News

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New government committee to deal with child protection

A new advisory body of the Czech government to deal with family issues and children’s protection should be established by the end of this year. Minister for human rights and minorities Džamila Stehlíková announced the plan after the meeting of the commission of experts on Saturday. The new government council will be part of the new national strategy for the prevention of violence against children. It will comprise ministers who have these issues on their agenda. Mrs Stehlíková also plans to launch a campaign against maltreatment of children to change the public tolerant stance on physical punishment of children.

Topolánek: Christian Democrats should fulfil government programme

Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has called on the Christian Democrats to fulfil the government program; if they don’t support it, they should leave the ruling coalition. Speaking at the national congress of the Christian Democratic Party in Pardubice, Mr Topolánek said the government programme, including the health care reforms, reflects the party’s priorities, adding that the Christian Democrats should prove this by their votes. Mr Topolánek also thanked the party for supporting Václav Klaus in the presidential election in February.

Christian Democrats reject sale of health insurance companies

The Christian Democrats have rejected the sale of health insurance companies, but they are not against their transformation into joint-stock companies. The delegates made the conclusion at the party’s national congress in Pardubice, that ended on Sunday. The Christian Democrats haven’t approved the proposal to abolish health care fees for some groups of patients. Health care fees will be on the agenda of the next congress in May.

Roithová to lead Christian Democrat candidates in EP election

The delegates to the national congress of the Christian Democratic Party have decided that the list of candidates for the European parliament election, which is to be held in 2009, will be headed by MEP Zuzana Roithová. Number two on the list will be her colleague Jan Březina. The Christian Democrats finished fourth in the first EP election in the Czech Republic four years ago, gaining two seats.

Czech police to buy cars against road pirates

The Czech Police Presidium has decided to buy 16 new cars for police officers operating on motorways to chase “road pirates”. The cars will be selected in a tender to be called in a couple of days. The police presidium is willing to pay up to 800,000 crowns per one car and another million for their special equipment.

Liechtenstein collection of art on display in Prague

Around 1,500 people came to see the Liechtenstein collection of art in Prague’s Nostic Palace on Saturday. Valuable paintings, tapestries and other items were acquired by the Czech state at an auction held by the Liechtenstein Prince in Amsterdam in early April. The objects were taken from Czechoslovakia when the Liechtenstein property was confiscated after the Second World War. The ministry of Culture put them on display on the occasion of the International Heritage Day.

Hilgertová reaches Beijing Olympics

The best known Czech kayaker, 40-year-old Štěpánka Hilgertová, has qualified for the upcoming Olympic Games in Beijing. The two-time Olympic winner will be attending the games for the fifth time. Canoeists Stanislav Ježek, Jaroslav Volf and Ondřej Štěpánek have also qualified for the event.

Benešová lost in Estoril Open final

Czech tennis player Iveta Benešová lost to Maria Kirilenko of Russia 6-4, 6-2 on Sunday in the final of the Estoril Open.

Czech Republic lost to Russia in Česká Pojišťovna Cup

The national ice hockey team was beaten 3:2 by Russia in the final game of the Česká pojišťovna Cup. The Czech Republic has finished third behind Russia and Finland in the overall standings of the Euro Hockey Tour.

Weather

The start of the week is expected to be mostly cloudy with occasional rain. Daytime temperatures are expected to reach up to 20 degrees Celsius.