plans unveiled
by Health Minister Leos Heger at a conference near Prague on Saturday.

* Roger Waters - the legendary former frontman and co-founder of rock
band Pink Floyd -performed the first of two back-to-back concerts in
Prague.

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PM says he should be the one to nominate new interior minister
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Prime Minister Petr Necas has indicated that he should be the one to
nominate the country's next interior minister, albeit with support from
all three coalition parties. In an interview for Lidove noviny on
Saturday, the prime minister said that he already had a concrete
candidate in mind, someone not politically-affiliated who could replace
Radek John of Public Affairs. Mr Necas made clear that under his plan
the choice of Mr John's successor could be vetoed by any of the three
parties. But the three coalition members - the Civic Democrats, TOP 09,
and Public Affairs - will still have to agree on how to proceed.

The government is in a difficult position following a corruption
scandal which erupted roughly a fortnight ago that has seriously
damaged its credibility. In response to allegations of corruption
involving members of Public Affairs, the prime minister demanded the
resignation of two of its ministers. A third, Transport Minister Vit
Barta, resigned earlier. A major concern for the prime minister has
been the alleged infiltration in the state sector of people connected
to private security company ABL, a firm formerly owned by Mr Barta,
which now belongs to his brother.


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John tells Pravo he would not have gone into politics had he known
about "awfulness"
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In related news, outgoing Interior Minister Radek John has suggested in
an interview for Pravo that he never would have gone into politics had
he known some of the "awfulness" involved. In the interview, former TV
presenter and journalist who successfully led the upstart Public
Affairs party on an anti-corruption platform to 24 seats in the
election last year, expressed disgust over some problems, but said he
remained committed to cleaning up corruption.

Public Affairs are trying to hold on to the Ministry of the Interior,
but Mr John suggested in the interview that the party could still be
part of the government and not hold any ministerial seats. He said that
the government's programme, not posts, was more important. Leaders from
the three coalition parties are to continue talks on Monday to try to
resolve the current crisis to avoid a collapse of the cabinet that
could pave the way for early elections.


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Sobotka expresses hope party will do well if early elections held
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Bohuslav Sobotka, the leader of the Social Democrats - the country's
largest opposition party aiming to call a vote of no confidence on the
crisis-hit government - has said he hoped his party would gain more
than 30 percent of the vote if it came to early elections. According to
the leader in an interview for Mlada fronta Dnes, the left-wing party
should get back voters lost in the last election in 2010 but he allowed
that a number of 'unknowns' remained. Regarding the current government,
Mr Sobotka rejected any kind of cooperation with troubled junior party
Public Affairs, and made clear cooperation with the right-of-centre
Civic Democrats and TOP was highly unlikely. In the interview he said
the government was losing its moral credibility.


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Medical Chamber slams health care proposals presented at conference
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Czech doctors have come out against health care reform plans unveiled
by Health Minister Leos Heger at a conference in Pruhonice near Prague
on Saturday, charging the proposals gave too much power to health
insurance companies. Under the plan, insurance companies could
terminate contracts with private practitioners without having to
provide a reason, something the head of the Czech Medical Chamber Milan
Kubek said he was strongly against. The fear is that such changes would
leave private practitioners at high risk, forcing them to toe the line
regarding insurance companies. The Medical Chamber on Saturday also
slammed plans for health care fees for visits to the doctor's to be
transferred directly to health insurance companies. Other changes
proposed include raising the cost of visiting a specialist from 30 to
200 crowns for those without a referral from their GP.


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Roger Waters performs live version of Pink Floyd classic The Wall
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Roger Waters - the legendary former frontman and co-founder of rock
band Pink Floyd - performed the first of two concerts of The Wall Live
at a Prague stadium on Friday evening. Both concerts were sold out. The
Wall is a classic double-album dating back to 1979 that was later also
made into a cult film by Alan Parker. On Friday Mr Waters and fellow
musicians performed more than twenty tracks from the original record,
including Hey You and Comfortably Numb. A large inflatable pig - a
classic Pink Floyd "trademark" - hovered above the crowd during the
concert's second half.


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NHL playoffs: Neuwirth secures first-ever playoff shutout
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Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuwirth earned his first-ever NHL
playoff shutout on Friday by stopping 22 shots by the New York Rangers.
Washington won the game, the second of the series, 2:0 after also
winning the opener. Game 3 takes place on New York's home ice.


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Football: Plzen defeat Pribram to strengthen spot in standings
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League leaders Plzen scored three goals, one off of a penalty, against
Pribram on Friday to secure their first-ever win there to strengthen
their spot in standings. Plzen are looking fairly comfortable at 58
points - nine more than second-place Sparta - although Sparta have a
game in hand.


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Weather
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Mostly clear skies are expected into Sunday; daytime temperatures
should reach highs of around 15 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Mailbox 16.4.2011
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In today's Mailbox: A listener's comment on the unrest in the Middle
East, a listener from Chistchurch, New Zealand, on the recent
earthquake, Radio Prague's Czech learning programmes. Listeners quoted:
Mary Lou Krenek, Bob Boundy, James O'Brien, Christoph Lischka.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/mailbox/mailbox-2011-04-16


The people make their voice heard
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One of the most dramatic - but least known - events in Czechoslovak
Radio's history dates back to September 21 1938. This was the day that
the government announced that it was willing to succumb to German
pressure, and would give up large areas of the country's borderlands to
Nazi Germany. By this time it was clear that Britain and France would
not be willing to fight for Czechoslovakia's territorial integrity, and
that to say no would mean invasion. The announcement sent a shockwave
through Czech society, and immediately thousands took to the streets in
protest.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/archives/the-people-make-their-voice-heard-1


Andrej Gina: recalling the poetry and poverty of the old Romany
settlements
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In today's Czech Books we meet a writer who is a master of the short
story. Andrej Gina, who won the Open Society Institute's Roma Literary
Award in 2003, lives in the western Czech town of Rokycany. He writes
in the Romany language spoken by generations of his ancestors from the
rural Romany settlements of Eastern Slovakia. Andrej was still a small
child when the family came to the Prague after the Second World War,
leaving behind an ancient and rural world, where Roma life had changed
little for centuries.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/books/andrej-gina-recalling-the-poetry-and-poverty-of-the-old-romany-settlements-1


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