Sunday, February 10, 2013

News 2.10.2013

Copyright (c) 2013 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Sunday, February 10th, 2013

By: Ian Willoughby

* The environment minister says a badly set up system supporting solar
energy could cost tax payers up to CZK 1 billion.

* President Vaclav Klaus's chief of protocol will remain in the post
under the new head of state, Milos Zeman.

* A senior Social Democrat says he may take legal action against
President Klaus if he is not told who formulated an amnesty declared by
the head of state.

* The Czech women's tennis team have beaten Australia to reach the
semi-finals of the Fed Cup.

* Petr Cech says he will be fit to play against his former club Sparta
Prague in a Europa League tie next week.

Minister: Inflated prices for solar power could cost taxpayers CZK 1

A badly set up state system supporting solar energy could end up
costing Czech tax payers up to CZK 1 billion, the environment minister,
Tomas Chalupa, said on a TV debate programme on Sunday. The Energy
Regulatory Office said on Monday that an internal audit had revealed
that some of its officials had acted illegally in setting inflated
purchase prices for solar power in the 2005-2011 period. The regulator
said excessive charges levied under the scheme could total tens of
billions of crowns and filed criminal charges in relation to the
matter. Minister Chalupa blamed the situation on deputies who approved
the system in 2005 and subsequent governments. He also said that solar
power producers could go bankrupt and leave fields of panels for the
local authorities to clean up.

Photovoltaic Industry Association preparing suit against head of Energy
Regulatory Office

The body that brings together companies active in the solar power field
is planning to file a criminal complaint against the chairwoman of the
Energy Regulatory Office, Alena Vitaskova. A representative of the
Czech Photovoltaic Industry Association said on Czech TV on Sunday that
the regulator deliberately produced false data that was then used by
the Constitutional Court. The court ruled last year that the government
was within its rights to put a retroactive tax on solar power plant
investors in order to curb a solar boom. The industry body says the
Energy Regulatory Office's action against its own staff has been
intended to cover up for the organisation's failings.

Klaus's chief of protocol Forejt to remain at Castle under Zeman

President Vaclav Klaus's chief of protocol, Jindrich Forejt, will
remain in the post under the new head of state, Milos Zeman. Mr. Forejt
had been tipped to be the Czech Republic's next ambassador to the
Vatican. His prospective appointment had been the source of a dispute
between Mr. Klaus and the foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg, who
said the post should only be filled by an experienced diplomat. Another
of the outgoing president's team, his chancellor Jiri Weigl, rejected
an offer to remain at Prague Castle. Mr. Klaus steps down on March 7,
with Mr. Zeman due to be inaugurated the following day.

Social Democrats deputy chair still waiting to learn who formulated
Klaus amnesty

The deputy chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Lubomir
Zaoralek, says he is still waiting to learn who formulated a
controversial amnesty declared by President Klaus at the beginning of
the year. Speaking on a TV debate programme on Sunday, Mr. Zaoralek
said that he had applied for the information under right to information
legislation but had received a reply from Prague Castle that "said
nothing". He said that he would now address the president directly and
would consider taking a lawsuit if he does not find satisfaction.

Under President Klaus's amnesty, which he said was to mark 20 years
since the foundation of the Czech Republic, over 6,000 prisoners have
been released early, while - more controversially - cases dragging
through the courts for eight years or longer have been thrown out. The
president's office has refused to specify who drew up the declaration.

Former slaughterhouse in Prague's Holesovice to remain protected
historical landmark

The Ministry of Culture has decided that a former slaughterhouse in
Prague's Holesovice district will remain a protected historical
landmark. Prague Town Hall had requested a downgrading in its protected
status, arguing that some parts have of the site have no historical
value, and can now appeal the ministry's ruling. The one-time
slaughterhouse is today home to Holesovice market, which has been
rebranded as "Prague Market" in recent years.

Czech women beat Australia to reach semi-finals of Fed Cup

The Czech women's tennis team have beaten Australia to reach the
semi-finals of the Fed Cup for the fifth time in five years. Petra
Kvitova lost the first set of her singles rubber against Samantha
Stosur in Ostrava on Sunday and faced match-ball in the second, but she
recovered to win 2-6 7-6 6-4 to give the Czech Republic an unassailable
3:0 lead on matches. The Czech women won the Fed Cup in Prague last
year just weeks before the Czech men's team triumphed in the Davis Cup,
making it the first time that the country held both trophies.

Cech set to play old club Sparta for first time despite broken finger

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech says he will be fit to play against his
former club Sparta Prague in a Europa League tie in the Czech capital
on Thursday. Cech broke a finger in a game for the English Premier
League side last weekend, but turned out for them on Saturday wearing a
protective splint. The player, who is 30, said on his own website that
Chelsea's doctors had left it up to him whether to take to the field.
He has never faced Sparta since leaving the Czech club over a decade


We should see some sunny spells along with rain in places over the next
couple of days. Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 3
degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

The Matadors - One of the greatest Czech beat groups of the 1960s

The Matadors, one of the greatest Czech beat groups of the 1960s, only
released one LP, their eponymous 1968 debut. Like many Prague bands of
their era, they had a fluid membership, though the classic lineup is
regarded as Radim Hladik on guitar, Viktor Sodoma on vocals, Jan
"Farmer" Obermayer on electric organ, Otto Bezloja on bass and Tony
Black (Miroslav Schwarz) on drums.

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