• 03/06/2005

    Both the coalition Christian Democrats and the opposition Civic Democrats have said that they consider Prime Minister Stanislav Gross's Saturday public apology as insufficient. Mr Gross's Social Democrats, on the contrary, welcomed the apology as an end to tensions within the ruling coalition.

    Prime Minister Gross officially apologised on Saturday for giving rise to a political row by some of his ill-advised statements in connection with the controversy over the way he financed his apartment. In a live address to the nation in Czech Television's evening news programme, Prime Minister Gross also announced his wife was going to terminate all her business activities in order to put an end to the current political crisis. Mr Gross has been under fire for several weeks because of his failure to provide a plausible explanation of how he financed a Prague apartment five years ago and how his wife funds her business.

  • 03/06/2005

    Earlier on Saturday, the Prime Minister Stanislav Gross said he considered the government crisis, triggered by the controversies surrounding his family's private finances, to be over and called on his cabinet to get back to work. In a confidence vote on Saturday morning, his party gave Mr Gross the strong backing following weeks of crisis of confidence focusing on him personally. In three weeks' time Prime Minister Gross, who is the acting head of the Social Democrats, will seek election as party chairman at the Social Democrats' national congress.

  • 03/06/2005

    The Czech National Library has said it is interested in acquiring a 14th-century manuscript which is on offer at a Paris auction room. The 24-page parchment book is a fragment of a Latin translation of the "Chronicle of Dalimil" - the oldest Czech language chronicle in verse and one of the fundamental documents of Czech historiography. The Latin translation is believed to have been made in Italy in the second half of the 14th century. The Czech National Library is in talks with the Culture Ministry over a financial contribution by the state towards buying the manuscript. The catalogue price of the artefact is between 120,000 and 150,000 euros but according to experts its final price could climb up to 1 million euro at the auction.

  • 03/06/2005

    "Horem padem" or "Up and Down" in English - has won the Czech Lion award for the best Czech film of 2004. The film, directed by Jan Hrebejk and produced by Ondrej Trojan, won a total of four prizes at Saturday's award ceremony in Prague; for best Czech film, best director, best script and best actress in a leading role.

  • 03/06/2005

    Lukas Bauer won the men's World Cup 15-kilometre freestyle race in Lahti, Finland on Sunday for his second win this season and third overall. He timed 36 minutes 06.2 seconds to come in 12.1 seconds ahead of Austria's Christian Hoffmann with Italy's Thomas Moriggl third at 21.5 seconds.

  • 03/05/2005

    The Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has officially apologised for giving rise to a political row by some of his ill-advised statements in connection with the controversy over the way he financed his apartment. In a live address to the nation in Czech Television's evening news programme on Saturday, Prime Minister Gross also announced his wife was going to terminate all her business activities in order to put an end to the current political crisis. The Prime Minister also pledged to put forward a bill shortly which would, as he said, clarify matters related to the private finances of politicians and state officials.

    Mr Gross has been under fire for several weeks over questions as to where he got money to buy his apartment six years ago, and how his wife funds her business.

  • 03/05/2005

    Earlier on Saturday, the Prime Minister and acting head of the Social Democratic Party, Stanislav Gross, said that he considered the government crisis, triggered by the controversies surrounding his family's private finances, to be over. In a confidence vote on Saturday morning, the Prime Minister received the strong backing of the Social Democrat leadership in a move to put to rest a row over his personal finances that threatened to topple the government. In three weeks' time Prime Minister Gross will seek election as Social Democrat leader at the party's national congress.

  • 03/05/2005

    In response to Saturday's Social Democrats' confidence vote, the head of the coalition Christian Democrats, Miroslav Kalousek, said it was the Social Democrats' internal decision. He repeated that his party had given the Social Democrats until after their party conference to deal with the problem. The chairman of the third government party, the Freedom Union, Pavel Nemec, welcomed the result saying it was a positive signal for the stability of the current coalition. The deputy head of the opposition Civic Democrats, Petr Necas, said that the Social Democrats' decision does not change the fact that confidence in the government has been compromised. The opposition Communist Party said it was up to the Social Democrats how they dealt with their own affairs.

  • 03/05/2005

    The former president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma has cut short his holiday in the Czech Republic and left for Kiev, where authorities are seeking to question him over the gruesome death of a reporter. Prosecutors want to question the former president after Yury Kravchenko, who served as his interior minister, was found dead on Friday just hours before he was due for questioning on the murder of an investigative reporter five years ago. Mr Kravchenko reportedly accused Mr Kuchma and his entourage of leading to his suicide in a note. Mr Kuchma had been vacationing in the West Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary.

  • 03/05/2005

    Olympic decathlon champion Roman Sebrle trailed in third place after the opening three events in the European indoor men's heptathlon on Saturday. Defending champion Sebrle, collected 2,619 points from the 60 metres, long jump and shot put on the second morning of the three-day championships.

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