Breakfast Brief

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NEWSCzech EU commissioner to be in charge of enlargementŠtefan Füle, the new Czech European commissioner, will be in charge of EU enlargement, European Commission head José Manuel Barroso said on Friday. Lidové noviny has reported that the post is among the more prestigious.Source: most Czech press Schwarzenberg becomes TOP 09 chairmanKarel Schwarzenberg was elected chairman on Saturday at the founding congress for the new TOP 09, as expected. Former Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has become first deputy chairman.Source: most Czech press Hussein planned attack on RFE/RLSaddam Hussein planned a terrorist attack on the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the former Federal Assembly building in Prague in 1999 in order to silence the radio broadcasting criticising his regime, TVContinue Reading

NEWSFischer announces name of new EU affairs ministerJuraj Chmiel, the Czech ambassador to Australia, will be appointed new minister for European affairs on Monday, PM Jan Fischer said yesterday after meeting with ODS chairman Mirek Topolánek. Chmiel will replace Štefan Füle, the Czech candidate for EU commissioner.Source: most Czech press Eight die of swine flu in ČR, epidemic to continue, get worseThe Health Ministry announced yesterday that so far eight people in the Czech Republic have died of swine flu and more than 770 people have been contaminated with the virus. Roman Prymula, who chairs the national vaccination society, said that further waves of the swine flu epidemic are likely to hit with more serious consequences.Source: most Czech press PragueContinue Reading

NEWSHN: ODS wants two people for chair and party leaderHospodářské noviny reports that ODS is mulling a change in its organisational structure that would make the chairman of the party and its political leader, the prime minister if the Civic Democrats win in the spring general elections, two different people. HN says the current ODS Deputy Chair Ivan Langer would probably become party chairman.Source: HN 4 Health Ministry issues new measures on fluThe health and labour ministries yesterday announced that doctors in regions undergoing a flu epidemic could issue sick notes retroactively for five days. Health Minister Dana Jurásková also recommended that doctors have patients sign an agreement that they had been informed about the swine flu vaccination and toContinue Reading

NEWS E15: Füle’s chances still high for Czech EU commissioner Questions put by the European People’s Party to the Czech EU commissioner candidate Stefan Fülle about his past Communist party ties would not stand in the way of his election, E15 reports, quoting an unnamed source. According to former foreign affairs minister Alexandr Vondra, Füle’s appointment doesn’t pose a security risk.Source: most Czech press Chief health officer: ČR swine flu vaccine is safe A swine flu vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) which caused abnormal allergic reactions in Canada is not being delivered to the Czech Republic, the country’s chief health officer Michael Vít said yesterday. Almost half of the staff at two Czech hospitals refused to be vaccinated yesterday when theContinue Reading

NEWSExperts: ODS has replacement for TopolánekPolitical experts polled by ČTK say that ODS already has a replacement in mind for party chairman Mirek Topolánek but that his opponents do not want to risk an open clash before the elections. Topolánek told ČT 24 yesterday that he could be replaced by the party’s vice deputy in Moravia-Silesia, Pavel Drobil, the head of the Brno ODS, Pavel Blažek, or the Liberec party vice deputy, Radim Zika.Source: ČTK, LN 1, 3 Swine flu vaccinations extended to children aged 10-plusThe State Institute for Drug Control and the European Medicines Agency have decided to extend swine flu immunisations to children aged 10 and older who are chronically ill. The first groups of children are toContinue Reading