News Tuesday, JULY 10th, 2001

Missing girl found dead

After 20 days of investigation and searching, the police recovered the body of 5-year old Tereza Cermakova from Kladno in Central Bohemia. On Monday night, she was discovered buried in a nearby forest. The girl was reported missing on June 20 and since then, up to 600 police officers have been involved in a search of the town and the surrounding area. The girl's mother repeatedly changed her testimony and eventually attempted to commit suicide.

Govt allocates funds for economic big bang

The Czech government has allocated 166 billion Czech crowns or more than 4 billion USD for a strategy to boost Czech economic growth, as proposed by Trade and Industry Minister Miroslav Gregr. The money will be invested in different economic fields and should accelerate GDP growth to 4 percent this year and up to 6 percent in 2002. The main areas of investment will include housing construction, transport infrastructure, industrial zones and restructuring of the coal-mining and metallurgy sectors.

Czechs demand transition period for tax hikes

The Czech Republic has said it will demand transition periods concerning increases in some tax rates after the country joins the European Union. Czech Finance Minister Jiri Rusnok said his country wanted to maintain lower VAT and consumer tax rates than those of current EU members, and would raise taxes gradually in order to avoid negative social and economic consequences. After meeting the EU´s enlargement commissioner, Guenter Verheugen, in Brussels on Monday, Mr Rusnok said EU officials understood the Czech Republic's position. He also said that the Czech economic performance was improving, something which should be reflected in the EU´s annual progress report due to be released in autumn.

Portuguese president visits Czech Republic

Portuguese president Jorge Sampaio is currently on a state visit to the Czech Republic. On Tuesday, he is to meet with his Czech counterpart, Vaclav Havel and other high ranking Czech officials to discuss EU and NATO enlargement and bilateral relations. On Wednesday, president Sampaio will attend an economic forum in Prague and visit the South Bohemian town of Cesky Krumlov, which is on UNESCO's list of cultural monuments.

Archbishop Graubner to open charity centre in Kosovo

The chairman of the Czech Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Jan Graubner, is paying a three day visit to Kosovo. Archbishop Graubner will open a charity and social centre in the town of Gnjilane and will also visit the Czech KFOR contingent stationed in Podujevo. The centre was financed jointly by the Czech Catholic Charity and the Czech government and cost more than 50,000 USD.

Havel chooses steamy ´Intimacy´ at Czech film festival

Czech President Vaclav Havel attended special screenings of the films "Intimacy" and "Bride of the Wind" on Monday at the 36th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Mr Havel chose the films from among hundreds on the menu at the nine-day festival, the largest of its kind in Eastern Europe. The French-Italian production "Intimacy", which has explicit sex scenes, is about a divorced bartender and a married actress who meet weekly but never speak. In addition to watching films, Mr Havel also had dinner with festival organisers and met British actor Ben Kingsley.

Czech weather report

The weather on Tuesday will be influenced by a high pressure area from the West. We´re expecting a partially cloudy day with scattered showers, especially in the north-east of the country. The highest daytime temperatures should range from 20 to 24 degrees Celsius. Wednesday and Thursday should be much the same, partially cloudy with occasional showers and thunderstorms. Afternoon highs should range from 22 to 26 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and from 18 to 23 on Thursday.