Tuesday, May 10, 2011

News 5.10.2011

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

News Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The EC has warned Prague it will not subsidize overpriced or
non-transparent projects from EU funds.

* The junior coalition party Public Affairs has demanded a free reign
in choosing members of the government's anti-corruption team.

* Sales of fair trade products in the Czech Republic have gone up by 60
percent year-on-year.

* A Kuwaiti driver who assaulted a traffic police officer in Prague
will most likely escape punishment due to the fact that he has
diplomatic immunity.

* Reigning world champions Czech Republic beat the German team 5:2 on
Monday, advancing undefeated to the quarterfinals.

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EC warns Prague about EU subsidies
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The EC has warned Prague it will not subsidize overpriced or
non-transparent projects from EU funds. The warning came shortly after
the commission blocked the flow of EU structural funds to two regions
in the Czech Republic on suspicion of irregularities. In response to
the warning the Czech Transport Ministry withdrew subsidy requests to
the tune of 110 million crowns, saying it wanted to review the
infrastructure construction projects in order to make sure that they
were fully in line with EC requirements.


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Public Affairs wants last word on anti-corruption team
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The junior coalition party Public Affairs has demanded a free reign in
choosing members of the government's anti-corruption team. The team is
to be headed by Deputy Prime Minister Radek John whose ambition to take
a former aide from the Interior Ministry on board was recently thwarted
by the prime minister. Mr. John said that if he was not allowed to
choose his employees there was no point in him heading the
anti-corruption portfolio. The media crossfire in this matter
underlines strained relations in the cabinet following the April
government crisis involving the junior coalition party.


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Sales of fair trade goods soaring
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Sales of fair trade products in the Czech Republic have gone up by
sixty percent year-on-year, the CTK news agency reported on Tuesday.
Sales in 2010 topped 80 million crowns, up from around 50 the previous
year. Coffee is far and away the most popular fair-trade product,
pulling sales up year by year, with chocolates, jam and honey next in
line. The boom in sales is largely due to the fact that chain stores
have now started offering the goods as well.


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Plans for biotechnology centre fall through
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Plans to build a national centre of biotechnology and biomedicine in
Vestec near Prague, are reported to have fallen through because the
Defence Ministry has refused to transfer ownership of an unused plot of
land to the Central Bohemia region. The 365 million crown project was
to have been financed largely from EU funds. It is not clear why the
ministry turned down the region's request.


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Kuwaiti national who attempted to run down officer
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A Kuwaiti driver who drove his car straight at a traffic police officer
in Prague will most likely escape punishment due to the fact that he
has diplomatic immunity, the CTK news agency reports. The Kuwaiti
national reportedly refused to cooperate during a routine check up and
tried to run down a traffic police officer on Prague's Wenceslas Square
on Saturday night. The police gave chase and caught up with the
transgressor a few minutes later. The man is believed to be an employee
of the Kuwaiti embassy. The CTK news agency notes that if he has
diplomatic immunity the case will be shelved, similarly as that of an
intoxicated Austrian diplomat who drove his car through a Prague park
recently.


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Stroke centres short of money
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Czech centres for stroke treatment and rehabilitation have warned that
due to low payments from insurance companies they are running into
financial difficulties. The head of the Czech Neurological Society
Ondrej Skoda said that unless local hospitals share the financial
burden many of these specialized centres may be forced to restrict the
number of patients they take on in the second half of 2011. The largest
Czech health insurer VZP has said it is ready to negotiate the matter.
Stroke is the second biggest killer in the Czech Republic.


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US President Clinton tops most trusted foreign statesmen list
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Czechs have put US President Barack Obama, U.S. Foreign Minister
Hillary Clinton and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the top of a
list of most trusted foreign statesmen, according to the results of a
survey conducted by the CVVM polling agency. Close to 70 percent of
respondents said they had the most trust in president Obama, followed
by Hillary Clinton with a 58 percent trust rating. German Chancellor
Angela Merkel has won the trust of 48 percent of respondents while
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, British Prime Minister David Cameron
and French President Nicolas Sarkozy all received a thumbs-up from
around 20 percent of respondents.


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Economy -inflation
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Czech consumer prices accelerated by 0.3 percent in April against
March, following 0.1 percent growth between March and February, the
Czech Statistical Office said on Tuesday. Higher clothing and footwear
prices fuelled the month-on-month growth in line with analysts'
expectations. Annual inflation slowed to 1.6 percent in April from 1.7
percent in March on slower growth in alcohol and tobacco prices. The
annual pace was slightly below the Czech central bank's forecast.


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CEZ sees drop in profit
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The Czech state-run power giant CEZ said on Tuesday its first-quarter
net profit shrank by almost two percent as compared to the same period
in 2010. The company's net profit fell to 17.2 billion crowns (709
million euros) despite 5.0-percent growth in operating revenue to 56.8
billion crowns, the company said in a statement. The drop is attributed
to the global crisis which had a delayed effect on the energy sector,
as well as to new taxes on carbon trading permits and solar power.


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Czechs finish group stage at World Ice Hockey Championships undefeated,
move on to quarter finals
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Reigning world champions Czech Republic beat the German team 5:2 in the
final match of the second round at the World Ice Hockey Championships
on Monday night. The Czechs were the only team to finish the group
stage without losing a single match, and delivered a confident
performance against Germany. They will play the United States in the
quarter finals, to take place on Wednesday.


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Weather
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Wednesday should be bright and sunny with day temperatures between 22
and 26 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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When Czech mariners sailed the seas
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The Czech lands have a long military history to be sure, but for a
place that lacks a sea there is a surprisingly interesting naval
history as well. Episodes of Czech sailors serving in the
Austro-Hungarian Navy are the subject of a series of books by military
historian Jindrich Marek called "Under the Austrian Flag", "The
Emperor's Sharks" and "The Pirates of Freedom". In this week's Czech
History we look at some of the heroic - and infamous - adventures of
Czech mariners around the time of the First World War.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/czech-history/when-czech-mariners-sailed-the-seas


Government unveils draft of new Civil Code, ten years in the making
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On Monday the government presented what it hopes is the final draft of
crucial legislation that has been in progress for a decade - the Czech
Republic's new Civil Code, the collection of laws that govern all
aspects of private law. The aim has been to update the original, which
comes from 1964, and to unify the many laws that have since then become
parts of other legal codices like the Labour Code, acts on families and
marriage, residential ownership, economic relations and more.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/government-unveils-draft-of-new-civil-code-ten-years-in-the-making


Vlacil masterpiece Marketa Lazarova undergoes digital restoration work
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Restoration work has begun on the late Frantisek Vlacil's 1967 film
masterpiece Marketa Lazarova, telling the story of a kidnapping and
pure love in the drastic Middle Ages. The B&W epic is being completely
transferred using digital technology - with damage to the original
picture and sound removed. Earlier I spoke to Vit Komrzy, the head of
the post-production firm overseeing the intricate work, which will cost
close to one million crowns. I asked him about the importance of the
film as well as the need for new audiences to see it in its earlier
pristine form.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/vlacil-masterpiece-marketa-lazarova-undergoes-digital-restoration-work


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