Thursday, December 29, 2011

News 12.29.2011

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

News Thursday, December 29th, 2011

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The Education Ministry may see its EU finding suspended over
irregularities in public procurement.

* Letiste Praha, the company running Prague's international airport,
has registered "Vaclav Havel Prague International Airport" as a
protected trademark, ahead of a possible name change.

* The government has put to Parliament a draft law acknowledging Vaclav
Havel's contribution to freedom and democracy.

* Investigators have proposed filing charges against two men and one
woman for massive tax evasion to the tune of 2.6 billion crowns.

* A defender of the Czech football champions Viktoria Plzen tested
positive for doping after November's Champions League game.

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Education Ministry may see its EU funds suspended
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The Education Ministry may see its EU finding suspended over
irregularities in public procurement. Auditors from Brussels have
advised suspending all further payments from the Education for
Competitiveness Operational Programme until the irregularities are
investigated and explained. The ministry can draw up to 53 billion
crowns from this source. Ministry officials are reportedly working to
resolve the problem in the hope of preventing a freeze on funding. The
present administration says it is not to blame for the shortcomings
which date back to 2008 and 2009 and has promised to heighten control
mechanisms without delay.


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Letiste Praha registers Havel trademark ahead of possible name-change
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Letiste Praha, the company running Prague's international airport, has
registered "Vaclav Havel Prague International Airport" as a protected
trademark in a move that could pave the way for a possible renaming of
the airport after the late Vaclav Havel. A petition calling for the
airport to be renamed after the hero of the Velvet Revolution and the
country's first post-communist president is quickly gaining support
among the public. It has been signed by over 60,000 people including
Mr. Havel's widow Dagmar and Mr. Havel's brother Ivan.


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Havel's contribution to democracy to be acknowledged by law
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The government has put to Parliament a draft law acknowledging Vaclav
Havel's contribution to freedom and democracy. The simply worded
statement is expected to receive support both form the coalition
parties and the opposition Social Democrats and should be approved in
its first reading. A similar law was issued by the Czechoslovak
parliament in 1930, recognising the contribution of President Tomas
Garrigue Masaryk to the establishment of independent Czechoslovakia. A
commemorative plaque acknowledging Masaryk's contribution can be seen
next to the entrance to the Chamber of Deputies.


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Police uncover case of massive tax fraud
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Investigators have proposed filing charges against two men and one
woman for massive tax evasion to the tune of 2.6 billion crowns. The
scam involved imported fuels from Slovakia, which was sold on false
customs papers. The criminal activities date back to the years
1996-2002 when the Bena company imported more than 200,000 tonnes of
diesel oil and petrol from Slovakia to the Czech Republic. The police
say the prosecuted persons have stripped the state of 1.9 billion
crowns in excise tax and another 750 million crowns in VAT. If charged
and convicted the suspects could face up to ten years in jail.


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Economic experts: euro adoption should not be ruled out, but caution
advisable
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The Czech Republic should not entirely abandon the idea of adopting the
euro, although caution is highly advisable, according to the country's
leading economists. Those addressed by the CTK news agency agreed that
the euro might benefit the country but only on condition that the euro
zone undergoes fundamental fiscal reform and the drive to impose fiscal
discipline proves successful. Although experts are divided on the
outlooks for the euro zone, there is general agreement that until the
situation clears up, it is better for the Czech Republic to keep its
own currency. The Czech government has taken a cautious stand with
regard to a possible loan to the IMF and has not set a target date for
euro adoption.


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Czechs take excessive risks on the ski slopes
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A Czech skier was seriously injured in the Austrian Alps on Wednesday
the APA news agency reports. The forty-five year old man was airlifted
to hospital in the town of Innsbruck. He is reported to be in a stable,
but serious condition. A twenty-six year-old Czech skier was killed in
the Swiss Alps on the same day after straying from the marked trails
and falling down a ravine. Czechs have repeatedly come under fire for
taking excessive risks on holiday both at home and abroad.


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Garbage piling up in some parts of Prague
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Prague's garbage disposal services are having problems dealing with
overflowing garbage containers around the city. Responding to
complaints from citizens a press spokeswoman for Prague's waste
disposal services said the city's garbage vans were making several
rounds a day, but were unable to cope in view of the several-fold
increase of garbage over Christmas. The service is bracing for more
problems in the wake of New Year's Eve celebrations, but has promised
that things will be back to normal within two to three days.


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Police gearing up for New Year's Eve
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Police are gearing up for boisterous New Year's Eve celebrations in the
Czech capital. Although officers are generally more tolerant on the
last day of the year they are said to be taking a strict line with
salesmen selling alcohol and fireworks to minors.


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Winter holiday resorts fully booked
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Over 200 000 Czechs are spending the Christmas holidays in mountain
resorts at home and abroad. Tourist agencies report that despite the
mild weather and poor skiing conditions most Czech mountain resorts are
fully booked for the holiday season. German and Russian tourists make
up 30 percent of the holiday makers.


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Viktoria Plzen defender tested positive for doping
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Viktoria Plzen defender Michal Bystron reportedly tested positive for
doping after his team's game against Bate Borisov in the Champions
League in November. The news agency CTK reported on Thursday that
representatives of the governing body of European football, UEFA, had
informed the Czech club of the find, saying that prohibited synthetic
stimulants had been found in Bystron's sample. Viktoria Plzen asked for
the analysis of the B sample; at the same time, the club complained
about the allegedly unusual circumstances of the anti-doping control
procedure after the game in Minsk which Plzen won 1:0. If doping is
confirmed, David Bystron might be out of the game for the rest of the
season; however, Viktoria Plzen would most likely face no repercussions
and would be allowed to continue in UEFA's Europa League in the spring.


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Weather
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The coming days are expected to be partly cloudy with day temperatures
between 0 and 5 degrees Celsius.

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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Czech roads see lowest number of fatalities since 1947
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2011 saw vast improvement in the number of road deaths, dropping to
695. That is the lowest number since the late 1940s, although then
there were only some 128,000 thousand registered vehicles on Czech
roads compared to around four million today. Experts suggest that a
number of factors have contributed to the continuing drop in road
fatalities.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/czech-roads-see-lowest-number-of-fatalities-since-1947


Village commemorates arrival of parachutists who assassinated Reinhard
Heydrich
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The village of Nehvizdy, in central Bohemia, on Wednesday commemorated
the 70th anniversary of the start of Operation Anthropoid, the targeted
killing of the Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich. Two Czechoslovak
commandoes who carried out the killing, landed near the village on the
night of 28 December, 1941.

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/village-commemorates-arrival-of-parachutists-who-assassinated-reinhard-heydrich


Dziny, hamburgry and komputry: is Czech under threat from English?
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'English is attacking Czech from all sides' one newspaper columnist
recently despaired, while others talk of Czech's 'battle for survival'
in a world in which ever more English is spoken. From terms like
'setobox', 'vygooglovat' and 'mobil' on the one hand to words like
'sorry', 'byzy' and 'luzr' on the other, English does seem to be making
an impact on today's Czech. But are these English borrowings really a
threat to the Czech language, or do they enrich it instead? I asked
some Czechs for their opinion:

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/panorama/dziny-hamburgry-and-komputry-is-czech-under-threat-from-english-1


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