News

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Lawyer lodges complaint against Social Democrat leader

Lawyer Zdenek Altner who is suing the Social Democrats for nearly 19 billion crowns or roughly 890 million dollars, has lodged a complaint against the Social Democrat chairman Jiri Paroubek and other senior party figures. Mr Altner's assistant Zdenka Vackova said on Tuesday that Mr Altner will disclose details of the complaint on Thursday. The lawyer claims he is owed 93 million crowns or 4.3 million US dollars from the Social Democrats for services he gave them in a legal dispute over the ownership of the party's headquarters in the 1990s and that this has now risen to 19 billion crowns due to fines and late-payment penalties. The Social Democrat leadership says Altner's claims are exaggerated and unsubstantiated and would not stand up in court.

Castle recognised that talks on cathedral are needed - cardinal

The head of the Catholic Church in the Czech Republic has said that the state has acknowledged the need for talks between it and the Church regarding the ownership of St Vitus' Cathedral. Writing on his own website, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk says that bilateral discussions would be held between Church and state this week about transferring the cathedral back to Prague Castle. Earlier this year, the Czech Supreme Court cancelled a previous ruling that the cathedral belongs to the church and said that it should be returned to the state. So far the church has refused to hand it over saying that it still owns the building's furnishings. The fourteenth-century cathedral was confiscated by the former communist regime and its ownership has been the subject of a bitter legal dispute between church and state since the early 1990s.

Parliamentary motion calling for the dismissal of Deputy PM defeated.

A motion put forward in the Czech Chamber of Deputies calling for the resignation of Christian Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek will not go before the house. The governing coalition comprising the Greens, Christian Democrats and Civic Democrats voted against the proposal put forward by opposition Social Democrat and Communist MPs. Mr Cunek is accused of taking a bribe when he was mayor of the Moravian town of Vsetin five years ago. He denies the charges and the governing parties have so far decided to stand by him.

Cameras to fight vandalism on Charles Bridge

New cameras are being installed to combat vandalism on Prague's Charles Bridge, Mlada fronta Dnes reported. Ten cameras are to be mounted on the towers on either side of the bridge in the next few weeks with the main task of monitoring the famous landmark's valuable statues. A recent study found that 18 of the bridge's 31 statues had been damaged. Police patrols of Charles Bridge and its surroundings are also being stepped up.

Poll indicates that Civic Democrats are most popular party

A new opinion poll suggests that the right-wing Civic Democratic Party are by far the most popular party among Czech voters. According to the poll conducted by the STEM research agency, if an election were to be held now, the governing Civic Democrats would win 81 seats in the lower house of parliament. Which has 200 members. The opposition Social Democrats would be the next strongest party with 61 seats while the Communists would come a distant third with 23 mandates followed by the Christian Democrats with 22 seats and the Green Party with 13 deputies. Such a result would give the current ruling coalition a sizable majority of 116 seats. At the moment the government only has 100 seats in parliament and is relying on rebel opposition MPs for support.

Three hundred call for US missile base in Czech Republic

Around 300 people attended a rally in Prague on Monday evening calling for the building of a United States military facility in the Czech Republic. Organisers said they wished to express support for US policy in Europe and encourage debate on an American plan to build a radar base in the Czech Republic. The radar would be part of the US global missile defence shield. Most opinion polls indicate that a majority of Czechs are not in favour of the base.

Vaclav Havel would like to see a female president

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has said that he would like to see a woman as the next Czech head of state. Speaking in an interview with Czech state television on Tuesday morning, Mr Havel said that he thought it was time for a female candidate from the younger generation, which has grown up untainted by communism to be the next president. Mr Havel also ruled running for president again, but at the same time jokingly admitted he would consider putting his name forward if someone "slightly feared" his candidacy, which is seen by many as a veiled reference to his arch rival President Vaclav Klaus, who has announced he will run for re-election.

Sejong to invest over 24 million USD in Karvina

South Korean firm Sejong has announced that it is going to invest more than 520 million Czech crowns or 24 million US dollars into a plant in the north Moravian town of Karvina. The facility should employ 250 staff and supply exhaust pipes and shock absorbers to Korean carmaker Hyundai, which is opening a large car-making facility in the nearby town of Nosovice.

Irish police arrest woman over Czech man's murder

The Irish police have arrested the wife of a Czech man who was found stabbed to death in his home in County Tipperary, Ireland. The body of Patrick Solenski, aged 36, was discovered with a number of stab wounds to his stomach shortly before 11pm last Sunday evening and pronounced dead at the scene. He had been living with his Irish wife and two children in the area for five years and worked at a local meat plant. The case has made front page news in Ireland.

Slavia Prague top football league for first time in four years

A one-nil win over Liberec on Monday evening put Slavia Prague top of football's Gambrinus liga for the first time in four years. The victory is all the more sweet because Slavia's victory means that they have knocked arch rivals Sparta Prague off their perch at the top of the table. Slavia now lead Sparta by just one point with twelve games to play.

Weather

The weather is expected to be mainly cloudy with sunny intervals and sporadic showers. Highest temperatures should range between 11 and 15 degrees Celsius.