One of the greatest Czech athletes of all time, javelin thrower Jan Zelezny, has been elected a member of the International Olympic Committee for the second time. Zelezny received the second highest number of votes among 29 candidates in Athens on Thursday. The javelin legend has three Olympic gold medals and will be hoping to add to that collection on Saturday evening, when he competes at the Games for the last time.
The Czech National Bank has - as expected - decided to raise interest rates by 0.25 percentage points. On Friday the repo rate will grow to 2.50 percent, the discount rate will rise to 1.50 percent and the Lombard rate to 3.50 percent, a spokesman for the Bank said on Thursday. The increase will result in higher interest rates on loans and deposits at commercial banks.
Sparta Prague football club have reached the biggest competition in club football, the Champions League. Sparta beat Ferencvaros 2:0 in Prague on Wednesday night to win the tie 2:1 on aggregate, after losing the first leg in Budapest 1:0. They will now face Manchester United, Lyon and Ferenbahce in the group stage of the lucrative competition.
Libor Capilini has won bronze for the Czech Republic in the modern pentathlon at the Olympic Games in Athens. It is the first Czech medal since 1976 in the event, which consists of shooting, fencing, swimming, showjumping and a 3000m run. Capilini's success brings the Czech medal tally at Athens to eight.
The leader of the opposition Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, has been questioned over allegations his party tried to bribe a government MP. Zdenek Koristka of the Freedom Union says Mr Topolanek's party offered him 10 million crowns (over 300,000 euros) to bring down the government in a confidence vote. The Civic Democrat leader - who strongly denies the claim - was questioned by police on Thursday, two days after his party filed slander charges against Mr Koristka.
The ice hockey stadium in the west Bohemian town of Litvinov is to be renamed the Ivan Hlinka Stadium, in honour of the much respected player and coach, who tragically died in a car crash last week. Mr Hlinka began playing for Litvinov in 1962 at the age of 12, and stayed at the club for 19 years. After a successful career as a player he coached the Czech team which won gold at the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Former dissident John Bok, who has been on hunger strike since Monday, says he wants to increase pressure on Stanislav Gross to resign as prime minister. Mr Bok said he was inspired to begin the hunger strike by protests against Mr Gross's appointment of Pavel Pribyl as head of the Office of the Government. Mr Pribyl resigned when evidence emerged a riot police unit he commanded in 1989 used violence against anti-Communist protesters.
The new coalition government of Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has
passed its first crucial test, receiving a vote of confidence late
Tuesday, some 7 hours after deliberations began in the Chamber of
Deputies. Throughout the day Parliament heard extensive speeches from
MPs either for or against the government. The prime minister spoke at
length about the goals of his cabinet, saying it would make social
issues a priority. However, the opposition Civic Democrats, expressed
their dissatisfaction with the government's programme, warning it would
lead the country to stagnation and debt.
No MPs from either opposition party - the Civic Democrats or the Communists - voted in the cabinet's favour.
Finally, because the ruling coalition enjoys just the slimmest of majorities - 101 votes in a 200 member parliament - two ill MPs were required to leave their hospital beds on Tuesday to make an appearance in the Lower House. Their presence ensured the new government was able to clinch the minimum number of votes.