Thursday, December 15, 2011

News 12.15.2011

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

News Thursday, December 15th, 2011

By: Jan Richter

* The planned new EU treaty should only apply to members of the
eurozone, according to Czech PM Petr Necas.

* Nearly half of Czechs are not affiliated with any religion, according
to this year's population census.

* The consultancy firm Ernst & Young has forecast a 0.3 percent growth
of the Czech GDP next year.

* Young Christian Democrats have asked the authorities to cancel the
registration of the country's Muslim community over alleged
anti-Semitic preaching.

* Czech tennis player Petra Kvitova has been nominated for the Laureus
award for the best sportswoman of the year.

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PM Necas: new EU treaty should only involve eurozone members
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The new planned EU treaty which would impose tighter fiscal rules on
national governments should only involve members of the eurozone, Czech
Prime Minister Petr Necas said after meeting his Hungarian counterpart
Viktor Orban in Budapest on Thursday. The Czech prime minister is in
Hungary for a brief working visit, consulting his country's position on
the planned EU strategy to save the euro. The officials also discussed
their countries' potential participation in the EU loan to the
International Monetary Fund. For his part, the Hungarian prime minister
hinted they should wait by saying the situation needed the coolness of
Czech beer rather than the sharpness of Hungarian spirits. Over the
phone, Mr Necas also consulted the developments with British PM David
Cameron on Thursday.

The Czech government has adopted a cautious approach to both the
planned treaty and the loan to the IMF; on Wednesday, Mr Necas said
they needed more information before they were prepared to commit to
either of them.


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Preliminary figures of 2011 population census released
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The Czech Statistical Office on Thursday released preliminary results
of the 2011 population census. According to the figures, the Czech
Republic has just over 10.5 million inhabitants, some 330,000 more than
ten years ago. The figure has risen mainly due to an influx of
foreigners whose numbers increased by 260 percent compared to the
previous census. Ukrainians form the country's largest minority, with
117,000 members, followed by Slovaks and Vietnamese. Around 6.7 million
people declared themselves to be ethnic Czechs, while over 2.7 million
people did not state their ethnicity at all. The number of people who
consider themselves Moravian rose to over 500,000. Only 13,500 people
said they were Romany while unofficial estimates put the numbers of
Romanies at between 150,000 and 300,000. The census also found that the
number of university graduates rose by nearly 50 percent over last
decade.


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Nearly half of Czechs not affiliated with religion: population census
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In related news, nearly half of Czechs are not affiliated with any
religion, according to this year's population census released on
Thursday. The results show that just over 10.5 million people live in
the Czech Republic while 4.8 million people did not state their
religion in the census questionnaires. The highest number of Czechs -
around 1.1 million - claimed allegiance with the Roman Catholic Church,
followed by the Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren, with over 50.000
affiliates. Some 3.6 million Czechs stated they had no religious faith
while around 15,000 people declared themselves to be supporters of
Jediism, a fictional movement inspired by the Star Wars saga.


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Ernst & Young forecasts 0.3 percent GDP growth in 2012
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The international consultancy firm Ernst & Young on Thursday forecast a
0.3 percent growth of the Czech GDP next year. The main factors include
a lower GDP forecast for Germany and the Czech government's austerity
measures. The company said that in 2013, the Czech economy might grow
by 1.3 percent and the GDP growth could reach 2.5 to 3 percent in the
following years. The Czech Finance Ministry estimates that next year,
the country's economy will grow by around 1 percent.


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Young Christian Democrats want Czech Muslim community's registration
cancelled
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Young Christian Democrats, the youth wing of the Czech political party,
have filed a petition with the Culture Ministry to cancel the
registration of the country's Muslim community over alleged
anti-Semitic preaching. The news website idnes.cz reported on Thursday
the group reacted to a sermon delivered at a mosque in Brno in 2008
that recently appeared on the internet and which quoted a prophecy
calling for the killing of Jews. The head of the country's Muslim
community, Hassan Muneeb Alrawi said he considered the move a "targeted
attack".


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Boy receives bravery award for saving his family from fire
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A 12-year-old boy from Orlova, in northern Moravia, received on
Thursday an award for bravery, presented by the Czech TV station Nova.
In March, the boy was at home with his sick father, a little sister and
grandparents when their house caught fire. He managed to get everyone
safely out of the house but his 22-year-old brother who is confined to
a wheelchair; he therefore sealed the windows in his room to prevent
the smoke from getting in before he called the fire brigade.


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Police arrest people smuggling nuclear material
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Czech and Slovak police on Thursday arrested a group of Czech and
Slovak citizens who wanted to smuggle unspecified nuclear material into
the Czech Republic, the head of Slovak police said. The material, worth
some 500,000 euro, reportedly came from one of the former Soviet Union
countries. Members of the group now face between three and ten years in
jail.


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Tennis: Kvitova nominated for Laureus world's sportswoman of the year
award
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Czech tennis player Petra Kvitova has been nominated for the
international Laureus award in the category of best sportswoman of the
year and the breakthrough of the year. The Wimbledon champion and
winner of the end of season WTA championships said she was surprised by
her nomination for the awards that will be handed out in London in
February. The 21-year-old Czech, ranked second in the world, has been
named the ITF's woman tennis player of the year, and might yet win the
Czech Republic's annual Sportsperson of the Year contest.


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Czech striker Kozak scores as Lazio advance in Europa League
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Striker Libor Kozak, who played just six matches for Lazio this season
in the top Italian football league (five of those as a substitute)
helped his team advance to the round of 32 in the Europa League on
Wednesday. The striker scored once in the squad's 2:0 defeat of Group D
winner Sporting Lisbon to clinch the second qualifying spot. Lazio
finished with nine points compared to the group leader's 12. Kozak's
goal came in the first half while Sculli added a second in the final 45
minutes. Lazio had begun the day tied with Romania's Vaslui, who
finished 3rd, after losing to Zurich.


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Goalkeeper Petr Cech tops autumn part of best Czech footballer poll
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Chelsea FC and Czech international goalkeeper Petr Cech finished first
in the autumn part of the Golden Ball award, a Czech poll among sports
reporters. The 29-year-old goalie came in five points ahead of Viktoria
Plzen midfielder Petr Jiracek and striker David Lafata of Jablonec at
third place. Petr Cech has won the Czech Golden Ball award six times in
the past.


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Weather
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The end of the week will be mainly overcast, with rain setting in from
the west. Meteorologists have warned against strong winds that will hit
the country on Friday and Saturday. Daytime highs should range between
2 and 6 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Panorama 15.12.2011
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In this week's edition of Panorama: a student orchestra packs concert
halls with famous movie soundtracks, a computer as a work of art,
chocolate as the ultimate gourmet experience and kangaroo Vendelin
becomes a household name.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/panorama/panorama-2011-12-15


Parliament approves 2012 budget conceding revision likely in the spring
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The 2012 state budget on Wednesday sailed thought the lower house of
Parliament despite heated protests from the opposition who labeled it
"misleading" and "unrealistic". The budget which anticipates a reduced
deficit amounting to 3.5percent of GDP was tailored according to
April's growth forecast and the government has admitted that a
significant revision can be expected in the spring.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/parliament-approves-2012-budget-conceding-revision-likely-in-the-spring


Czech scientists collaborate on robotic household 'nurse'
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Czech scientists working in collaboration with colleagues from four
other European states have created a robot that can assist elderly or
post-surgery patients in a variety of situations. Commercial interest
in the Robo M.D. was quickly piqued with a demonstration of the new
mechanical nurse earlier this week, and the door to further development
is wide open.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czech-scientists-collaborate-on-robotic-household-nurse


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