Friday, May 27, 2011

News 5.27.2011

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

News Friday, May 27th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* Hundreds of people gathered in Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral on Friday
to pay their last respects to former finance minister Eduard Janota.

* Prime Minister Petr Necas has told the junior coalition party Public
Affairs that if they continue to oppose key reforms they will be asked
to leave the government.

* Public Affairs is to debate the conditions under which it would be
prepared to remain in the coalition government.

* The leader of the opposition Social Democrats Bohuslav Sobotka has
presented the party leadership with a reconstructed shadow cabinet.

* A Teplice lawyer has accused Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek of
having accepted a bribe in return for allowing five lottery firms to
introduce internet betting.

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Hundreds pay last respects to Eduard Janota
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Hundreds of people gathered in Prague's St. Vitus Cathedral on Friday
to pay their last respects to former finance minister Eduard Janota.
Among those present were Prime Minister Petr Necas, Finance Minister
Miroslav Kalousek, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg and former
central bank governor Zdenek Tuma. The mass was celebrated by Prague
Archbishop Dominik Duka. Mr. Janota, 59, died of a heart failure last
week while playing tennis. As a highly respected, non-partisan civil
servant he was in charge of drafting several state budgets for both
centre-right and centre-left governments. After the fall of the
Topolanek government in 2009 he served as finance minister in the
caretaker cabinet of prime minister Jan Fischer.


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Public Affairs told to toe the line on reforms
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Prime Minister Petr Necas has told the junior coalition party Public
Affairs that if they continue to oppose key reforms they will be asked
to leave the government. According to the internet daily aktuane.cz the
prime minister issued the warning at Wednesday's meeting of coalition
leaders, at which the junior party opposed the bill on health reform
because of disputes over what should constitute standard and above
standard heath care. The prime minister reportedly told the party that
unless agreement on the bill was reached within a week they should
leave the Cabinet. The two stronger parties in government -the Civic
Democrats and TOP 09 - have repeatedly criticized Public Affairs for
playing the role of an opposition party within the government in order
to increase its flagging popularity with the public.


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Public Affairs to debate its future in the coalition government
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Members of the junior coalition party Public Affairs are to meet over
the weekend to confirm the party's new leadership and debate the
conditions under which Public Affairs would be prepared to remain in
the Necas cabinet. Following the loss of two ministers over a
corruption scandal, Public Affairs is demanding a broad cabinet
re-shuffle and four ministerial posts for itself, conditions which the
two stronger parties in government find hard to accept. Although the
three party coalition has agreed to shelve its internal problems for
the time being Public Affairs has not yet committed to supporting the
government in a vote of confidence expected to take place in June.


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PM meets with opposition leader
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Prime Minister Petr Necas and opposition leader Bohuslav Sobotka met on
Friday to debate the pension reform and ways of curbing the election
campaign expenditures of political parties, which the cabinet would
like to push through Parliament. The opposition has long complained
that it was not consulted in advance about key reform bills and has
threatened to block them in the Senate where it has a majority. Mr.
Sobotka said that the talks had also covered the ongoing political
situation, but declined to provide any details. The meeting comes
amidst speculation regarding growing problems within the centre-right
governing coalition.


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Opposition leader presents re-jigged shadow cabinet
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The leader of the opposition Social Democrats Bohuslav Sobotka on
Friday presented the party leadership with a reconstructed shadow
cabinet, in the wake of the party's annual conference. Four shadow
ministers have been replaced among them former party leader Jiri
Paroubek and Michal Hasek who unsuccessfully challenged Bohuslav
Sobotka for the party's top post. The party leader has newly introduced
an anti-corruption portfolio in the shadow cabinet, mirroring a newly
established and still vacant post in the coalition government.


