Public broadcaster Czech TV has revealed it will air debates involving all presidential candidates ahead of the country’s presidential election, and two debates between two final candidates if voting goes to a second round. A spokeswoman for the broadcaster said on Monday that candidates would also be profiled by reporters in other programmes. Station head Petr Dvořák said Czech TV wanted to provide proper coverage ahead of the vote, the first direct presidential election in the country’s history. As of Monday, 10 candidates had officially registered. The final deadline is 4 pm on Tuesday.
Retail sales in the country slid by 3.3 percent in September year-on-year, while in August they declined by 0.8 percent, the Czech Statistical Office has revealed. Consumers saved primarily on food, home items, medicine and cosmetics products the bureau reported. By contrast, spending was not curbed in the areas of clothing and footwear. Several surveys have suggested a drop in consumer spending related to fears over the economy and the government’s austerity measures including VAT hikes.
Police in Plzeň have revealed they arrested a man last week on the suspicion he was trying to sell 170 grams of plastic explosive known as semtex. A police spokeswoman made the statement on Monday with elaborating further. The suspect was arrested on November 1 and has been remanded in custody; if found guilty, he faces a sentence of up to five years in prison. The Czech news agency ČTK reported that while 170 grams was not a large amount, it was more than enough to do considerable damage, pointing out that in 1988 400 grams of the explosive was used in the Lockerbie bombing that brought down a Boeing 747: 270 people lost their lives in the tragedy.
Fire fighters evacuated 17 people from an eight-story pre-fab apartment building in Plzeň-Doubrava on Monday after a fire broke out. Six people were taken to hospital for treatment; the additional ten were treated on site. The fire broke out on the first floor and spread quickly through the ventilation system, according to reports. The damage is expected to rise to several million crowns.
Police investigators uncovered marijuana-growing facilities in two private homes in Hradec Králové: two foreign nationals were arrested in one of the homes, who – if found guilty – could face up to 12 years in jail. The two suspects are of Vietnamese nationality, aged 25 and 26. The officers who made the arrests found a total of 384 plants on site; meanwhile, the owner of the homes uncovered that those renting and growing marijuana were illegally siphoning off electricity.
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.
First ever Indo-European settlement discovered on Czech Territory
How can foreigners travel to Czech Republic at present – and what may future hold?
Czech government reopens borders sooner than planned, special regime with Slovakia
Prague City Tourism shifts the focus to domestic tourists
“A love letter to the city”: Amos Chapple on his stunning rooftop photos of Prague