Friday, October 5, 2012

News 10.5.2012

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

News Friday, October 5th, 2012

By: Christian Falvey

* The French company Areva has been eliminated from the tender for the
completion of the Temelin nuclear power plant.

* The Czech Republic's main international airport has been officially
renamed after the late president Vaclav Havel.

* President Vaclav Klaus has told the daily Lidove noviny that the
airgun attack on him last week may not have been an 'isolated incident'.

* MP David Rath will remain in prison after again being denied bail.

* Justice Minister Pavel Blazek sharply criticised this week's police
raid on the Ministry of Labour in a cabinet meeting, the daily Pravo

French eliminated from Temelin tender

The French industrial conglomerate Areva has been eliminated from the
tender for the completion of the Temelin nuclear power plant. In an
announcement that surprised experts on Friday, the plant's operator,
the energy company CEZ, said that the French had not met the business
and legal requirements of the public tender. The exact reasons for
their exclusion can only be published after the company has completed
all options of appeal, a CEZ spokesman said. Two other participants
remain in the tender: the US-Japanese Westinghouse and the
Czech-Russian consortium of Skoda JS, Atomstroyexport and Gidropress.
The costs of completing Temelin are expected to reach 200-300 billion
crowns. The winner of the tender is to be announced next year.

International airport renamed after former president Havel

The Czech Republic's main international airport has been officially
renamed after the late president Vaclav Havel. A special ceremony for
the unveiling of Vaclav Havel Airport Prague (Letiste Vaclava Havla
Praha in Czech) took place at noon on Friday - the 76th anniversary of
the former-president's birthday - in the presence of numerous
politicians, celebrities and members of the public. An exhibition of
news agency photographs of Mr Havel was also opened, with a parallel
exhibit to be made in London. The idea to rename the airport after the
last Czechoslovak and first Czech president's was launched in the days
following his death last December, and was petitioned by tens of
thousands of people. Outside the Czech Republic, a library in Paris, a
building of the European Parliament and several streets in Poland have
been renamed in honour of the statesman and champion of human rights
and liberty.

Airport attendees note absence of President Klaus

The absence of President Vaclav Klaus from Friday's airport ceremony
was remarked upon and even criticised by a number of the VIP guests in
attendance. Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra and Prague Mayor Bohuslav
Svoboda both said they would have expected the president to attend. The
author of the plan to rename the airport, producer Fero Fenic, said he
was disappointed by the president's absence, as he had hoped Mr Klaus
would be consistent in the admiration he had shown for his predecessor
at Mr Havel's funeral last December. Mr Klaus did not give a reason for
not attending and his schedule for the day was unknown. Presidents
Klaus and Havel were generally considered to be heated political rivals
and distant from one another personally and professionally.

VIZE 97 honours sociologist Miloslav Petrusek

The Havel family's VIZE 97 foundation has given its annual prize to the
late Czech sociologist and university lecturer Miloslav Petrusek. The
award is presented each year on October 5, the day of the late
president's birthday. Professor Petrusek, a former dean of the Faculty
of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague, did not live to
receive the Havel foundation��s award himself, as he died on August 19,
aged 75. His grandson Jan Holub will accept the award from Dagmar
Havlova. A former advisor to the president, Petrusek was the author or
co-author of a number of sociological studies, textbooks and articles
and held the post of vice-rector of Charles University.

Klaus to LN: attack may not have been 'isolated incident'

President Vaclav Klaus has told the daily Lidove noviny that the airgun
attack on him last week may not have been an 'isolated incident'. In an
interview to be published on Saturday, the president considered the
possibility of a broader conspiracy based on claims that a record of
his bodyguards' communications during the incident may have been
falsified. If that record was not created by the attacker himself, the
president said, then the attack was not the isolated act of a troubled
person. Klaus, who has called the attack an assassination attempt, also
said the media debate over his use of the word was based in leftist
hatred. Last Friday, a 26-year-old man pulled an airsoft pistol on Mr
Klaus at a public event and fired seven pellets at him at point-blank
range, causing bruises and cuts.

