A remembrance ceremony on Monday in front of the Czech Radio building on Prague's Vinohradska Street marked the 38th anniversary of the beginning of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Officials laid wreaths in front of the Czech Radio building which was the site of the bloodiest fighting in August 1968 between the occupiers and the citizens of Prague. The invasion of Warsaw-Pact troops crushed the reform movement known as the Prague Spring and Soviet units stayed in Czechoslovakia until 1991. More than 70 people were killed and several hundred wounded in the first weeks of the invasion.
Financial analysts approached by the CTK news agency have agreed that the major advantage of an early adoption of the euro for Czech citizens would be easier travelling. On the other hand, they warned that the economy might overheat causing a rapid growth of prices. The government have agreed that the Czech Republic should adopt the European currency in 2010 but the term has been put into question by some experts. For example, the deputy finance minister Eduard Janota said on Sunday that the Czech Republic's planned adoption of the Euro in 2010 was in danger because the Czech Republic was not going to fulfil all the Maastricht criteria by the middle of 2007.
Outgoing Social Democrat prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, said on Sunday that he intended to press for early elections to the lower house in 2008, saying that he did not want to allow a minority Civic Democrat government to govern until 2009, when the Czech Republic will hold the presidency of the European Union. The chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Mirek Topolanek, does not agree with the notion that the next government's mandate should end before the EU presidency term finishes in June 2009. Earlier, Mr Paroubek had expressed the opinion that early elections would not hurt the Czech Republic's success during the EU presidency rotation.
The Czech Chamber of Agriculture has said that wheat yields in the Czech Republic will be lower than last year and due to bad weather conditions less than half of the harvested crops is expected to reach standard quality. Speaking at a news conference on Monday, the head of the chamber Jan Veleba said the situation can affect the prices of some foodstuffs, such as flour, baked products or meat. An unusually hot and dry July was followed by heavy rain at the beginning of August which damaged a lot of the crops.
The district state attorney's office in the city of Plzen has said two young traffic police officers from the Tachov district attempted to rob a local petrol station on Sunday night. They were detained as they were trying to assault the staff. One of them was on duty and wearing a police uniform at the time of the attack. Both men, aged 26 and 27, have been accused of plotting a robbery and one of abuse of power.
Prime Minister designate and Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek and
Social Democrat chairman and outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek met on
Monday morning for talks about a future Czech government but the talks
have failed to make progress. Mr Paroubek said it was unlikely that his
Social Democrats would support a minority Civic Democrat government. Mirek
Topolanek, on the other hand, accused Mr Paroubek of blocking the
of a rightist minority government. Meanwhile the Social Democrat
leadership decided later on Monday that the party would continue in the
negotiations with the Civic Democrats on a Civic Democrat minority
The Civic Democrats won the most votes in a national election in June, but parliament has been deadlocked because the right and left-wing blocs hold the same number of seats in the lower house.
Police have secured the descriptions of three men who robbed a currency exchange office in the center of Prague on Saturday afternoon. The men got away with a reported 800 000 crowns, and police are currently gathering evidence, screening surveillance footage and interviewing possible witnesses. A spokeswoman from the Prague police department said that the thieves were not masked, and that they spoke Czech with a foreign accent. One of the three men used a firearm during the robbery, and local residents are being asked to provide any information they may have about the incident.
Outgoing Social Democratic prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, has confirmed
that he intends to press for early elections to the lower house in 2008.
Mr. Paroubek made the statements during a televised interview on Sunday,
saying that he does not want to allow a minority Civic Democratic
government to govern until 2009, when the Czech Republic will hold the
presidency of the European Union. The Social Democratic chairman was
reacting to his rival, the chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Mirek
Topolanek, who does not agree with the notion that the next government's
mandate should end before the EU presidency term finishes in June 2009.
Earlier, Mr. Paroubek had expressed the opinion that early elections would
not hurt the Czech Republic's success during the EU presidency rotation.
Mr. Topolanek and Mr. Paroubek are due to meet on Monday to discuss the conditions for Social Democratic support for a minority Civic Democratic government. Mr. Paroubek wants to approve key ministry postings and two possible Civic Democratic candidates are problematic for him: Alexander Vondra and Ivan Langer, who have been tipped as candidates for foreign minister and interior minister, respectively.
The new school year set to begin in a couple of weeks will usher in the beginning of significant reforms to the educational system, says a spokesman from the Ministry of Education. The new educational techniques will first be tested at elementary schools designated for the pilot-program, meant to eliminate the traditional approach in Czech schools which saw children memorizing a great many facts and placed far less stress on creativity and discussion. The ministry also says that parents will have a greater opportunity to provide schools and teachers with feedback on their child's education. The educational reforms are marked as the most significant since the early 1990s and will come into effect on 1 September 2007.