The Czech government has begun discussing Finance Minister Jan Fischer’s state budget proposal for next year, and the debate will continue until the end of September before a final version is given approval, the country’s interim prime minister, Jiří Rusnok, said on Wednesday. Under the proposal next year’s deficit should be 110 billion crowns – five billion higher than the proposal planned by the previous centre-right government led by Petr Nečas. The finance minister said that individual ministries had requests for increases adding up to 35 billion crowns. He stressed it would not to be possible to fulfil all requests although the government would debate the matter. On September 20, members of the so-called tripartite – union, business and government leaders – will also debate the budget prior to its approval by the cabinet.
Prague City Hall’s new development plan is beginning to take shape: on Wednesday, the municipal council passed the proposal complete with input (a total of 1,600 suggestions and recommendations) from individual districts as well as the public. The text will be debated by assembly members later in September. If passed by the assembly, City Hall will begin overseeing the drawing up of a new detailed plan of the Czech capital.
A witness in the case against lobbyist Roman Janoušek told the court on Wednesday that he was approached by a third party allegedly offering him a bribe to not testify or take part in a police re-enactment of a hit-and-run that could land the defendant a sentence of up to 18 years in jail. The witness expressed the conviction the person had been sent by the lobbyist. Mr Janoušek is charged with attempted murder and driving under the influence in the incident which took place in March in 2012.
The Czech Foreign Ministry is aiming to boost security for diplomats serving in Syria, Libya and Afghanistan, acquiring new armoured vehicles at the cost of around six million crowns. The government is studying the proposal now by which upgraded Toyotas are to be provided by the Czech firm Real Trade Praha. Last year, the previous government bought an armoured BMW X5 for the ambassador in Syria; the Czech Republic is one of only a few NATO countries not to have closed its Damascus embassy – serving not only Czech nationals but helping allied member states.
The right-of-centre Civic Democrat’s Prague organisation has approved
former Chamber of Deputies chairwoman Miroslava Němcová as its leader
Prague branch head Bohuslav Svoboda as number two on its candidates list
the upcoming election. The party’s Prague branch elected Mrs Němcová
unanimously on Tuesday evening; however, the battle for the other leading
positions on the candidates’ list lasted several hours. The final
selections were confirmed only at around 3 AM. The Civic Democrats’
executive council will still have to approve the final line-up.
In Prague, Mrs Němcová will run against TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg, trade union leader Jaroslav Zavadil (running for the Social Democrats), Christian Democrat candidate Daniel Herman (the former director of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes) Green Party chairman Ondřej Liška, and the Communist Party’s Marta Semelová. The election is set for October 25 and 26.
Jaromír Jágr says he does not support any political party. The Czech ice hockey star has been linked to ANO 2011, with its leader Andrej Babiš saying after the recent shooting of an advert for his food company that Mr. Jágr had expressed “sympathy” for the party. However, in a statement on his Facebook page, the hockey legend said the only thing linking the two men was the fact Mr. Babiš was planning to sponsor his Kladno club. Mr. Jágr said his fans would be the first to know if he decided to back a party. He has hitherto been a vocal supporter of the Civic Democrats.
The summer holidays in the Czech Republic saw 133 road fatalities – seven fewer than in 2012 and the lowest number of traffic-related deaths in the country in 23 years, according to statistics released by the Police Presidium. Along with fewer road fatalities, the summer period between July and the end of August also saw fewer people seriously injured in traffic accidents.
Four thousand year-old gold and bronze jewellery and tools found by a Czech dog walker at Libochovany in May will go on display at the Teplice museum at the weekend, the museum’s director, Bohuslav Boček, has told journalists. Bronze axes, jewellery and decorations were probably unearthed by wild boars close to a tourist trail leading up a hill overlooking the Elbe River valley; archaeologists have called the find unique. The dog walker picked up the rare objects and addressed Teplice archaeologists who returned to the spot the next day and found further smaller fragments of metals and ceramics. The metal items were probably placed in a ceramic vessel of which only two small fragments have survived to date. Under the law, the finder is entitled to a reward, which is estimated in the tens of thousands of crowns.
Football club Slavia Prague are looking to strengthen their roster after a poor start to the football season. The club is trying out Nigerian defender Sergio Uyi after trying out Teplice’s Jan Hošek last week. Marek Jarolím is also a contender to return to the club, where he played in the 2008-2009 season.
The Czech men’s number one Tomáš Berdych has been knocked out in the last 16 stage of tennis’s US Open. He had not previously dropped a set at Flushing Meadows this year but was beaten 6-3 1-6 6-7 2-6 by Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland on Tuesday. Berdych, who last season reached the semi-finals at the US Open, had been the last remaining Czech singles player in the tournament.