VZP board starts to select its new head

The board of the state-run General Health Insurance Company, the VZP, has announced a selection process for its new head to replace present VZP director Jirina Musilkova whom the lower house is likely to dismiss next week, a spokesman for the insurance company said. Health Minister David Rath has repeatedly called on Mrs Musilkova to resign, blaming her for the VZP's 11-billion-crown debt. Mr Rath imposed forced administration on the company in November.

Prague airport traffic rises by 11 percent in 2005 to 10.8 million

Passenger traffic at Prague's Ruzyne Airport climbed by 11 percent in 2005 to reach a record 10.8 million, a spokeswoman announced on Friday. In 2004, the main Czech airport and the busiest among the 10 new EU member states, handled around 9.7 million passengers, ranking it 30th among Europe's airports. On Friday, Prague's Ruzyne airport also inaugurated its new North-2 terminal, built at a cost of around 10 billion crowns (450 million dollars). The new terminal will welcome its first passengers on Tuesday.

Two Czech senators refused Belarussian visas

Czech senators Karel Schwarzenberg and Jaromir Stetina have said they have been refused visas to Belarus where they planned to meet representatives of the political opposition. Mr Schwarzenberg and Mr Stetina said they were not surprised that they had not been granted visas by President Alexander Lukashenko's regime. The Belarussian Embassy said it would not comment on the issue.

Czech culture minister to play treasure hunter in adventure movie

Czech Culture Minister Vitezslav Jandak, an actor by original profession, will play a hunter for a long lost treasure in an action film set during World War II to be shot in mid-2006, the ministry's press department said on Friday. According to the Czech press, the film, which currently has the working title "Maharal," will be directed by Pavel Jandourek, and shooting will take place in the summer when the government is not working. Mr Jandak, a well-known 58-year-old Czech film and stage actor, was appointed as Culture Minister in August.

Czech World Cup team to be based at Westerburg

The Czech World Cup football team will be based at a lake side hotel near the town of Westerburg for this summer's finals in Germany, the squad's spokesman said on Friday. The chosen location is around 120 kilometres from Cologne, where the Czechs will start their world Cup campaign against the United States. The Czech team, which has qualified for the first time for the World Cup since the country's creation in 1993, will move to its German base on June 7.

Footballer Repka set to leave West Ham for Sparta Prague

The former Czech football international Tomas Repka is set to rejoin Sparta Prague, eight years after leaving the club. The tough 32-year-old defender will play two more games for English Premier League club West Ham United, before signing a three-year contract with Sparta. Repka said he wanted to return to Prague to be with his family.


The weekend is going to be overcast, with daytime temperatures around freezing. Night time temperatures are expected to drop to minus 11 degrees Celsius.