Sunday, April 17, 2011

News 4.17.2011

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

News Sunday, April 17th, 2011

By: Jan Velinger

* Government coalition members the Civic Democrats and junior party
Public Affairs have not yet found agreement on who should head the
Interior Ministry.

* A flash poll conducted for Czech TV has suggested that two-fifths of
voters feel disappointment and disgrace over the on-going government
crisis.

* Several dozen demonstrators protested against the coalition
government on Saturday, leading a procession to Prague Castle.

* The mayor of Liberec has been recalled from his post following a
secret ballot by city councillors.

* Tennis player Petra Kvitova has defeated Belgium's Wickmayer, giving
the Czech Republic a 2:1 edge in the World Group semifinal of the Fed
Cup.

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No agreement on who should head Interior Ministry yet
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Government coalition members the Civic Democrats and junior party
Public Affairs have not yet found a way through an impasse over who
should next head the Interior Ministry, the Czech news agency reported.
The Civic Democrats are pushing for any candidate replacing Radek John
to be an independent, in the aim of cutting-off perceived influence by
the privately-owned detective agency ABL (formerly owned by Public
Affairs de facto leader Vit Barta). But Public Affairs is continuing to
push for its own candidate or for Mr John to stay on.

The party's deputies' club leader Karolina Peake said on Sunday that a
minority government of the Civic Democrats and Top 09 - supported by
Public Affairs - was a possible solution to the current crisis:
speaking on Czech TV she said the possibility of her party leaving
government was being seriously considered. Vit Barta, in a separate
interview, said that if Public Affairs did stay on it would want
renewed guarantees the coalition will fight corruption.


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Schwarzenberg in favour of coalition continuing
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In response to current developments, Foreign Minister Karel
Schwarzenberg said on Sunday that he preferred for the three-party
coalition to continue, although he admitted that a minority government
made up of TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats would be acceptable if no
other solution was possible. Top members of the three coalition parties
are scheduled to hold talks on Monday to try and resolve the crisis to
find a way to move forward.


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Flash poll: voters angry, disappointed with government
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A flash poll conducted by the SC&C agency for Czech TV has suggested
that two-fifths of voters feel disappointment and disgrace over the
on-going government crisis. It began a fortnight ago with allegations
that Public Affair's de facto leader Vit Barta had paid bribes to other
party members and that he had entered politics only to make personal
gains in economic power and influence. A third of respondents in the
flash query said they felt anger over the developments; ten percent
said they were either not interested or aware of what was happening.

The upstart Public Affairs surprised many last year when they won 24
seats in the lower house, enabling them to join a centre-right
coalition with the Civic Democrats and TOP 09. Until recently they
enjoyed a comfortable majority of 118 seats in the Chamber of Deputies.
The revelations and ensuing crisis, however, have shaken the government
to its core. The largest opposition party, the Social Democrats, has
already said it will call a vote of no confidence on the government
after Easter.


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Handful of demonstrators protest against government
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Several dozen demonstrators protested against the coalition government
on Saturday by leading a procession from the office of the government
to Prague Castle. Protestors carried masks portraying the likenesses of
cabinet members as well as a large mock pen with which the phoney
cabinet "signed" its resignation. The pen was a reference to a recent
video on youtube showing Czech President Vaclav Klaus conspicuously
'pocketing' a pen used for ceremonial purposes during a diplomatic
press conference in Chile. The video has become a massive internet hit
(with some 4 million views),


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Liberec mayor recalled from post
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The mayor of Liberec Jan Korytar was recalled from his post on Saturday
following a secret ballot by city councillors. Twenty-six out of 39
voted for his removal, as well as that of his deputy Jaromir Baxa and
councillor Kvetoslava Moravkova; all are from the independent party
Change for Liberec. Members of the local Social Democrats charged the
mayor was recalled as he had failed to communicate with coalition
partners, but the former mayor said the real reason was that he stopped
two suspicious commissions (the completion of a pool and renovation of
local spas) worth half a billion crowns from going ahead.


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Police search for missing siblings
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Police in the district of Prague 5 are searching for two siblings, a
4-year-old girl and 8-her year-old brother, who went missing on Sunday
morning. The children left their home in Stodulky sometime around 8:30
am, reportedly in response to a family dispute. Police officers have
been searching local parks and shopping areas. According to reports,
children at one playground confirmed that they had seen the older child
but said the 4-year-old sister was not with him. Photographs of the
missing children have been posted on the police website, and officials
have requested anyone in the area who may have information to contact
them immediately.


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Fed Cup: Petra Kvitova comes back after losing first set to defeat
Wickmayer
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Tennis player Petra Kvitova has defeated Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer in
Charleroi, giving the Czech Republic a 2:1 edge in the Fed Cup World
Group semifinal. The Czech player came back after losing the first set
7:5. She won the second 6:4 and the final set 6:2. The match took two
hours and 14 minutes to complete. The win gives the Czech Republic a
2:1 edge in the semifinals, with two matches left to play.
Zahlavova-Strycova faces Flipkens in the final singles match on Sunday,
and will also play in the double with Iveta Benesova against Belgian
players Mestach and Van Uytvanck.


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Weather
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The beginning of the week is expected to be sunny; daytime temperatures
should reach highs of around 18 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Protest singer Karel Kryl - an influential voice in Czech folk music
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In today's edition of our Sunday Music Show, we listen to music by the
legendary Czechoslovak folk singer Karel Kryl. He became one of the
country's most important protest singers with his famous 1968 song
"Bratricku zavirej vratka," and his tunes continue to be played in the
Czech Republic to this day.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/sunday-music-show/protest-singer-karel-kryl-an-influential-voice-in-czech-folk-music


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