Sunday, April 3, 2011

News 4.3.2011

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

News Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

By: Christian Falvey

* The TOP 09 party will likely allow a special meeting of Parliament to
discuss the ProMoPro affair and question Defence Minister Alexandr
Vondra.

* Health Minister Leos Heger says that increasing patient co-financing
will be the very last step in reforms.

* Only a minority of Czechs today would be in favour of joining the EU,
a new poll suggests.

* The Czech Philharmonic and Prague Philharmonia are holding benefit
concerts for Japan

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TOP 09 will allow parliamentary meeting on ProMoPro
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MPs from the TOP 09 party will likely allow the opposition to call a
special meeting of Parliament to discuss the ProMoPro affair and
question Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra. The head of the party's
parliamentary club, Petr Gazdik, told TV Prima on Sunday that the party
would in all likelihood not attend the meeting, thus allowing the
opposition a sufficient majority to table the programme. The coalition
already blocked one such meeting, apparently on the condition that Mr
Vondra would explain his part in the affair and apologize. His speech
however fell short of a full apology and Mr Kalousek and others in TOP
09 have called for his resignation. The audiovisual company ProMoPro
was paid exorbitant sums from Mr Vondra's office during the 2009 Czech
EU presidency.


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Heger: increasing patient co-financing to be the last step in reforms
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Increasing patient co-financing will be the very last step in reforms,
Health Minister Leos Heger has told Czech Television. Co-financing is
currently at 17% and should not exceed 20%. Mr Heger said that the
reform begins with health insurance companies; the package of 25 reform
measures ensures that insurance companies with poor financial
management will have to merge. The government is to discuss the first
of Mr Heger's proposals on Wednesday, an amendment to the public health
insurance act to increase the daily cost of hospitalisation from 60 to
100 crowns per patient.


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Poll: Czechs today would not join the EU
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A minority of Czechs today would be in favour of joining the EU,
according to a poll conducted by the SANEP agency. By the agency's
estimate only 42% of people in the Czech Republic would vote for
accession if given the opportunity. According to the poll, people are
bothered primarily by bureaucracy influencing the country's
competitiveness and by the single currency, with 74% of people opposed
to introducing the euro. Nearly 62% of respondents also do not believe
that Turkey should be allowed to join the EU.


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Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonia hold benefit
for Japan
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The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Philharmonia are
holding benefit concerts for earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. In
Prague Castle's Spanish Hall, Romanian conductor Ion Marin will lead
the orchestra in Antonin Dvorak's New World Symphony, which is very
popular in Japan. In Rudolfinum then the Prague Philharmonia will be
led by Vladimir Ashkenazy. The Czech Philharmonic was touring Japan at
the time of the disaster and several of their concert venues were badly
damaged.


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TyTy television viewer awards given out
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The TV popularity poll TyTy 2010 has been won by the Czech Television
show Vypravej, a weekly family series set in the 1960s. The creators
also received the prize for best series of the year in a ceremony at
Prague's Vinohrady Divadlo on Saturday. The most popular actors of the
year were Veronika Freimanova and Ondrej Vetchy; singers Michal David
and Lucie Vondrackova were alsoe awarded. Czech TV's Stardance received
the prize for most popular programme. The TyTy awards are voted on by
viewers and organised by the weekly Tydenik Televize. They were watched
last year by 2.5 million people.


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Three-year-old in serious condition after Rottweiler attack
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A three-year-old girl is in stable but very serious condition after
being attacked by two Rottweilers near Litomerice. The child was
brought to hospital in Prague by helicopter on Saturday with injuries
to her hand and face. TV Nova reported that the girl was visiting the
dogs' owner with her mother and playing with them in the courtyard when
they attacked, causing such injuries to her face that she may have been
left blind in one eye. The dogs' owner says that they have never
attacked anyone before.


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Kenyan runners win Prague Half-Marathon
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Kenyan long-distance runner Philemon Kimeli Limo has won the Prague
Half-Marathon, setting a record time of 59 minutes and 30 seconds. It
was the first time in the Czech Republic that the 21-km track has been
run in under an hour. The previous record was 1:00:07. Limo was
followed by Ethiopian Azmeraw Bekele 1 minute and 5 seconds behind him;
third place went to Kenyan Kwemoi Titus Masai, who finished in 1:00:40.
In the women's race, another Kenyan, Lydia Cheromei, also broke the
records, winning the race in 1:07:33; Ethiopia's Belainesh Zemedkun
came in second place.


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Weather
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Currently warm and sunny conditions are expected to sour over the
coming days, with rain forecast across the country and highs in the low
teens.

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