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Teplice lawyer accuses finance minister of accepting bribe
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A Teplice lawyer has accused Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek of
having accepted a bribe in return for allowing five lottery firms to
introduce internet betting. The lawyer, who is a member of the junior
coalition party Public Affairs, claims that one of the firms offered to
give the finance ministers party -at the time the Christian Democrats -
ten million crowns as a sponsorship gift if was included on the list of
companies which could introduce internet betting. The firm in question
was among those which got the green light. The finance minister, who is
now a member of TOP 09, has rejected the accusations. The claims are
being investigated by the country's anti-corruption police.


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Ostrava city transport workers to go on strike
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City transport workers in Ostrava are to go on a one day strike against
low wages on June 1st, the ctk news agency reports. Trade unions have
been pushing for an eight percent pay rise but the transport company is
not willing to go higher than 3 percent. The company employs 2,000
people whose average monthly wage is 22,000 crowns. Trade unions have
warned that they will not let up the pressure until they get a positive
response. Talks with the city transport company and city hall officials
have dragged for over six months.


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Prague Fringe Fest is back
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The 10th annual Prague Fringe Festival opened in the Czech capital on
Friday offering audiences nine days of comedy, theatre and music in
different venues in the city's Lesser Quarter. This year the festival
brings together close to 50 artists from 15 countries including the US,
Great Britain, Spain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The hour long
performances are innovative, very visual and highly entertaining aimed
to attract a mixed audience and overcome language barriers. This year's
performances include Cooking for Love, Life is Too Good to be True and
There's no such word as can't.


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Night of Open Churches will open doors of 900 houses of worship
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Around 900 houses of worship across the Czech Republic will open their
doors on Friday night for the annual Night of Open Churches event.
Twelve Christian churches are taking part in the event which will start
at 6 PM and will go on until late night; visitors will often be able to
view church interiors that are normally not open to the public. The
event also offers concerts, exhibitions and other programmes. Prague
Archbishop Dominik Duka will visit several Roman Catholic churches in
and outside Prague aiming to arrive at Prague's St Vitus Cathedral just
before midnight.


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Czechs praise their dentists and GPs, but critical of hospital care
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According to the results of a survey focussing on satisfaction with
health care provided, Czechs are most satisfied with the dental care
they receive and least satisfied with the standard of care in
hospitals. The survey conducted by EHIS indicates that 88 percent of
Czechs are happy with the care provided by their dentist, and 85
percent are satisfied with their GP, but only 65 percent of respondents
could say the same of care provided in Czech hospitals.


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Weather
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The weekend is expected to be partly cloudy with intervals of rain and
shine and day temperatures between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Leeda - a unique Czech fashion label going strong for seven years
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Not far from the National Theatre, tucked away on Bartolomejska street,
the small flagship store of the label Leeda boasts some of the most
original, colorful and hip clothing in the Czech capital. Run by two
young designers, Lucie Kutalkova and Lucie Trnkova, Leeda has been
putting out its limited edition collections for nearly seven years. The
two designers both studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and
Design in Prague. Lucie Kutalkova explains how the two were given a
unique opportunity to establish their own label and retail space.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/arts/leeda-a-unique-czech-fashion-label-going-strong-for-seven-years


Business News 27.5.2011
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In this week's business news: companies from industries with a high
demand for technologies fuel Czech GDP growth; energy regulator
predicts electricity price hike; foreign explorers to look into if
Czechs have shale gas; Bahrain no longer offshore option for Czechs;
modernized railway line fails to provide a faster connection to
Germany; and Czech Railways post a modest profit for the first quarter
of 2011.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/economic/business-news-2011-05-27


Khamoro festival brings Roma music, culture to Prague
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Prague is currently hosting the thirteenth annual Khamoro festival - a
celebration of Roma culture coupled with serious debate about
conditions for the Roma minority. Gypsy musicians from as far afield as
Hungary, India, France and Norway feature at this year's festival,
which began with a re-enactment of a traditional Romani wedding.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/khamoro-festival-brings-roma-music-culture-to-prague


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