President Klaus calls onto Gross and Kalousek to end dispute
The Czech President, Vaclav Klaus, has asked Prime Minister Stanislav Gross, and the Chairman of the junior coalition Christian Democrats, Miroslav Kalousek, to find a way out of the "coalition crisis". On Saturday, Mr Kalousek called onto the prime minister to resign, over allegations about the financing of his Prague flat and his wife's business dealings that, Mr Kalousek says are damaging the credibility of the government. Mr Gross has no intention of resigning and retaliated with a call on all three Christian Democrat ministers to leave the government by Wednesday or be removed from office. Both Mr Gross and Mr Kalousek have defended their standpoints at separate meetings with the president.
Civic Democrat MP dismisses allegations
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the centre-right Civic Democrat's deputies group in parliament, Vlastimil Tlusty, has dismissed allegations by the Czech media that his wife Ladislava's bank loan was secured thanks to Mr Tlusty's influential post. On Sunday, Czech public television reported that her company had received a 20 million crown loan from a bank owned by the PPF group, which in turn won a lucrative tender from the Czech consolidation agency, of which Mr Tlusty is chairman of the governing board. Mr Tlusty said he had never abused his office and the link between the tender and loan was just speculation.
President Klaus to attend Bush-EU meeting instead of Prime Minister
The Czech President Vaclav Klaus will attend Tuesday's meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels with US President George W. Bush. The Czech Prime Minister Stanislav Gross was originally scheduled to attend the meeting along with president Klaus but Luxembourg, which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, rejected the participation of two Czech representatives. Both Mr Klaus and Mr Gross will attend this week's meeting of NATO leaders with Mr Bush.
Counterfeit euros on the rise
The number of counterfeit euro bills has increased dramatically in the Czech Republic last year, the Czech National Bank (CNB) announced on Monday. Compared to 2003, the central bank has recorded twice as many counterfeit bills. The number of fake Czech crowns and US dollars, on the other hand, have decreased. In total, the 9,289 counterfeit bills and coins uncovered amounted to 27.1 million crowns (1.2 million US dollars).
High Court gives green light to Kajinek to request re-trial
The Prague High Court has overruled the decision of the Pilsen regional court in West Bohemia, which rejected the re-opening of the case of Jiri Kajinek. Mr Kajinek, who is serving a life sentence for double murder committed in 1993, insists he was framed by the police. Mr Kajinek's lawyer claims to have new evidence that proves Mr Kajinek's innocence.
Meteorologists are forecasting more snow and wind with day-time temperatures over the next few days around freezing point ranging from -2 to 2 degrees Celsius.