Czech Cabinet approves much-awaited bankruptcy bill
The Czech government has approved a bankruptcy bill that should facilitate bankruptcies and increase creditors' powers. The Czech Republic has long been criticised for its existing bankruptcy legislation with proceedings dragging on for years and creditors in the end receiving only 17 percent of their claims, the lowest percentage in the EU. Bankruptcies in the Czech Republic by far exceed settlement with creditors. Some 4,000 petitions for bankruptcy are filed every year in the Czech Republic, while the cases of settlement number just several dozen.
Cabinet ministers demand 61 billion crowns over state budget proposal
The Finance Ministry has announced that government ministers are demanding 61 billion crowns (2.5 billion dollars) more than has been approved in the state budget proposal for 2006. In July the cabinet approved a draft budget with a deficit of 76.4 billion crowns. The cabinet is expected to approve the state budget bill for 2006 in September. After that, the bill will go to the lower house of parliament.
Czech Gripen fleet complete
The last two Jas-39 Gripen supersonic fighter jets ordered by the Czech government from Sweden have arrived in the Czech Republic, completing the replacement of the country's ageing fleet of Soviet MiGs. The Gripens will be leased for 10 years for almost 20 billion crowns (850 million dollars), after which the country has an option to buy them or return them to Sweden. The Czech Republic is the first NATO country to employ Gripens in its air-force. Hungary will start using them next year. Poland opted for US F-16s and Slovakia will modernise Russian-made MiG-29s.
Leading American scholar of Czech theatre dies at age 78
The leading American scholar of Czech theatre, Professor Emeritus of Theatre at the University at Albany, Jarka Burian, has died at the age of 78 in the United States. Jarka Burian was born in 1927 to a Czech family living in New York. He served at the University of Albany from 1955 to 1993, and also taught at Cornell, Berkeley and a number of other universities. He published many books on Czech theatre. His work "Modern Czech Theatre: Reflector and Conscience of a Nation", published in 2000, was described as the definitive historical and critical study of Czech theatre of the last century."
Prague's astronomical clock to undergo maintenance work
The famous astronomical clock on Prague's Old Town Square will be out of order for a couple of months. From September to mid-November experts will carry out maintenance work on the clockwork, dial and the decorative wooden statues. The cost of the repair work is estimated at 2.5 million crowns (100,000 dollars). The clock was made in the 15th century by clockmakers Mikulas of Kadan and Hanus of Ruze.
We can expect the current hot and sunny weather to stay in the next few days, with daytime temperatures reaching highs of 30 degrees Celsius.