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.
The first day of women’s tennis Fed Cup final in the Czech capital ended with triumph for the home team. The Czech team won both of the Saturday’s matches. Lucie Šafářová beat Serbia’s Ana Ivanović in two sets, 6-4, 6-3. And the eight seed Petra Kvitová was victorious over former top world player Jelena Janković. Although Kvitová was first losing 2-4 to her Sebian rival, she did not lose a single game after that finishing the set 6-4, and the next one 6-1. There were doubts about how well Kvitová could perform in this weekends final, because of an illness she’s been fighting for the past week. But the youngest player in the Czech team did not seem to be struggling with her cold during the game. The final will continue tomorrow with two more singles matches and a double match.
Doctors’ union representatives from the Czech Republic may join forces with their colleagues in neighboring countries – Slovakia, Poland and Hungary – to stage another set of protests, similar to last year’s ‘Thank you, we’re leaving’ campaign. Mlada fronta Dnes daily reported on Saturday that doctors want to protest against similar problems as last year, but in addition to persistently low salaries, they are also criticizing plans to further privatize, and the insurance companies’ unfair practices. The unions are planning to stage a warning to the government and the Health Ministry and have doctors stop working for a few minutes on November 20th. If their demands are not met after that, union representatives are threatening massive resignations from doctors around the country, but said that this will not happen until after Christmas, so as not to complicate matters for patients during the holiday season.