Monday, December 12, 2011

News 12.12.2011

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

News Monday, December 12th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* Central Bank governor Miroslav Singer has said that a loan to the IMF
to the tune of 90 billion crowns to help save the euro would have to be
very seriously considered.

* The Dalai Lama and ex-president Vaclav Havel have signed a
declaration in support of dissidents worldwide.

* Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman has ordered a criminal
investigation into the case of a Qatari prince who was allowed to
return to his homeland after being convicted of sexually abusing
underage girls in the Czech Republic.

* The government's economic advisory council NERV is to acquaint the
prime minister with a detailed crisis scenario for the Czech economy.

* The government's legislative council has called for a detailed
inventory of property to be returned to the country's churches.

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Czech central bank says loan to IMF needs serious consideration
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Central Bank governor Miroslav Singer said on Monday that a loan to the
IMF to the tune of 90 billion crowns to help save the euro would have
to be very seriously considered. The governor said the central bank
needed to maintain its own reserves high in view of the danger of
upheaval in the eurozone and possible far-reaching structural changes
which would impact the Czech Republic. The statement has come under
fire from the bank's former vice governor Ludek Niedermayer who said
that in his view the central bank had a long-term problem with
excessive foreign currency reserves and that making the loan would work
in the bank's favour. He moreover pointed out that the independence of
the central bank had its limits and although the government would hear
its position and might be swayed by it he could not imagine the central
bank refusing to loan the money if the government so decided.


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Czech foreign minister in favour of loan
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The Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, has indicted that the
Czech government would have little choice but to approve the loan in
view of the fact that a rejection would result in the country's
isolation and could have a far-reaching negative impact on its future
development. Mr. Schwarzenberg also pointed out that as an EU member
the Czech Republic had a moral obligation to pull its weight in helping
to save the euro. The money loaned would not be used for direct
assistance but to help boost the IMFs reserves at a time of economic
crisis. The matter should be consulted with parliament although the
government has the final word on the loan.


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President Klaus against loan
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President Vaclav Klaus, on the other hand, said in an interview for
Czech Radio on Monday that the Czech Republic should not lend money to
struggling euro-zone members when it was clearly having problems
dealing with its own debt. He said such a step would be irresponsible
and in the long run would only delay the need to find a real solution
to the euro-zones' problems.


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Dalai Lama, Havel sign declaration in support of dissidents worldwide
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The Dalai Lama, ex-president Vaclav Havel and former French foreign
minister Bernard Kouchner have signed a declaration in support of
dissidents worldwide. The Tibetan spiritual leader, who wound up a
three day visit to Prague on Monday, expressed regret that economic
interests often outweighed and overshadowed human rights issues in
countries such as China, North Korea Iran or Syria. He said he felt it
his moral responsibility to support freedom of speech and human rights
and assist dissidents fighting to achieve these goals in countries
around the world. The Tibetan spiritual leader was in Prague at the
invitation of his good friend ex-president Vaclav Havel. He also met
privately with Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, took part in a
debate on human rights and presented a lecture on the search of
happiness in an uncertain world.


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Supreme State Attorney orders criminal investigation into Qatari prince
case
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Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman has ordered a criminal investigation
into the case of a Qatari prince who was allowed to return to his
homeland after being convicted of sexually abusing underage girls in
the Czech Republic. Mr. Zeman has questioned the decision of then
justice minister Pavel Nemec to hand over the prince to the Qatari
authorities on a promise that justice would be done. The prince, who
received a 2.5 year prison sentence in the Czech Republic, was briefly
held in his homeland and then released on bail. The Supreme State
Attorney has ordered an investigation on suspicion of corruption.


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PM gets crisis scenario for the economy
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The government's economic advisory council NERV is to acquaint the
prime minister with a detailed crisis scenario for the Czech economy.
The package of 40 measures should be adopted if there is danger of the
GDP dropping by more than 2 percent. The measures include a single VAT
rate of 20 percent, a freezing of pensions, layoffs of police officers,
higher bank taxes and shorter university studies, among others.

The Finance Ministry is expected to present a concrete plan of action
in January 2012, when a more precise forecast of the Czech Republic��s
economic development will be made available.


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Czech-Chinese-US companies to start production of new aircraft
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A consortium of Czech, Chinese and US companies wants to produce a new
type of plane in the Czech Republic, Miroslav Krizek of the government
agency CzechInvest, told journalists on Monday. The deal, which should
be sealed in the coming weeks, will be one of the biggest contracts the
Czech aviation industry has had in years, he said. No further
information was disclosed regarding the type of plane to be produced or
what companies will be involved in its production. A significant part
of the capital for the project is being put up by China.


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Government's legislative council wants inventory of restituted property
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The government's legislative council has called for a detailed
inventory of property to be returned to the country's churches within
the agreed on restitution process. The head of the legislative council
Deputy Prime Minister Karolina Peake of Public Affairs said an
inventory was essential in order to prevent future disputes over
whether the restituted property had been in state ownership. She said
further the cabinet should approve each and every restitution
separately. The Catholic Church which is to regain the lion's share of
restituted property is concerned that such an inventory could seriously
complicate and delay the restitution process. In filing for restitution
churches have had to document past ownership of the property in
question.


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Army plane to bring Libyan patients to Prague
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An army plane has left for Libya to secure the transport of five
seriously injured Libyans to Czech hospitals for treatment. Two of them
are in need of extensive plastic surgery, two are paralyzed from the
waist down, and the last patient has a complicated fracture. They are
to receive care within the government's MEDEVAC programme originally
set up to help children from war-torn countries or natural disaster
victims.


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Fire injures two patients in Ostrava hospital
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Two patients were injured in a fire in an Ostrava hospital on Sunday.
According to a spokeswoman the fire broke out in one of the hospital
rooms and was most likely caused by a patient who disregarded a smoking
ban and lit up in bed. The patient herself, aged 69, suffered severe
burns. Her roommate is also reported injured. Twenty-two people were
evacuated from the ward. The incident is being investigated.


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Weather
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The coming days should be partly cloudy with scattered showers and day
temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Sports News 12.12.2011
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In Sports News: Czech women's floorball team wins bronze at World
Floorball Championships; in the domestic hockey league, Tipsport
extraliga Pardubice trounce Sparta; star Czech hockey forward Jaromir
Jagr sets a new milestone scoring his 656 NHL goal, tying Brendan
Shanahan as No. 11 all-time scorer; Czech ski jumper Hlava finishes
13th in Harrachov.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/sport/sports-news-2011-12-12


Plan to save euro met with mixed reactions among officials and pundits
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While the Czech Republic has not yet made a final decision as to
whether to contribute 3.5 billion euros to the IMF package intended to
save the common European currency and the eurozone, the Czech Foreign
Minister says the country can either join the majority of EU countries
in their efforts and remain in the centre of further integration, or
face marginalization in the union.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/plan-to-save-euro-met-with-mixed-reactions-among-officials-and-pundits


Tomas Zilvar - magazine publisher focused on future media
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Back in the mid 1990s Tomas Zilvar quickly moved from putting together
DIY fanzines to publishing glossy titles like Tripmag and XMAG,
magazines that were focused on electronic music at a time when that
genre was really taking off among young Czechs. Today Zilvar, who is
still in his early 30s, has two jobs: running the Prague office of the
hip New York-based magazine and website Vice; and offering
digitalisation services to Czech media outlets and authors keen to
enter the age of e-readers.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/tomas-zilvar-magazine-publisher-focused-on-future-media-1


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