Sunday, December 2, 2012

News 12.2.2012

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

News Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* The Czech government plans to keep compulsory community service for
the unemployed with changes to accommodate objections by the
Constitutional Court.

* The Czech Republic's security council is set to discuss a possible
deal with Sweden to extend the lease of the Gripen fighters for the
Czech air force.

* Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed gratitude to
the Czech government for voting against the Palestinian status upgrade
at the UN.

* Economic recession has curbed interest in renting and purchasing the
traditional St Nicolas costumes, a report says.

Government to keep community service for unemployed

The Czech government plans to keep community service for the unemployed
which was overturned last week by the country's Constitutional Court,
the minister of labour and social affairs, Ludmila Mullerova said on
Czech TV on Sunday. To accommodate the objections of the court, the
system might undergo some minor changes, Ms Mullerova said. These could
include the prolongation of period after which the jobless are required
to start community service, and even a possibility of some salary being
paid to those who take part in the programme.

The Constitutional Court last week said the free yet compulsory
community service for the unemployed, introduced by the Necas
government last year, was humiliating, in breach of the Charter of
Fundamental Rights and also contradicted a ban on forced labour.

Security council to discuss extension of Gripen deal

The Czech Republic's security council is set to discuss on Monday a
possible deal with Sweden to extend the lease of the JAS 39 Gripen
fighters. The outgoing Czech Defence Minister, Alexandr Vondra, will
inform the council of the negotiations; Mr Vondra said earlier this
week the latest offer was much better than the one made previously. The
ten-year-lease of the Swedish-made fighters will expire in 2014; the
Czech government prefers an extension of the lease to a new tender. The
news agency CTK reported that three possible deals are being discussed:
a three-year extension for over five billion, a five-year lease for
nearly eight billion, or a ten-year extension for more than 14 billion

Israel's Netanyahu thanks Czech PM for UN vote

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke over the phone with his
Czech counterpart, Petr Necas, over the weekend to express his
gratitude for the Czech vote against the Palestinian status upgrade at
the United Nations, the news website Jerusalem Post reported. In
Thursday's vote in the UN General Assembly, the Czech Republic was the
only EU country to vote against the bid. Mr Netanyahu also said he
would stop in Prague on his way to Germany next week to personally
thank the Czech Republic for voting with Israel. .

Czech banks post higher profits in Q1-3

Czech banks posted higher annual profits in the first three quarters of
this year, according to figures released by the Czech central bank on
Sunday. Their net profits increased by 10 billion crowns and reached
52.2 billion crowns. The banks' interest returns were one percent
higher while fees and commissions generated 2.5 less revenues than in
the same period last year. The highest increase in profits was reported
by Ceska sporitelna which made 11.8 billion crowns, representing a
23-percent rise; Komercni banka's profits reached 10.9 billion crowns
which was 55 percent more than last year.

Alois Nebel wins European Film Award for best animated movie

The Czech movie Alois Nebel, by Tomas Lunak, won the European Film
Award for best animated feature film at an awards ceremony in Malta on
Saturday night. The existential black-and-white thriller about a lonely
train dispatcher haunted by the past beat the other nominees, the
Spanish movie Wrinkles and the US-UK film Pirates. Alois Nebel, wihc is
based on a comics novel by Jaroslav Rudis and Jaromir99, has become the
third Czech film to win Europe's equivalent of the Academy award, after
Milos Forman's People vs Larry Flint and Helena Trestikova's
documentary Rene.

Christian Democrats aim to re-enter lower house

The Christian Democratic party wants to double its tally in the next
general election and re-enter the lower house of Parliament, party
chair Pavel Belobradek said. Speaking at the party's conference in
Jihlava on Saturday, Christian Democrat leaders called for unity and
more activity on the regional level. The party also slightly changed
its statutes discussed changes to the name of the party; however, the
conference decided to keep the name of the Christian-Democrat Union -
the Czechoslovak People's Party. In the 2010 election, the party only
won some 4.3 percent of the vote and failed to win seats in the house,
for the first time in 90 years.

Recession curbs interest in St Nicolas costumes rentals and buys

The economic recession has curbed the interest in renting and
purchasing traditional costumes of St Nicolas, the angel and the devil
donned on the upcoming holiday of the saint, the news agency CTK
reported. Quoting a survey among several costume rentals in the
capital, the agency said many people bought their own costumes in the
past or only rent the costume of St Nicolas, rather than the complete

A central European analogy to Santa Claus, St Nicolas accompanied by an
angel and a devil brings small gifts to children on the night of
December 5, the eve of his holiday.

Drivers warned of adverse weather conditions

The authorities have asked drivers to exercise extra caution in parts
of the country affected by adverse weather conditions. In the west of
the country, some roads are covered with ice while in the east, snow
and fog can cause poor visibility. Roads in the mountainous areas
including the Sumava are reportedly covered with snow.


The current spell of cold weather is expected to continue for days,
with overcast skies occasional snow and daytime highs ranging between
+2 and -2 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Kure v hodinkach by Flamengo - A classic Czech rock LP revisited

The prog-fusion LP Kure v hodinkach (Chicken in the Watch) by Flamengo,
which was reissued this year on the 40th anniversary of its original
release, is regarded as one of the greatest albums in the history of
Czech rock. Looking back at its genesis, the group's leader at the
time, Vladimir Misik, says Flamengo were in the form of their lives
when they recorded Kure v hodinkach, whose replacement lyrics by a
regime-approved poet helped lift the project to a higher level.

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