Monday, July 2, 2012

News 7.2.2012

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

News Monday, July 2nd, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* Civic Democrat Pavel Blazek is to be appointed justice minister on

* The former Prague High State Prosecutor Vlastimil Rampula and his
deputy Libor Grygarek have resigned as state attorneys.

* The opposition Social Democrats have called for the dismissal of
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek

* All three participants in the tender for the expansion of the Temelin
nuclear power plant have submitted their bids to the Czech power giant

* Meteorologists have issued a storm warning for most parts of the

Blazek to be new justice minister

President Vaclav Klaus is to appoint Civic Democrat deputy leader Pavel
Blazek to the post of justice minister on Tuesday. Mr. Blazek will
replace Jiri Pospisil whom the prime minister unexpectedly sacked last
week, criticising him for poor financial management and procrastinating
on tough decisions. However, many have speculated that the decision was
actually meant to block the imminent appointment of a highly respected
prosecutor and anti-corruption crusader to the post of Prague High
State Attorney.

Rampula and Grygarek resign as state prosecutors

The former Prague High State Prosecutor Vlastimil Rampula and his
long-standing deputy Libor Grygarek have resigned as state attorneys.
Mr. Rampula was forced to leave the High State Attorneys Office in
Prague after a court upheld former justice minister Jiri Pospisil's
decision to sack him. Vlastimil Rampula was removed on suspicion that
he was helping to sweep big corruption cases involving politicians
under the carpet.

Opposition wants finance minister's head

The opposition Social Democrats have called for the dismissal of
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek whom they accuse of botching the
government's fiscal reform, being responsible for the problems with EU
funding and most recently trying to influence the investigation into
the overpriced purchase of Spanish military CASA planes. Party leader
Bohuslav Sobotka said on Monday that the finance minister had become a
serious liability and urged the prime minister to act with the same
speed with which he had earlier dismissed the justice minister for
alleged poor financial management. The opposition argues that the
finance minister's painful fiscal cure in the form of VAT hikes is
clearly not working since the state deficit in the first half of this
year is at the same level as last year and the country is clearly not
going to meet its fiscal targets.

Trade unions preparing to publish 'Vision for the Czech Republic'

Trade unions are preparing to publish their own plans for how the
country should save and enact reforms. The confederation of trade
unions is preparing a programme called Vision for the Czech Republic,
that is intended to be an alternative to the government's proposals and
cuts, which they have long said worsen living standards for the
majority of people and do nothing for the economy. One of the main
points of the plan will likely be pension reform, the current form of
which the unions say will cost the state 20 billion crowns next year
without fully covering today's pensioners.

CEZ gets bids for Temelin expansion

All three participants in the multi-billion crown tender for the
expansion of the Temelin nuclear power plant have submitted their bids
to the Czech power giant CEZ. The bidders are the US-based
Westinghouse, France's Areva and a Czech-Russia consortium. The bidders
have all promised the lion's share of the work to Czech companies. CEZ
will be assessing the bids for most of the second half of the year and
is expected to announce the winner in the course of 2013. The third and
fourth units of the Temelin power plant are to be completed by 2025.

Czechs will have to pay more for medicaments and treatment

The health ministry is preparing to extend the list of medicaments
which patients will have to pay for in full as "above standard" health
care items. The list is to be extended as of next year by 70
medicaments and treatments largely in the field of gynaecology, urology
and surgery. As of this week Czechs are paying more for several dozen
over-the counter medicaments such as pain killers and allergy products.

Czech tourist dies on hike in Croatia

A Czech tourist is reported to have died of dehydration while on a hike
to Hum, a hilltop medieval town on the Istrian peninsula of Croatia.
According to the internet news site the woman was making the
trip with her husband and neither was suitably attired or had thought
to bring bottled water. The man called the emergency services when his
wife collapsed with exhaustion but medics were unable to revive her. An
autopsy is being performed to ascertain the precise cause of death.

Truck demolishes house in Prerov

A truck passing through the town of Prerov unexpectedly careened off
the main road and smashed into a building around mid-day on Monday. The
forty-nine-year-old driver was rushed to hospital with severe injuries.
The building was badly damaged and may be slated for demolition. The
ceiling between the ground and first floor collapsed on impact and
firemen are sifting through the debris. It is believed to have been
empty at the time of the accident.

Storm warning issued for coming hours

Meteorologists have issued a severe storm warning for most parts of the
country valid from late Monday to early Tuesday. A belt of heavy rain
is expected to pass over the country -west to east- bringing hail
storms, high winds and in some areas persistent rain which could swell
smaller rivers. The warning includes a call for people to secure their
windows and garden furniture. Heavy storms in the Karlovy Vary region
on Monday night caused electricity fallouts and disrupted road and rail
traffic for hours. Maintenance workers were out all night and for most
of the morning removing fallen trees from rail tracks and roads.

Tennis-Kvitova overcomes Schiavone at Wimbledon

Defending champion Petra Kvitova came back from a set and a break down
to beat Italian Francesca Schiavone 4-6 7-5 6-1 in a rain-disrupted
fourth-round match at Wimbledon on Monday. Kvitova, the fourth seed,
looked to be in trouble when former French Open champion Schiavone went
a set and 2-1 up, taking advantage of a double fault to help her break
the Czech. Kvitova, however, broke straight back and went 6-5 up before
light rain began falling resulting in several stops and starts which
unsettled Schiavone. In the third set Kvitova raced through two breaks
of serve to wrap up the set in 39 minutes. She will now face the former
champion Serena Williams.


Meteorologists predict partly cloudy to overcast skies with scattered
showers, heat storms and afternoon highs reaching 28 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
"A place where Czech artists can meet their German public" - director
Monika Stepanova about the Czech Center in Berlin

Since January 2012, the Czech Center in Berlin has a new director:
Monika Stepanova, who previously headed the Czech Center in Bucharest
and is a passionate supporter of documentary film making. This year
also brings some other important changes for the center. In the fall,
it will reopen its gates in a different location. The new premises are
in the building of Berlin's Czech embassy. It was just a few weeks
after the death of late president Vaclav Havel shook the entire Czech
nation that Monika Stepanova started her new position. How did she
experience this emotional event? That was the first question I put to
her on a recent visit to Berlin.
47th Karlovy Vary Film Festival gets underway

The 47th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicked off in the
west Bohemian spa town on Friday. At the opening ceremony, the British
actress Helen Mirren was honoured for her contribution to world cinema.
The festival, which this year again features a Czech film in the main
competition, will conclude next Sunday with the handing out of the
Crystal Globe awards. Radio Prague's former reporter, Ian Willoughby is
at the festival, and we asked him for an account of the happenings so
Sports News 2.7.2012

In this week's Sports News, Petra Kvitova to play crucial fourth round
match at Wimbledon; Czech players on the move in the NHL; two local
ice-hockey teams form a business partnership; five medals for Czechs at
the European Athletics Championships and the national women's
basketball team qualifies at the eleventh hour for the London Olympics.

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: