Saturday, February 9, 2013

News 2.9.2013

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

News Saturday, February 9th, 2013

By: Ian Willoughby

* Prime Minister Petr Necas says a Czech threat to veto a proposed EU
budget helped secure more funding for the country.

* Pressure is reported to be growing on Mr. Necas within the Civic
Democrats to turn around the party's fortunes or face a challenge as

* President-elect Milos Zelman has held talks with TOP 09 chair Karel
Schwarzenberg, who he defeated in an election to become head of state.

* The director of a miniseries on the death of Jan Palach and its
aftermath has hit back at statements made about him by a former head of
the Communist Party.

* The Czech women's tennis team are leading Australia 2:0 in the
quarter-finals of the Fed Cup in Ostrava.

Necas: Veto threat secured higher EU funding for Czech Republic

The Czech prime minister, Petr Necas, says the Czech Republic's threat
to veto a proposed European Union budget helped secure more funding for
the country. Mr. Necas made the comment in Brussels on Friday shortly
after a summit of EU leaders hammered out an agreement on a budget for
the 2014-2020 period. Under the deal, the Czech Republic will be able
to draw up to EUR 20.5 billion as part of the bloc's cohesion policy.
That figure is down from the EUR 26.7 billion available to the country
under the current long-term budget, with the fall reflecting both
austerity efforts and the Czech Republic's relative growth in wealth.
Mr. Necas said the figure proposed prior to the summit was unacceptably
low and that the country's veto threat had been "significant" in
winning increased funding, adding that the sum for the Czech Republic
per capita would still be fourth highest in the EU.

Social Democrats: reduction in EU funding defeat for Necas and country

The opposition Social Democrats criticized Prime Minister Necas's
performance at the EU summit. The party's leader, Bohuslav Sobotka,
said at a news conference on Saturday that because the Czech Republic
was going to receive less EU funding under the next budget it meant Mr.
Necas - and the country - had been defeated in Brussels. The Social
Democrarts' deputy chairman, Lubomir Zaoralek, said the outcome
reflected the approach of the Czech Republic's diplomats and the
country's foreign policy.

News site: pressure on Necas growing within Civic Democrats

Pressure on Prime Minister Necas is growing within his party, the Civic
Democrats, reported on Saturday. The news website said some
members were giving their chairman until a party congress in the autumn
to turn around its fortunes or face possible replacement ahead of
parliamentary elections scheduled for next year. The dominant
right-wing force in Czech politics in the last two decades, the Civic
Democrats currently lead an unpopular coalition government after
garnering 20 percent in the last general elections. A poll this week
suggested they would receive 15.6 percent in a vote held now, just
ahead of their rivals on the right (and coalition partners) TOP 09 on
14.5 percent. Some mayoral candidates have recently said that they will
not run for election under the Civic Democrats' banner as it would harm
their chances.

Zeman meets defeated rival for president Schwarzenberg

The Czech president-elect, Milos Zelman, has held talks with the
foreign minister and TOP 09 chairman, Karel Schwarzenberg, who he
defeated in an election two weeks ago to succeed Vaclav Klaus as head
of state. Mr. Schwarzenberg said after Friday's meeting that the two
had discussed issues surrounding Czech foreign policy, including the
question of who will become the country's ambassador to Moscow; there
has been speculation that the post will be filled by Vladimir Remek,
the only ever Czechoslovak cosmonaut and a Communist Party MEP.
Minister Schwarzenberg said he and the new president were likely to
disagree over Kosovo. Mr. Zeman, a former Social Democrat prime
minister, will be inaugurated in a ceremony at Prague Castle on March
8. He has been holding talks with party leaders in the last week.

Filmmaker: Grebenicek's depiction of Palach as Communist represents
abuse of latter's legacy

The maker of a miniseries on the 1969 death of Jan Palach and its
aftermath has hit back at statements made about him by a former head of
the Communist Party. Polish director Agnieska Holland told the new
website that making Palach out to be a Communist represented
an abuse of his legacy. On Friday, hard-line Communist Miroslav
Grebenicek said Palach had acted out of sympathy for the reform
Communists defeated by the Soviet-led invasion of August 1968, adding
that claiming he had become a symbol of the struggle against
totalitarian Communism was completely misleading. He made the comments
during a debate prior to a vote that made January 16, the anniversary
of Palach's self-immolation, a day honouring his memory. Ms. Holland -
whose three-part Burning Bush is currently being screened - said the
student's actual aim had been to spark resistance to Communist rule.
The Oscar-nominated director, who is 64, studied at Prague's FAMU film
school and was herself involved in anti-regime activities around the
time of Palach's death.

Film on notorious Communist-era state prosecutor Vas set for release

A documentary drama on a notorious Communist-era state prosecutor and
judge is set for general release in the Czech Republic next week.
Murderer by Profession: The Suffering of Karel Vas features a rare
interview with Vas, who was a key player in some of Czechoslovakia's
notorious show trials of the early Communist period and died last year
at the age of 96. Among his best-known victims was war hero General
Helidor Pika, whose intercession with the Soviet authorities to have
Czechoslovak soldiers freed during WWII may well have saved the life of
Vas, who was being held in a Gulag camp. The film is largely the work
of historian Pavel Palecek, who wrote, co-directed and produced it. Its
makers say they plan to screen the film at schools and to have it shown
at festivals.

Czech women lead Australia 2:0 in Fed Cup in Ostrava

The Czech women's tennis team are leading Australia 2:0 on matches in
the best-of-five quarter-finals of the Fed Cup in Ostrava. Following
Petra Kvitova's 7-6 6-3 defeat of Jarmila Gajdosova on Saturday, Lucie
Safarove beat Samantha Stosur 7-6 7-6 to leave the Czechs just one win
away from their fifth Fed Cup semi-finals in a row. 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.


Forecasters say we can expect cloudy weather with some sunny spells in
the next couple of days. Temperatures should reach a maximum of 2
degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today

Mailbox 9.2.2013

Today in Mailbox: Czech presidential election, new listeners around the
world, answers to Radio Prague's monthly listeners' quiz.
Listeners/readers quoted: Jonathan Murphy, Charles Konecny, Mary Lou
Krenek, Jonathan Kempster, Ragnhild Hanes, Emilio Marino Allen, Miguel
Angel Lahera Rivero, Hans Verner Lollike, Ken Godfrey, Jaroslaw
Jedrzejczak, Ian Morrison.

Smart vs. dumb

Welcome to another new edition of SoundCzech our long-running language
series in which you can learn words and idioms through song lyrics.
Today's song is by the Czech pop group Chinaski and is called 'chytrej
kluk'. Chytrej is the ungrammatical version of chytry and chtrej kluk
means smart boy or smart guy.

Petr Belik - Former TV journalist turned game designer - Part 1

Viewers of commercial broadcaster TV Nova probably couldn't pick Petr
Belik out in a crowd but many will remember moments from his many
reports. As a journalist in the late 1990s, Petr investigated countless
cases of injustice almost every week on the programme Obcanske judo
(Citizen's Judo) and later took the plunge in the highly-popular and
creative show Vikend, where he reported on everything from digging for
coal with miners to training with URNA, the Czech rapid response force.

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