Rath denied bail

A court has rejected a request from MP David Rath to be released from
prison on bail. The District Court for Prague East made the decision on
Friday citing concerns that the former governor of Central Bohemia
could flee the country. Two other suspects involved in the corruption
scandal were released on bail this week. Dr. Rath and five others have
been in prison since May, when the then-governor of Central Bohemia was
arrested after receiving seven million crowns in a box. He and ten
others are charged with bribery and manipulating public tenders.

Pravo: Blazek accuses police of seeking to influence elections through
Labour Ministry raid

Justice Minister Pavel Blazek sharply criticised this week's police
raid on the Ministry of Labour in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the
daily Pravo reports. According to the paper, Mr Blazek claimed that
Monday's raid was a theatrical attempt to influence upcoming regional
and Senate elections and the police should explain why it was not
undertaken earlier or later, after elections. Deputy labour minister
Vladimir Siska and departmental head Milan Hojer were both detained in
the raid and accused of bribery and manipulating public tenders,
leading Labour Minister Jaromir Drabek of the TOP 09 party to resign
two days later. The Justice Minister's office has so far declined to
comment on the matter.

Poll suggests confidence in government at lowest ever point

Confidence in the government is at an all-time low, according to a new
poll by the STEM agency. The survey suggests that confidence has sunk
to 17%, a five-point drop since February. Confidence among followers of
the senior ruling party, the Civic Democrats, dropped heavily over the
course of the year, from 52% to 38%. The office of the president,
meanwhile, showed a 70% confidence rating in September. The Senate and
Chamber of Deputies showed results of 28 and 24%, respectively, meaning
a decline of two points for the lower house.

Supreme court rejects compensation case for family of Heparin victim

The family of one of the victims of the so-called Heparin Killer will
not receive compensation from the Havlickuv Brod hospital where the
murders took place. The Supreme Court rejected their case on the
grounds that the hospital did not bear responsibility for the actions
of the killer, who was one of its nurses, and that heparin was not the
immediate cause of the woman's death. The plaintiffs were seeking 3.5
million crowns. The killer, Petr Zelenka, was convicted of killing
seven patients and attempting to kill 10 others in 2006, when he
injected them with the blood-thinning drug. He is serving a life
sentence in prison.

Health Ministry unveils plans for first-ever reform of psychiatric care

The Health Ministry also unveiled plans on Thursday for the first ever
reform of psychiatric care. Deputy health minister Marek Zenisek
announced that the reform would primarily involve shifting care from
large institutions to smaller centres closer to the patients and with
the goal of achieving the European standard of psychiatric care. The
Czech Republic, he said, could receive up to six billion crowns from
the European Union for the reform. At present, 20 psychiatric
facilities treat about 600,000 patients each year and have beds for
9,000. Zenisek said that the options included reducing the number of
beds, closing entire pavilions or entire facilities.


Conditions over the coming days should be partly cloudy to cloudy with
daytime highs of 19-22oC.

Articles posted on today
Prague's Rudolfinum Gallery explores the reality of contemporary
British painting

A new exhibition at the Rudolfinum Gallery in Prague presents the work
of 12 contemporary British artists. Entitled Beyond Reality: British
Painting Today, the exhibit questions the ways of viewing reality in
today's art and reflects two particular trends: the influence of
photorealism and references to 19th century academic painting. The
exhibition features, among others, the authors Ben Johnson, Keith
Tyson, Damien Hirst, the Chapman brothers as well as Czech-born,
London-based artist Hynek Martinec.
Business News 5.10.2012

In Business News this week: Czech energy giant CEZ excludes Areva from
Temelin tender; EU stress tests reveal potential safety risks at Czech
nuclear plants; largest Czech forestry firm goes bankrupt; Czechs
continue to spend less on consumer goods; and truck maker Avia plans to
expand to US market.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, we'll shortly be landing at Vaclav Havel

Planes bound for Prague will no longer be landing at Ruzyne Airport; at
midday Friday the airport was officially renamed Letiste Vaclava Havla
Praha, or Vaclav Havel Airport Prague at a lavish ceremony in Terminal
2. Some 80,000 people signed a petition organised by the film producer
Fero Fenic to rename the airport to honour the late former president,
who died in December.

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