Thursday, April 5, 2012

News 4.5.2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Thursday, April 5th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* Czech President Vaclav Klaus has slammed the euro in an interview
with the French TV station France 24.

* Prime Minister Petr Necas, said that a decision over the future of
the government had not been reached in Thursday's talks with junior
coalition partner Public Affairs.

* The government is considering reducing the number of its ministries
by three.

* Some 80 percent of Czechs would welcome early elections, a snap poll

* Football: Galatasaray Istanbul and Czech international striker Milan
Baros has undergone surgery to repair his broken nose.

Czech President: Euro is "a catastrophic project riddled with faults"

Czech President Vaclav Klaus told the French TV station France 24 that
the common European currency was a "catastrophic project riddled with
faults". He added that a public debate about joining the Eurozone was
not taking place in Czech Republic and that therefore, no timeframe for
when this would be the case had been determined. Speaking on the issue
of the fiscal compact, the Czech president said that his country's
government had refused to join the agreement because it would have
transferred the nation's state budget responsibility to Brussels. Mr
Klaus was speaking to reporters from the TV network on Monday, on
occasion of a visit to Paris. The interview will air on Friday.

Civic Democrats and Public Affairs: Decision over future of government
to fall on Tuesday

Top party officials from the government coalition's Civic Democrats and
junior coalition partner Public Affairs on Thursday announced that in
their effort to find common ground, they had not yet managed to reach
an agreement. Prime Minister Petr Necas said a decision on the future
of the government, which found itself in the midst of a crisis
precipitated by Public Affairs earlier this week, could be expected on
Tuesday, as had previously been announced. Previously, Public Affairs
officials said the party would quit the coalition by the end of the
month unless the number of ministries was reduced by three and the
coalition agreement was revised.

PM: Government not prepared to budge from planned austerity measures

In related news, Mr Necas made it clear that further budget cuts had to
be made and that his government was not prepared to budge from planned
austerity measures that would bring the state budget deficit below
three percent GDP in 2013. The prime minister stressed that while he
was ready to accept some of the coalition partner's demands, the
government was not flexible on its program's priorities.

Government considers reducing number of ministries by three

In related news, the government coalition seems to be considering
reducing the number of ministries by three. Sources from inside both
the Civic Democrats and Public Affairs on Thursday told the Czech News
Agency CTK that the culture, environment and regional development
ministries could be scrapped within the government's cost cutting
measures. Under this new plan, the Ministry of Culture could be merged
with the Education Ministry, while the other two ministries would fall
under the Ministry of Agriculture. Should the coalition go ahead with
this step, each of the three coalition parties would loose one

Survey: Majority of Czechs want government to step down

According to snap surveys from the Median Agency, some 80 percent of
the Czech population would welcome early elections. Another 16 percent
of respondents polled said they were against this solution to the
current government crisis, while the remaining four percent said they
were not sure what the best solution was. Should snap elections take
place, about 50 percent said they would prefer them to be held in the
summer, while 39 percent said early elections should be held in the
fall, in conjunction with the Senate and regional elections, which are
set to take place in autumn.

Opposition party leader: Government resignation inevitable

The leader of the National Socialists, Jiri Paroubek, has said that the
government's resignation was inevitable. He added that the opposition
should table a vote of no-confidence in government within the next two
weeks. He also called on all other opposition parties to support his
push for early elections. Public Affairs were not a coalition partner,
he said, but a strange group that "embodies all that was wrong with
Czech politics in the past 20 years". He accused them of spying on
people, political stalking and sectarianism.

Czech President receives Azerbaijani counterpart in Prague

President Vaclav Klaus met with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham
Aliyev in Prague on Thursday. The Czech head of state said that he
wanted to make the EU project "Eastern Partnership" with six former
post-Soviet nations a real partnership, which he currently does not
consider it to be. He added that he hopes other EU member states would
make an effort to get the initiative off the ground. The two heads of
state also discussed the issue of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, a
landlocked area in the South Caucasus that is the subject of a
long-standing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Mr Klaus showed
understanding for the Azerbaijani position, stating that he would not
appreciate it either if a part of his country's territory was occupied
by someone else.

Trial against Public Affairs de-facto leader continues

The trial against Public Affairs de-facto leader Vit Barta went into
its final stage on Thursday. Mr Barta faces corruption charges related
to payments he made to Public Affairs deputies. The hearings on
Thursday continue with the testimony of Public Affairs MP Kristyna
Koci, as well as a recorded phone conversation in which top party
officials discuss the pension reform. If convicted, Mr Barta will face
up to six years in jail. The court is expected to deliver a verdict on

Police arrest man who turned meth lab into family business

Police in the Moravian city of Ostrava have arrested a 37-year-old man
who is suspected of having turned his illegal methamphetamine lab into
a family business. According to officers, the man, who had been charged
with illegally producing the drug in the past, was running the lab with
his partner, a friend and his wife, as well as two other individuals.
Social workers are taking care of the couple's children, who were
present when the man and his partner were arrested. Police suspect that
the man had been producing methamphetamine since 2008 and sold half a
million crowns worth of the drug since last fall, when they started
monitoring him. If found guilty, he faces a prison sentence of up to
ten years.

Football: Baros undergoes surgery to fix broken nose

Galatasaray Istanbul and Czech international striker Milan Baros broke
his nose at his team's training session and underwent surgery to fix
it, the Turkish club's website reported on Thursday. The accident
reportedly took place when Baros clashed with defender Gokhan Zan. The
30-year-old footballer is out for at least one game of the Turkish
Super Lig and might have to wear a protective mask when he returns.


The weather is expected to cool down, with daytime highs of only 10
degrees Celsius, cloudy skies and rain showers.

Articles posted on today
The Blonde Bitch Strikes Again at a Prague theatre house

The increasingly absurd world of Czech politics is proving a huge
success at a small Prague theatre house which is drawing the crowds
with a political cabaret based on real life politics. Actors reciting
verbatim excerpts from wiretappings involving prominent politicians and
statements from the scandalous trial against the de-facto leader of one
of the ruling parties keep the audience in gales of laughter; a sad
testimony of the sorry state of Czech politics.
Latest storm in coalition government leaves junior party weakened and

The storm that threatened to bring down the centre-right Czech
government appears to be over, but it has left Public Affairs, the
junior coalition party that started it, badly battered. As Public
Affairs leaders went back to the negotiating table to debate what
appear to be face-saving concessions, the smallest party in government
fielded questions from reporters about the deepening split in party
New initiative calls for probe into links between politics and
organized crime

A group of Czech NGOs has launched a new initiative to fight the uphill
battle against corruption in the Czech Republic. Entitled You Stole Our
Country, Give It Back, the initiative seeks to put Czech
parliamentarians under enough public pressure to allow for a thorough
probe into alleged links between politics and organized crime. The NGOs
behind the new project include the Czech Helsinki Committee, the Romany
advocacy group Romea, the student initiative Democracy Czech-Up as well
as the Anticorruption Endowment Fund. Radio Prague spoke to the fund's
founder, the businessman and philanthropist Karel Janecek and asked him
what the main goals were.

This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
chose at To change the settings, click
here. (C) 2012, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved., E-mail: