News

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Paroubek: India interested in Czech investment, military materiel

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, who is on a three-day visit to India, has met the Indian President Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee among others, to discuss primarily economic cooperation between the two countries. Mr Paroubek said on Wednesday that India was interested mainly in complete plants and military materiel. He also said that the Czech Republic, or the former Czechoslovakia, was perceived positively in India, as a number of companies, for instance Bata, have been present in the country since the 1930s.

Poll: Social Democrats narrow Civic Democrats lead to 1.4 percent

A January poll by the STEM agency suggests that the ruling Social Democrats have narrowed the opposition Civic Democrats' lead in voter preferences to 1.4 percent from over 5 percent in December. According to the poll, the Social Democrats would get 27.2 percent and the Civic Democrats 28.6 percent of the vote. The opposition Communists would get over 13 percent of votes and the coalition Christian Democrats would get almost 7 percent if elections were held tomorrow. Parliamentary elections in the Czech Republic are scheduled for mid-June.

Lety municipality to ask National Party to remove stone

The town assembly in Lety, south Bohemia, has decided to ask the National Party to remove the stone monument it has built on town-owned land without permission. The small right-wing party said it wanted to unveil the memorial on the site of a former WWII internment camp for Romanies on Saturday. A pig farm, built in the 1970s, is currently located on the site. After years of controversy and a reprimand issued by the European Parliament, the Czech government last year pledged to relocate the pig farm and build a memorial in Lety commemorating the country's Romanies that perished in the Holocaust.

Alstom promises remedy for Czech railway woes

The manufacturer of the Czech Republic's defect-plagued express trains, Alstom, promised on Wednesday to fix recurrent problems that have kept locomotives out of action. The vice president of the French-based company Alstom, Terence Williams, said on Wednesday that all five of the high-speed Pendolino trains owned by Czech Railways would be repaired. At one stage last week, four of the trains were out of service because of software problems. Transport Minister Milan Simonovsky warned Alstom on Tuesday that the trains would be returned to the manufacturer for good unless the problems were solved.

Czech beer exports top three million hectolitres in 2005

Czech breweries for the first time exported more than 3 million hectolitres (66 million gallons) of beer in 2005, with foreign sales representing almost 16 percent of production, the business daily Hospodarske noviny reported on Wednesday, citing figures it obtained from companies. Alongside traditional export markets, such as Germany, Slovakia and Britain, Czech beer boosted its sales in newer markets, such as Russia.

Petr Cech named best goalkeeper in world

Czech international Petr Cech has been named the best goalkeeper in the world by the prestigious International Federation of Football History and Statistics. Cech, who is 23 and comes from Plzen, set a number of records in his first season with Chelsea, and helped the club win the English Premiership.

Weather

The next couple of days should be partly cloudy to overcast with a chance of snow. Daytime temperatures are expected to stay just above freezing.