News

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Czech Republic concerned over proposed EU waste directive

The Czech Environment Minister Libor Ambrozek will protest in Brussels against proposed changes in EU directives which he fears could lead to poorer EU countries being used as waste dumping grounds by their richer neighbours. Czech environmental inspectors estimate that around 15,000 tonnes of waste has been shipped from Germany and dumped in the Czech Republic over the last few weeks. EU environment ministers are due to have a general discussion about recycling of waste and the proposed waste directive at a meeting on Thursday.

Proposed penal code has serious flaw

The ruling Social Democrats have urged Justice Minister Pavel Nemec to correct a serious lapse in the proposed penal code which would make it difficult to fight large-scale fraud. The proposed bill lacks an article on abuse of information in business relations which was removed at the request of an opposition deputy. The Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has asked the justice minister to explain why he had allowed this to happen and urged him to find a way of correcting the lapse as soon as possible. Although a new penal code is badly needed the Social Democrats are uncertain whether to support it in its current form.

Anti-corruption police squad to retain its competences for time being

A special anti-corruption police squad will continue to investigate cases relating to senior public officials, judges and state attorneys. An attempt to relegate some of the less serious cases to local police officers encountered opposition from the Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan. Mr. Bublan said that although he was not strictly against the idea, it would first be necessary to clearly specify what kind of cases were considered of minor importance.

Unemployment down by 1 percent

According to figures released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs the unemployment rate in the Czech Republic has dropped to 9.1 percent in February from 9.2 percent in the first month of the year. The ministry's news release attributes the drop to the high number of jobless workers on government re-training programmes. The rate of unemployment continues to vary greatly across the country with a 2.6 percent unemployment rate in the Czech capital Prague and an unemployment rate of over 20 percent in the eastern parts of the country.

Weather:

Thursday is expected to be overcast with scattered snow or sleet showers and day temperatures between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius.