• 05/12/2005

    The lower house of the Czech Parliament has proposed to stop the activities or dissolve some 54 political parties and movements. They are said to have broken the law by failing to forward the entire or part of their business management reports for 2004 to the lower house. The lower house has therefore asked the government to propose to the Supreme Administrative Court to end the activities of 38 of the political groupings and dissolve 16 of them, which are no longer active. The parties and movements involved - some took part in the last elections - include the ultra-right Republicans of Miroslav Sladek and the Roma Civic Initiative.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 05/12/2005

    The 60th Prague Spring music festival is underway in the Czech capital. It was opened by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis, with a cycle of symphonic poems by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, who died 120 twenty years ago. The festival will come to a close on June 4.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 05/12/2005

    The Czech Republic's ice hockey team have made it to the semi-finals of the World Championships in Vienna after beating the United States 3:2 on Thursday. The teams battled to a 2-2 tie after regulation time and a 10 minute overtime period, before heading into penalty shots at which Martin Rucinsky was the only one of 10 shooters to score. The Czech Republic will face the winner of Thursday's Sweden-Switzerland quarter final in the semi-finals on Saturday.

    Author: Dita Asiedu
  • 05/11/2005

    Railway workers unions have called off the possibility of a general strike for at least the next one hundred days as they allow new management at Czech Railways to consider their proposals. The unions have expressed concern - and threatened to strike - over the possibility of excessive lay-offs in line with Czech Railway's long-term business plans. An estimated 6,000 employees are expected to lose their jobs this year, the same number as in 2004. Overall Czech Railways employs close to 70, 000 people.

    Author: Jan Velinger
  • 05/11/2005

    The Czech Republic beat Belarus 5:1 in their last game in the group phases of the Ice Hockey World Championships in Vienna on Tuesday evening. On Thursday the Czechs play the USA in the quarter-finals of the competition. It will be a chance for revenge for the Czech team, who were knocked out by the Americans at the same stage of the competition in Prague last year.

    Author: Jan Velinger
  • 05/10/2005

    The new Czech prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, has laid out the policy programme of his coalition government. At a news conference in Prague on Tuesday, the prime minister said its main objective would be to ratify the European Union Constitution. He said he hoped the issue would be put to a public referendum at the same time as general elections next summer. The prime minister also said he would support exports and small and medium-sized businesses.

    Mr Paroubek's new government faces its first test on Friday, when it will undergo a vote of confidence. The prime minister says he is positive it will receive the backing of all 101 government deputies.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 05/10/2005

    Jiri Paroubek also presented the new government spokesperson on Tuesday: Lucie Orgonikova will replace Veronika Skorepova, a former model who was forced to resign after giving a newspaper interview which the prime minister described as unprofessional.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 05/10/2005

    The Olga Havlova Award has been presented to a group called Zrcadlo (Mirror), which shares its experiences of mental health problems with other sufferers. The committee of the Olga Havlova Goodwill Committee also paid tribute to Kuman Vishwanathan, an Indian man who set up a "Coexistence Village" to encourage white Czechs and Romanies to live together in north Moravia. Olga Havlova, the highly respected wife of former president Vaclav Havel, died of cancer in 1996.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 05/09/2005

    On Monday, the Czech President Vaclav Klaus joined his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and over 50 other world leaders for a ceremony in Moscow marking the victory over Nazi Germany. Some critics, including former President Vaclav Havel, have questioned the attendance of Central and Eastern European leaders, pointing out that the liberation from Nazi Germany by the Red Army resulted in several decades of authoritarian Soviet communist rule. President Klaus said that the liberation of Czechoslovakia and the later political development in Central Europe could not be confused.

  • 05/09/2005

    During his visit to Moscow, President Vaclav Klaus expressed criticism at the fact that the former Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski was among those who received medals from the Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. Before leaving Moscow, President Klaus told President Putin that despite Mr Jaruzelski's role in the defeat of Nazism, for Czech citizens he remained a symbol of the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops. Wojciech Jaruzelski was Poland's Defence Minister when Polish units, along with Soviet, Hungarian, Bulgarian and East German troops invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968, putting an end to the reforms of the Prague Spring.

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