Wednesday, January 23, 2008

News from the Czech Republic

  • Prague stock exchange falls amid global jitters over US economy

  • [22-01-2008] By Rob Cameron

  • Stock markets around the world fell sharply on Monday amid fears of a looming recession in the United States. The Prague Stock Exchange was no exception. The PX’s main index ended trading down 4.62 percent at 1,489.6 points, its lowest closing figure for the last 15 months. The markets still appeared jittery on Tuesday, as nervous traders waited for Wall Street to reopen. So why does what happens 6,500 kilometres away in the United States have such an effect on the economic pulse of markets far, far away such as the Czech Republic? That’s a question we put to Tomáš Sedláček, Chief Economic Strategist at ČSOB bank.
  • Tomáš Sedláček “We’re living in a global world where literally a piece of information at one end of the globe affects the other end in a fraction of a second. All markets are interconnected today, not only via the internet and via communication, but one market affects the other almost instantly.” [more here]
  • Radar agreement between US and the Czech Republic close
  • A Pentagon spokesperson has said that an agreement between the US and the Czech Republic on deploying part of a US anti-missile defence system on Czech territory is to be concluded within weeks, AFP reported on Tuesday. But, Czech European Affairs Minister Alexandr Vondra did not confirm this information saying only it was possible that an agreement would be reached during spring. The US started negotiating an agreement with the Czech Republic in January 2007.
  • In related news, Slovak PM Robert Fico has criticized US plans to site part of its missile defence system in the Czech Republic and Poland. Addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Monday, Mr Fico said that he considers the project to be pointless. He expressed the view that any decisions on defence-related issues should be subject to negotiations between NATO and the EU. The Slovak Prime Minister also rejected the notion that bilateral talks between the United States and individual European allies do not concern third countries, especially those neighbouring on the Czech Republic and Poland. [source]
  • Former president Vaclav Havel in hospital

  • [22-01-2008] By Daniela Lazarová

  • The former Czech president Vaclav Havel was admitted to hospital over the weekend with chronic bronchitis and a heart problem. Although his private secretary was quick to reassure the public that his condition was not serious and that Mr. Havel simply needed to get some rest, latest reports suggest that the popular former head of state may need more intensive treatment.
  • Václav Havel Václav Havel The news that Vaclav Havel had been admitted to hospital broke late on Sunday morning when he failed to turn up for a televised debate. The country’s national broadcaster Czech Television reported that the former president had been admitted to hospital on Saturday night after complaining of heart arrhythmia or irregular heart beat. The media was not informed which hospital he was in at the time – but Mr. Havel sent the public a reassuring message via his private secretary saying he felt much better and hoped to attend the premiere of a new documentary about him called Citizen Havel. [more here]

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