EU health commissioner discusses bird flu measures in Prague

The EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou has met Czech health ministry officials in Prague to discuss measures concerning a potential outbreak of bird flu, among them the country's emergency plan and strategic stockpiles of antiviral drugs and other medicines. According to the Czech Chief Hygiene Officer Michael Vit, Mr Kyprianou said the Czech Republic was well prepared for a potential epidemic of bird flu.

Kyprianou: CR faces sanctions unless implements EU anti-smoking legislation

The EU Health Commissioner Markos Kyprianou told reporters on Monday that unless the Czech Republic implements European anti-smoking legislation and restricts tobacco advertising, it faces sanctions from the EU. Mr Kyprianou said the European Commission will ask the Czech Republic to toughen its anti-smoking legislation. If the requirement is not met, Mr Kyprianou said, there is a number of steps, including sanctions, which the EU could apply.

Civic Democrats: PM takes political advantage of same-sex partnership bill

Some members of the opposition Civic Democrats have accused Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek of taking political advantage of the bill on registered partnerships of same-sex couples due to be voted on by the lower house this week. In a statement released on Monday, they said Mr Paroubek is trying to politically appropriate the bill and to present himself as its sole guarantor, which, as they said, may discourage some Civic Democrat deputies from voting for the bill. Both the lower house and the Senate have passed the bill, but president Vaclav Klaus vetoed it last month. To override the veto, the lower house now needs a majority of 101 votes in the 200-seat chamber.

Agriculture Ministry planning to distribute leaflets on bird flu

The Agriculture Ministry is considering distributing information leaflets on bird flu to every household in the Czech Republic, Agriculture Minister Jan Mladek said on Monday. He added that the ministry is assessing the costs of such a campaign. He said leaflets telling consumers how to handle food products in order to minimise the risk of infection are ready for distribution.

Poll: Social Democrats losing support; Civic Democrats in the lead

An opinion poll just released by the Factum agency suggests that support for the ruling Social Democrats is falling three months before parliamentary elections. According to the poll, the opposition Civic Democrats would get the largest percentage of the vote and gain 68 seats in the 200-member lower house, followed by the Social Democrats with 42 MPs. The Communist Party would get 42 seats and the Christian Democrats would gain 20 seats - only three seats more than the Green Party, which, according to Factum, would be the fifth party to make it to parliament.


The next couple of days should be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures hovering just above freezing.