Friday, March 8, 2013

News 3.8.2013

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

News Friday, March 8th, 2013

By: Ian Willoughby

* Milos Zeman has been sworn in as Czech president in a ceremony at
Prague Castle.

* In his inauguration speech, Mr. Zeman promised to fight the mafia,
neo-Nazis and sections of the media.

* Former president Vaclav Klaus has pledged not to be a mere observer
of events in the Czech Republic.

* The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic increased slightly to 8.1
percent last month.

* Viktoria Plzen lost 1:0 at home to Fenerbache in the first leg of
their Europa League round of 16 tie.



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Zeman sworn in as president at Prague Castle ceremony
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Milos Zeman has been sworn in as Czech president in a ceremony at the
Vladislav Hall at Prague Castle. Mr. Zeman is the first
directly-elected head of state in the history of the Czech Republic.
After his swearing-in at a joint session of both chambers of
Parliament, the new president inspected a military parade and attended
a brief service in honour of St. Wenceslas, before having lunch with
senior state officials. He was forced to sign the oath a second time,
after the first copy was found to contain a typo.

Mr. Zeman, who is 68, has been one of the dominant figures in Czech
politics since the fall of Communism. After turning the Social
Democrats into a major party in the 1990s, he served as prime minister
between 1998 and 2002.


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New president pledges to serve as mediator and fight mafia, neo-Nazis
and part of media
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In his inauguration speech, Milos Zeman repeated a previously expressed
intention to represent the "lower 10 million", meaning all but the
country's elite. Mr. Zeman said his office would serve as a neutral
space for dialogue between the parties in parliament, but also other
significant organisations, adding that he wished to serve as a
mediator, not a judge. He also pledged to fight the mafia, neo-Nazis
and sections of the media, which he accused of brain-washing the public.


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Mixed reaction from politicians to new president's speech
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There has been a mixed reaction from Czech politicians to the
president's inauguration speech. The minister of finance, Miroslav
Kalousek of TOP 09, said he was disappointed that the new head of state
had made no reference to foreign policy and in particular to the
European Union. The Civic Democrats' Jaroslav Kubera said the president
was the only politician who could afford to speak about the media in
such a way, while his party colleague Jiri Pospisil said that while he
had not welcomed Mr. Zeman's attack on the media, he appreciated his
promise to serve as a moderator between the political parties. The
latter view was also endorsed by Michal Babak of Public Affairs.


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Klaus promises not to be mere observer of events after departure from
Prague Castle
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Mr. Zeman succeeds Vaclav Klaus, whose second consecutive five-year
term came to an end on Thursday. At midnight, the president's standard
was removed from Prague Castle, the bells of St. Vitus Cathedral were
rung and the Castle Guard performed the Czech national anthem. Earlier,
Mr. Klaus had said, in his final address to the nation on Czech
Television, that he did not plan to be a mere observer of goings on in
the country. His presidential career ended on something of a low note,
with a marked fall in his popularity ratings following the declaration
of a controversial amnesty. A number of rock concerts and other events
were held to celebrate his departure.


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National Museum to exhibit diplomas of Czechoslovakia's first three
presidents
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Prague's National Museum will this weekend exhibit the diplomas of
Czechoslovakia's first three presidents, Tomas Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard
Benes and Emil Hacha. The historical parchment documents - which
officially informed each president of his election - will be on show on
Saturday and Sunday at the usually inaccessible Presidential Salon at
the museum's Vitkov National Memorial building.


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Czech unemployment climbs slightly to 8.1 percent
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The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic rose to 8.1 percent in
February, up from 8.0 percent in January. According to figures released
on Friday, 593,000 Czechs were out of work last month. The unemployment
rate in the capital Prague reached 4.6 percent. The Czech economy is at
present going through its longest recession on record.


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Eva Jiricna wins top UK prize for women in architecture
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Eva Jiricna has been awarded the 2013 Jane Drew Prize for her
outstanding contribution to the status of women in architecture. The
jury described the Prague-born architect as incredibly influential and
extraordinary, saying she had reinvented the idea of retail in the UK
with her 1988 store for the fashion label Joseph. The architect, who is
74, set up Eva Jiricna Architects in 1982; her clients have included
such names as London's Selfridges and The Royal Academy of Arts.


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Viktoria Plzen lose 1:0 at home to Fenerbache in Europa League round of
16 first leg
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Viktoria Plzen were beaten 1:0 at home by the Turkish side Fenerbache
in the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie on Thursday
night, ending a nine-match unbeaten home run. Plzen rarely threatened
Fenerbache's goal and the only strike of the game came from the
latter's Pierre Webo ten minutes from full-time. Plzen, the last
remaining Czech club in European competition, travel to Istanbul for
the second leg next week.


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Stepanek hoping to be fit for Davis Cup tie against Kazakhstan
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Five weeks after undergoing cervical spine surgery, the tennis player
Radek Stepanek will return to full training on Monday and says he hopes
to be fit for the Czech Republic's Davis Cup quarter-final tie with
Kazakhstan at the start of April. The country's number two is set to
fly to Florida to train with coach Petr Korda. In December Stepanek led
the Czechs to their first Davis Cup triumph in over 30 years.


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Weather
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Forecasters say we can expect grey skies and rain in the coming days,
with temperatures reaching a maximum of 7 degrees Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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Korea looks at European modernity through 20th century Czech art
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South Korea's National Museum of Contemporary Art is currently putting
on a large-scale showcase of Czech modern art. The exhibit 'Memory of
Landscape I have never seen' is a result of three years of
collaboration between Prague and Seoul and presents works of Czech
painters from the Czech National Gallery, ranging from 1895 until 1943.
I spoke to the National Gallery's director Vladimir Rosel and asked him
how the cooperation with the Korean museum developed.

http://radio.cz/en/section/arts/korea-looks-at-european-modernity-through-20th-century-czech-art


Business News 8.3.2013
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In Business this week: Korean Airlines bid for a 44 percent stake in
the Czech national carrier Czech Airlines, hackers attack the websites
of leading Czech banks and the Prague Stock Exchange, there has been a
further growth in unemployment and a drop in spirits sales in the wake
of last year' s methanol poisonings.

http://radio.cz/en/section/economic/business-news-2013-03-08


Milos Zeman sworn in as Czech president
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Milos Zeman has become Czech president after being sworn into office at
a ceremony at Prague Castle on Friday morning. In January, Mr Zeman won
the country's first direct presidential election. In his inaugural
speech, the new president outlined the priorities of his presidency,
and pledged to become a mediator on the Czech political scene.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/milos-zeman-sworn-in-as-czech-president






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