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Czech report Czech report
by Euro Reporter
2010-04-11 10:33:38
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Klaus expresses shock over tragedy that claimed life of Polish president, dozens of others

President Václav Klaus has expressed his deepest condolences over the tragic death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski who was killed on Saturday, along with dozens of others, in a plane crash in Russia. The accident took place in the morning hours when the Polish president, his wife, and an official delegation, which included the head of Poland’s central bank, legislators, and military representatives, were on their way to a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Katyn massacre 70 years ago. The tragedy took place when pilots tried to land the plane in poor visibility near Smolensk, Russia. The plane clipped treetops before crashing; all 132 people on board died. Speaking at a press conference in Prague, Mr Klaus said it was a huge loss that had shocked and deeply saddened him; he called Mr Kaczynski a great son of Poland and a rare personality, stressing that he had lost a true friend.


Prague archbishop inaugurated at St Vitus Cathedral

The Archbishop of Prague, Dominik Duka, has been inaugurated to his post at a ceremony and special mass at Prague’s St Vitus Cathedral. On Saturday morning the archbishop, who is also the head of the Roman Catholic Church in the Czech Republic, took up the Pastoral staff from his predecessor Cardinal Miloslav Vlk. Czech President Václav Klaus, who spoke at the ceremony, thanked Archbishop Duka’s predecessor for his years in office and expressed the hope that unresolved issues between the Church and state – such as the ownership of St Vitus Cathedral and property restitution – would be resolved. Archbishop Dominik Duka, who is 67, was appointed the new Archbishop of Prague on February 13 of this year.


President informed over next US ambassador to Prague

President Václav Klaus has said that he has been informed on who will be the next US ambassador to Prague; the president revealed the information on Friday, shortly after meeting with US President Barack Obama at Prague Castle. He did not reveal a name but did say that the person in question was a member of the US delegation that travelled to the Czech Republic for the US-Russia summit. The news website Euro.cz on Friday cited unnamed diplomatic sources as saying the next US ambassador to Prague will be 49-year-old Norman Eisen, an expert on ethics and a close aide to the US president. The site reported that Mr Eisen’s parents survived the Holocaustand that his mother was from the former Czechoslovakia. Unofficial sources, however, did not confirm Mr Eisen as the choice for the Czech news agency. The Czech Republic has been without a US ambassador for 15 months.


Election outcome will influence euro adoption

After years of making, and breaking, plans to adopt the euro, the government is under growing pressure from the Czech National Bank (ČNB), the European Commission (EC) and independent banking analysts to make concrete political and economic steps toward adopting the currency.
Several reports on the state of the country's path to euro adoption have been published in recent weeks, and the conclusions unanimously agree that the upcoming elections will crucially affect the country's date for euro conversion and that the new government must take action to meet the economic criteria or face sanctions by the European Union. The ČNB held a press conference on euro adoption March 28, and ČNB Governor Zdeněk Tůma marked 2015 as a possible date for the currency change but said the debate has hit "a bottleneck," and the exact date of conversion now depends on political decisions that cannot be made until after the elections.
Tůma's remarks were confirmed to The Prague Post by ČNB spokesman Tomáš Zimmermann, who said, "Governor Tůma is very consistent with his statements on this topic. According to the governor, the acceptance of the euro is mainly a political decision."

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