The Czech football club Slavia Prague have made it into the Champions
League for the first time. Slavia reached the lucrative and prestigious
competition after beating Ajax over two games; following a 1:0 win in
Amsterdam, the Czech side achieved a 3:1 aggregate score with a 2:1
in Prague on Wednesday night. Slavia's opponents in the group stage of the
Champions League will be Arsenal, Steau Bucharest and the winners of a tie
between Sevilla and AEK Athens.
Sparta Prague have not qualified for the competition, after losing 5:0 to Arsenal on aggregate. A former Sparta player, Tomas Rosicky, opened the scoring in Wednesday's second leg in London, which the home side won 3:0.
The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, says it is necessary to achieve a certain national consensus on the building of an American radar base in central Bohemia. Speaking after talks with US congressman Trent Franks in Prague, Mr Klaus said if the base was approved by the slimmest of majorities in the lower house it would create room for various potential problems in the future. The Czech Parliament is set to decide on the planned US base in the early part of next year.
Sparta Prague football player Pavel Horvath is the centre of controversy after twice making a seig heil gesture to the club's fans during a game against Viktoria Zizkov last weekend. Horvath has apologised for what he described as an unfortunate gesture, saying he had not meant it in a bad way. The 32-year-old could face up to three years in prison for making the illegal gesture.
There is a slight fall in the number of pupils attending Czech elementary schools this academic year; almost 850,000 pupils are enrolled, a fall of around 25,000 compared to last year. However, there is a small increase in the number of children going into first class, said the institute for education information.
Scientists in the Czech Republic are set to get an extra two billion CZK a year from the European Union, with the cancelling of value added tax duty due on chemicals used in EU-funded research, Hospodarske noviny reported. The change is part of an extensive reform package recently approved by the Chamber of Deputies. The tax had acted as something of a deterrent - the Czech Republic currently ranks 22nd in the union in terms of participation in EU scientific projects.
The National Theatre hopes to reopen talks with representatives of Vaclav Havel on the possibility of staging the playwright's first work in nearly two decades, one of its directors said on Thursday. He said the institution now proposed to stage the play Leaving at its Estates Theatre. It was reported recently that Mr Havel had decided to take the long-awaited piece to another theatre, after the National Theatre refused to allow his wife Dagmar to take part in the production. The former president said he had written a key part in Leaving for her.
Average wages in the Czech Republic grew by 7.4 percent in the second quarter of this year. The average salary stood at CZK 21,462 (just over USD 1,000) in the April to July period. Accounting for inflation, the real wage increase is 4.9 percent. Analysts have put the rise down to a shortage of labour in many sectors of the Czech economy.