Assuming it does well in next year’s election, the country’s newest political party TOP 09, which elected members of its party leadership on Saturday, has outlined as key the need to reduce the state budget deficit by 1 percent GDP per year. Speaking on Czech TV on Sunday, the newly-confirmed party chairman Karel Schwarzenberg said such a move would stabilise public finances within five years, allowing the country to adopt the euro in 2015. Mr Schwarzenberg stressed that Czech adoption of the European currency was a pragmatic decision for his party, rather than an ideological one. The former foreign minister, who is 71, won 99 percent of party delegates’ votes on Saturday; other key members elected to the leadership include the former finance minister Miroslav Kalousek.
Police have arrested a man suspected of a brutal attack in a public boarding house in Mělník, north of Prague. Six people were injured - five of them seriously - in the incident. Ambulance workers called to the scene suggested the assailant had used either an axe or a hammer in the attack. Police and additional backup were called to the scene ahead of the suspects’ arrest; officers are investigating further.
The Foreigners Police in Brno detained several people in an extensive series of checks on Saturday, including a Mongolian suspect wanted for theft. Police also stopped five runaways from a local orphanage. Three foreigners from Ukraine and Mongolia, who were in the country illegally, were also detained and face deportation. In the raid, some 50 police officers checked IDs of 1,500 individuals. The checks took place at Brno shopping centres and other areas.
The 1914 oil-on-wood painting “Glass and Newspaper” by Cubist painter Emil Filla has fetched a record 11.2 million crowns in a Prague auction: the sum is the highest bid a Filla painting has ever received in auction in the Czech Republic. Bidding began at 9 million. The painting is considered one of Filla’s most important - comparable to other Cubist masterworks of the early 20th century.
Czech pop singer Karel Gott, 70, has won the Český slavík (Czech Nightingale) award for the 35th time in his career. The ceremony was broadcast live on TV from the Prague State Opera on Saturday night. Others awarded on the evening were pop singer Lucie Bílá, in the female singers’ category, and the bestselling hard rock group Kabát. Martin Chodúr, a contestant on Česko-Slovenská Superstar, the local version of Pop Idol, won the award for best newcomer or find of the year. The Český slavík awards (formerly known as Zlatý slavík) began in 1962. Members of the public vote on the winners.
The local version of MTV, MTV Czech, will kick off in the Czech Republic on Sunday evening at 9 pm local time. The Czech version is being operated by the international firm CME, owner of local private broadcaster TV Nova. MTV Czech’s launch on Sunday will feature a number of video premieres, including a new song by singer Aneta Langerová, the winner of the country’s first Pop Idol (Česko hledá superstar) several years back.
Cross-country skier Lukáš Bauer has finished ninth in the men’s 15 kilometre classic in the World Cup in Kuusamo, Finland. His finish, his first race of the season, was better than expected: a week ago Bauer missed the opener after suffering illness in October. After the race on Sunday, Bauer expressed satisfaction that he had managed to finish in the top ten. Bauer won the World Cup circuit in 2008.
Czech hockey forward Patrik Eliáš racked up two goals and two assists to
help the New Jersey Devils down the New York Islanders on Saturday. The
Devils won the lopsided match by a score of 6:1.
In other action, the Bruins’ David Krejčí scored a goal and earned one assist against Ottawa. Boston won the game 4:3 on penalties. Despite his team’s loss, the Senators’ Michálek also had a memorable game, earning an assist and scoring two goals – the last coming just 20 seconds before the end of the 3rd period, forcing extra time.
Senator and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg was elected the
chairman of the new Czech political party TOP 09 at its constituent
conference in Prague on Saturday. Delegates also elected other members of
party leadership. MP, former finance minister and one the party’s
founders Miroslav Kalousek was elected the 1st deputy chair.
The party, which defines itself as conservative, pro-European and anti-populist, was founded in June this year as a right-wing split from the Christian Democrats. It has since become quite popular in the Czech Republic. Polls repeatedly showed it could become the third strongest party in the Chamber of Deputies after the next general election scheduled for May, 2010.
Another officer of the Czech Army has been suspended for wearing Nazi
symbols. The Czech news agency ČTK reported that Military Police detained
the officer at an anti-aircraft brigade in Strakonice, south Bohemia, on
Thursday. The soldier was immediately suspended, and will be charged with
supporting movements to suppress human rights and freedoms, an army
The Czech Army launched thorough checks earlier this month to curb extremism in the ranks of the army. The measure was prompted by the case of two soldiers from the Czech army contingent in Afghanistan who wore Nazi symbols on their helmets.
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