Prime Minister Petr Nečas defended his post as the chairman of the Civic
Democratic party, having received 351 at the party conference in Brno on
Sunday. Mr Nečas’ contender MP Ivan Fuksa won 178 votes from the party
delegates. Mr Fuksa announced that he will challenge the incumbent
late on Saturday night. Mr Nečas said that the government should continue
with its fiscal policies in his speech before the vote.
The old-new chairman of the Civic Democratic party Petr Nečas confirmed that the government is prepared to make changes to the 2013 budget in case the tax reform package is not passed by the lower house of parliament next week, in an interview with Czech Television’s Vaclav Moravec on Sunday.
Industry and Trade Minister Martin Kuba was elected as the new first
vice-chairman of the Civic Democratic, replacing lower house speaker
Miroslava Němcová. 363 delegates at the party conference voted for the
new vice-chairman on Sunday. In a brief interview with the press after his
victory, Mr Kuba said that he believes that the government may find a way
to find a compromise with the rebel Civic Democratic MPs, but gave to
Later on Sunday the conference delegates voted in four new vice-chair people: former Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil, current Justice Minister Pavel Blažek, Environment Minister Tomáš Chalupa, and Ms Němcová, who received the least number of votes of the four.
Members of the Czech cabinet will be discussing a new proposal for the
2013 budget on Monday. Despite the expected decline in tax revenue, the
proposal will be based on a 100 billion crown deficit. Finance Minister
Miroslav Kalousek had said earlier that the main cuts will be in
transportation, science and research, as well as co-financing of EU
projects. Mr Kalousek is preparing an alternative budget proposal given
possibility that VAT rates will not be raised and also considering the
estimated slower growth of the economy. The lower house returned the
original budget proposal to the cabinet for reworking because of
disagreements within the coalition over the tax reform package. The
government has to present the new budget proposal by November 23.
Rebel Civic Democratic MPs who have been refusing to support the tax reform package will continue talks with the government over the reforms, said one of the rebels Ivan Fuksa, although they are unlikely to change their stance. The lower house will renew deliberations on the reform package on Tuesday
Lucie Šafářová secured the Czech women’s team’s second Fed Cup victory in a row, after she beat Jelena Janković 6-1, 6-1. The Czechs beat Serbia 3-1 on Sunday, with a single loosing match between Petra Kvitová and Ana Ivanović. Both Šafářová and Kvitová won their matches on the first dame of the final. The Czechs won the Fed Cup last year against Russian, receiving thetitle for the first time since the Czech Republic became an independent state. The Czechoslovak women’s team won the Fed Cup title three times in a row in 1983-1985. The Czech men’s team is also in the final of the Davis Cup this year, which they will play against Spain in Prague on November 16-18.
This year will see a record number of bottles of Saint Martin’s wines going on sale, up by almost 200 thousand bottles from last year. 380 samples from 122 vinyards received the designation of Saint Martin wine, the majority were from the Müller Thurgau grapes. The feast of Saint Martin, which is celebrated in the Czech Republic on November 11, has become an occasion for the country’s winemakers to present and sell their young wines. Saint Martin wines are the first new wines of the year that are supposed to be consumed within a few months after bottling. The first bottles of Saint Martin wines will be opened at celebratory events on November 11 at 11 am.
A neogothic palace in the northern city of Ústí nad Labem, which has been used as a chemical laboratory for the past 50 years, is up for sale. The palace’s current owner, the biggest Czech oil refinery Unipetrol, has announced the sale of Ústí nad Labem’s most valuable building from the 19th century. Unipetrol had to lower the selling price this week, after the building has been on the market for about a year.
In his opening remarks at the Civic Democratic party conference on
Saturday morning, Prime Minister and party chairman Petr Nečas said that
he takes full responsibility for the party’s losses in the recent senate
and regional elections. The prime minister added that the Civic Democrats
should look for the faults within their own party, and said that the main
problem the Civic Democratic party has to face is that its name has become
associated with corruption and a government of money. The Civic Democrats
need to get rid of this negative label.
During the following deliberations at the conference, former Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra announced that he will not re-election as the vice chairman of the Civic Democratic party. Another current vice chairman Pavel Drobil also said he will not be asking for a nomination.
During the following deliberations at the conference, one of the rebel MPs Ivan Fuksa said that he and the others who have gone against the tax reforms do not want to see the current government fall. He added that the only way they will vote for the reform would be if the bill would not raise the VAT at all.
Former Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek also spoke at the Civic Democratic conference on Saturday, saying that the party needs to regain the credibility that it has lost. Mr Topolánek expressed his belief that the Civic Democratic party’s survival is under threat, and that a special emergency team should be named to carry the party over to the next conference after January’s presidential election. He also criticized President Václav Klaus for threatening his former party.
The LIDEM party is also holding its conference in Brno this weekend. As
expected, deputy prime minister and LIDEM’s main founder Karolina Peake
was elected chairwoman of the party on Saturday. The 70 delegates present
at this founding conference voted in Peake's preferences for vice
chair-people. Dagmar Navrátilová was elected first
deputy chair, and MP Viktor Paggio, Jiří Neumann and Jiří Rusnok were
also elected as deputy chairmen.
The Liberal Democratic party was formed this spring after a number of MPs from the Public Affairs party, including Ms Peake, left the party over disagreements with its leadership. The Public Affairs party subsequently left the governing coalition, while Ms Peake formed LIDEM, which instead became a coalition partner.