Thursday, December 6, 2012

News 12.6.2012

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

News Thursday, December 6th, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* Parliament's commission for European Affairs has asked the government
to vote against a proposal by Brussels to impose a 40 per cent female
quota on listed company boards across the EU.

* The Senate has called on President Vaclav Klaus to sign the addendum
to the Lisbon Treaty relating to the creation of a European Stability
Mechanism.

* Thousands of people who were forced to work as virtual slaves in a
Czechoslovak army unit in the 1950s could receive compensation.

* The Czech health ministry has warned of the danger of more methanol
poisonings over the Christmas holidays.

* The government agency for social inclusion will expand its activities
to 17 more towns and cities around the Czech Republic in 2013.



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European Affairs Commission against female quota on company boards
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Parliament's Commission for European Affairs has asked the government
to vote against a proposal by Brussels to impose a 40 per cent female
quota on listed company boards across the EU. Opposition to the
proposal was spearheaded by Public Affairs. The commission concluded
that introducing quotas for companies should be a last-ditch measure
that should be decided by individual member states. MP Viktor Paggio
from Public Affairs described the proposal as an ill-conceived attempt
at social engineering that would inevitably backfire. The EC defended
the proposal on the grounds that all its previous attempts to address a
severe gender imbalance across the 27-country bloc by attempting to
reach voluntary agreements with companies had failed.


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Senate urges president to sign addendum to Lisbon Treaty
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The Senate has called on President Vaclav Klaus to sign the addendum to
the Lisbon Treaty relating to the creation of a European Stability
Mechanism. The addendum to the treaty which was agreed on at an EU
summit last December has been ratified by both chambers of Parliament
but still lacks the president's signature making the Czech Republic the
last EU member state which has yet to complete the ratification
process. The Senate has called on the president to sign the addendum
without further delay, noting that failure to comply with Parliament's
decision in this matter would be in violation of the constitution. The
country's Eurosceptic president postponed putting his signature to the
Lisbon Treaty for as long as possible, signing it only after the EU
nodded to his demand for a Czech opt-out from the treaty's Chapter of
Fundamental Rights.


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Senators criticize S-card system
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The Senate on Thursday also extensively criticized the newly-introduced
electronic S-cards via which the state wants to pay out welfare
benefits as unethical and unconstitutional. The Senate's Committee for
Social Affairs is to debate a proposal for their abolition tabled by
the Social Democratic Party. The new S-card system has evoked enormous
controversy, with critics pointing out that pensioners living in small
villages may have problems getting to a money machine and would
inevitably lose money on the transaction from their already meagre
pensions. Senators moreover point out that people will be forced to
have an account at Ceska Sporitelna, selected by the government to run
the operation, even if they already have an account elsewhere.


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Social Democrats face fresh bribery scandal
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The anti-corruption police have proposed filing charges against 17
members of the Prague branch of the Social Democratic Party. The
suspects are believed to have paid people to enter the party and vote
according to their directions. This was done to influence voting in
compiling the list of candidates in the 2010 general elections and
elections to the Prague City Council. Two men are suspected of offering
bribes, 15 of taking them.


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Thousands used as virtual slaves in 1950s army unit could get
compensation
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Thousands of people who were forced to work as virtual slaves in a
Czechoslovak army unit in the 1950s could receive compensation, the
news website iDnes reported. Men sent to the Auxiliary Technical
Battalions would get a one-off payment of CZK 1,800 for every month of
what was practically imprisonment, under an Interior Ministry proposal
to place them in the same category as "class enemies" jailed by the
Communist regime. The latter have already received similar compensation
and the move comes in response to a court case in September in which a
former "member" of the Auxiliary Technical Battalions won compensation.
The proposal is set to go before the government.


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Health ministry concerned about increased methanol threat over Christmas
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The Czech health ministry has warned of the danger of more methanol
poisonings over the Christmas holidays. According to police estimates
there could still be up to 5,000 litres of uncertified, potentially
dangerous alcohol in small stores and households. In the course of the
past three months 38 people have died of methanol poisonings from
bootleg liquor and three are currently in hospital in serious
condition. Spirits have been banned from Christmas markets around the
country.


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Government agency for social inclusion to expand its activities
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The government agency for social inclusion will expand its activities
to 17 more towns and cities around the Czech Republic in 2013,
according to the head of the agency Pavel Simicek. The agency, set up
in 2008, has been active in 33 problem localities to date, working
closely with local authorities to resolve housing problems and creating
a liaison between people living in social exclusion and labour offices,
schools and the police. According to available data there are around
300 slums around the Czech Republic, inhabited predominantly by members
of the Romany minority.


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Czech army to get new uniforms
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The Czech Defence Ministry is to equip the armed forces with new
uniforms. According to the ministry's spokesman Jan Pejsek the purchase
for summer and winter uniforms to the tune of 93 million crowns is to
be made via the NATO support agency, after the ministry's tender for
new uniforms was cancelled by the Czech anti-monopoly office. The
ministry has had problems placing a tender for new uniforms for the
past two years.


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Ukrainian porn star demonstrates topless outside Czech Parliament
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A Ukrainian porn-star who was refused asylum in the Czech Republic
demonstrated outside the Czech Parliament building topless on Thursday
to draw attention to her case. Anastazia Hagen, who is a mother of
three, says she fears returning to her homeland where she could be
persecuted for acting in porn-movies. She fled the country 18 months
ago and settled in the Czech Republic with her husband and three sons.


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Hungarian nationals detained over drug possession
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Two Hungarian women have been detained after customs officers found 7
kg of marihuana in their luggage. The women, aged 19 and 31, were
transiting the Czech Republic by train and the drug was found during a
routine check at the Olomouc railway station. Its street price has been
estimated at 700,000 crowns.


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Weather
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The coming days should be partly cloudy to overcast with daytime
temperatures dropping to - 9 degrees Celsius.



++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/panorama/sacral-tourism-on-the-rise-in-the-czech-republic.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/r/cirkev/velehrad_bazilikap.jpg
Sacral tourism on the rise in the Czech Republic
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Sacral tourism is fast gaining ground in the Czech Republic. Although
it is perceived as one of Europe's most atheist countries the Czech
Republic has an impressive network of cathedrals, basilicas, chapels
and, even a church museum.

http://radio.cz/en/section/panorama/sacral-tourism-on-the-rise-in-the-czech-republic

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/1950s-forced-labour-conscripts-set-to-receive-compensation.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/c/komunismus/ptpp.jpg
1950s forced labour conscripts set to receive compensation
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While the name Auxiliary Technical Battalions sounds innocuous, in
reality such battalions were a division of the Czechoslovak Army that
used conscripts as virtual slave labour, and thousands of men who the
Communists deemed "politically unreliable" were in effect interned in
them in the 1950s. Now, those still alive look set to be placed in the
same official category as former political prisoners - and to receive a
little compensation.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/1950s-forced-labour-conscripts-set-to-receive-compensation

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/journalist-czech-success-in-europe-reflects-improvement-in-domestic-league.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/ctk1212/viktoria_plzenp.jpg
Journalist: Czech success in Europe reflects improvement in domestic
league
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The Czech football clubs Viktoria Plzen and Sparta Prague are in the
happy situation of going into their final group games in the Europa
League on Thursday night having already qualified for the knock-out
phase of Europe's second-tier club competition. Their success means
that it will be the first time in nine years that Czech teams are still
performing on the international stage after Christmas. What is behind
their success? That's a question RP put to Karel Haring, from the Czech
daily Sport.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/journalist-czech-success-in-europe-reflects-improvement-in-domestic-league






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