News

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Anti-radar protesters want meeting with president

Two young Czechs who have been on a hunger strike since May 13th in protest against the siting of a US radar in the Czech Republic have asked to meet with President Klaus. Anti-radar activist Jan Tamáš sent the president an open letter requesting a meeting, shortly after Mr. Klaus urged American Vice-President Dick Cheney to speed up the signing of a bilateral agreement on the radar. In the letter Jan Tamáš says he is deeply disturbed by the fact that the president should be going against the will of his people and suggests that by doing so Mr. Klaus is trampling on democracy in the Czech Republic.

Social Democrats debate policy matters

The opposition Social Democrats are holding a two-day party conference on policy matters in preparation for the autumn local and Senate elections. Opposition leader Jiří Paroubek slammed the reforms of the centre-right government and said that as soon as it got the chance his party would scrap medical fees, prevent the introduction of university fees and bring back blanket child benefits. The opposition leader said he was confident that the autumn local and Senate elections would reflect the public’s widespread dissatisfaction with the present state of affairs.

Ex-president Havel slams work of Prague City Hall

Ex-president Václav Havel has launched a stinging attack on Civic Democrats at Prague City Hall. In an article published in Saturday’s Lidové Noviny Mr. Havel criticized the city hall for cutting subsidies to the arts, for its lack of urban planning and for a reliance on tourist revenues. In an unusually blunt intervention in domestic politics the former president said the management of Prague City Hall was hurting Prague’s interests. City lawmakers have sparked a wave of protests from Prague’s theatrical world with a new programme of subsidies which Mr. Havel said would strangle to death non-profit-making theatres. The ex-president also criticized the city hall for sanctioning what he called “uninspired architecture” with giant warehouses and shopping centres “spreading like cancer” and the fact that local life was being forced out of the city centre.

Fight between skinheads and anarchists leaves six injured

A fight between skinheads and anarchists that broke out unexpectedly on Prague’s Naměstí Republiky on Saturday afternoon left six people injured. The injured, aged between 18 and 38, suffered broken bones, bruises and concussion. One youth got both his wrists broken. Eyewitnesses said the groups appeared to have met by chance and a fight broke out after some verbal provocation. Police are investigating the incident.

Miloš Zeman may return to politics

Former prime minister Miloš Zeman is not ruling out the possibility of running in direct presidential elections at some future date should he receive broad public support. Responding to rumors that he was considering a return to active politics, Mr. Zeman said that if lawmakers changed the Constitution opening the way for direct presidential elections and if he received broad support from the public he might be tempted to re-enter politics. Mr. Zeman has been living a quiet life in retirement ever since his unsuccessful candidacy for the presidential post in 2003. His chances of getting elected were thwarted by rebels in his own Social Democratic Party after which Mr. Zeman vowed never to return to politics.

Night blast in Jablonná nad Orlicí

A late-night explosion caused a panic in the town of Jablonná nad Orlicí on Friday night. The house where the explosion took place was completely demolished by the blast and the windows of dozens of surrounding houses were shattered within a 100-metre-radius. The owner of the house was found buried under the rubble, badly injured. He was flown to hospital and remains in critical condition. Police are investigating the cause of the blast. According to unofficial sources a gas leak may have been responsible.

Tennis – French Open

Czech Radek Stepanek won Saturday’s match against Spanish 12th seed Tommy Robredo knocking him out of the French Open in the third round 6-3 6-2 6-1. Stepanek, seeded 21st, will face either Australian Lleyton Hewitt or Spaniard David Ferrer for a place in the quarter-finals.

Football - Sivok transfer

Czech international footballer Tomas Sivok confirmed on Saturday that he had agreed to transfer to Turkish club Besiktas from Italy's Udine. The 25-year-old defender, who had been on loan with Sparta Prague for the past few months, is set to sign a four-year deal.

Record-breaking heat-wave

Meteorologists at Prague’s Klementinum weather station on Saturday reported the highest ever temperature recorded in the month of May i.e. 30,4 degrees Celsius. Saturday’s temperature broke a record set in 1868 which was just one tenth of a degree lower.

Weather

The coming days are expected to be warm and sunny with day temperatures between 23 and 27 degrees Celsius.