EU budget agreement satisfactory for Czech Republic, says Paroubek

The Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, says he is extremely satisfied with the compromise European Union budget agreed on by EU leaders in the early hours of Saturday morning. He said most of the Czech Republic's demands had been met in Brussels and the country could receive up to 3.1 billion euros a year net in the period 2007 to 2013.

Mr Paroubek added that Czechs could receive more per capita from EU cohesion funds than any other state.

Two die as bad weather causes havoc around country

Snowstorms and winds of up to 144 km an hour have killed two people, as well as uprooting trees and cutting off power supplies around the Czech Republic. One man died when a tree fell on his car, while another was killed in a traffic accident on an icy road.

In the capital some Christmas markets had to be closed and Prague Castle had to lock its gates because of fears of falling roof tiles.

Czech BBC to close after rescue plan fails

The Czech BBC is to cease broadcasting. After the BBC World Service axed it and several other language services, the Czech BBC had hoped to continue as part of BBC Worldwide with commercial backing. But efforts to save the station failed: its current affairs broadcasting will end next Friday, while news bulletins will cease on January 31st.

Meanwhile the BBC World Service is hoping to win the agreement of the Czech Broadcasting Council to maintain its English broadcasting in the Czech Republic.

Site secured for Hyundai car plant in Moravia

A site has been secured in Nosovice, north Moravia for a proposed new Hyundai car plant; the Moravia-Silesia regional authority announced on Friday that all owners of the land designated for the plant had agreed to sell. A decision on whether Hyundai will build in the region is due to be made by the end of the year.

Boys arrested on suspicion of kicking man to death

Two boys aged 14 and 15 have been arrested on suspicion of kicking a man to death and robbing him. Police in Trinec in the east of the country are treating the case as grievous bodily harm resulting in death; they say the victim died several hours after the attack on Wednesday night.

Havel warns of voter alienation, calls for new faces in Czech politics

Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has warned that alienation with Czech politicians is growing and that new faces are needed. Speaking in an interview in Lidove Noviny, Mr Havel said fewer Czechs were bothering to vote and more believed politicians were corrupt.

The former president also criticised the country's approach to China, and admitted to being fascinated by a reality TV show that ended last weekend, though he said he had not voted for any contestant.


Weather forecasters have warned of more heavy snows in some parts of the country. Otherwise, it should remain cloudy with temperatures of between 0 and 2 degrees Celsius in the coming days.