Daily news summary News

09-01-2007

Klaus names three-party coalition

President Klaus has named a new government made up of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Green Party. The three-party coalition, which failed a vote of confidence in October, has to undergo another such vote within thirty days. However, it is a vote short of a majority and would need the support of at least one rebel left-wing deputy to remain in power.

Prime Minster Mirek Topolanek, under pressure from within his own Civic Democrats, has staked his political future on the confidence vote: if it fails he says he will step down as party chairman.

The Czech Republic has been without a stable government since elections in June ended in stalemate.

Czech Republic not yet affected by Russia oil row

The Czech Republic has so far not been affected by a row over oil prices between Russia and Belarus. Although the pipeline between Ukraine and Slovakia was cut off on Monday evening, oil supplies from Slovakia are expected to keep reaching the Czech Republic for another week. The Czech minister of industry and trade, Martin Riman, said the country had enough crude oil to last four months.

Budvar strikes historic deal with Anheuser-Busch

The Czech brewer Budvar has struck an historic trade alliance with Anheuser-Busch, makers of Budweiser. The American giant has agreed to distribute Budejovicky Budvar's rival beer in the US. However, the Czech beer will remain under the Czechvar name in America, due to an ongoing trademark dispute. Both firms have also vowed to continue their fight over the Budweiser brand name elsewhere in the world.

Unemployment up to 7.7 percent

Unemployment in the Czech Republic was 7.7 percent in December, up from 7.3 percent in the previous month. The total number of Czechs without work is just over 420,000.

Tugendhat family apply for return of famous Brno villa

Descendants of the Tugendhat family have officially petitioned the Brno city authorities and the Culture Ministry for the return of the Tugendhat Villa. It dates from 1928 and is the only example of modern Czech architecture on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The Tugendhat family, who were Jewish, left in 1938. The villa was taken over by the Gestapo and confiscated by the Czechoslovak state in 1945.

"Hitler painting" withdrawn from auction

A water-colour claimed to be the work of Adolf Hitler has been withdrawn from a Czech internet auction, Mlada fronta Dnes reported on Tuesday. The auction's organiser told the daily there were doubts about the painting's authenticity.

German record attempt man robbed twice in Czech Republic

The support team for a German man hoping to set a new world record for running around the world in less than 260 days have been robbed twice on the Czech stage of the run, Pravo reported on Tuesday. Special clothing was stolen from the team's car in Kladno, while camera equipment was taken in Pribram.

Mountain rescue service receives less calls, more off slopes

The Czech Republic's mountain rescue service has been called out 340 times since the start of December - just a quarter the number of interventions made in the same period last winter. However the unseasonably warm weather is not all good news: there has been an increase of 180 percent in the number of interventions away from the ski slopes.

Weather

It is expected to be cloudy with the chance of rain in places over the next few days. Temperatures should reach up to 14 degrees Celsius.

09-01-2007