CEO of the company OKD, Ján Fabián, has said that his company will not keep the Paskov coal mine open beyond the end of 2014 with its own finances. Speaking on the Sunday Czech TV talk show, Mr. Fabián said that between 400 and 750 workers from the Paskov mine will be moved to the company’s other mines in the next few months, while a few hundred will remain in Paskov until its final closing. The mine currently employs around 3,000 people. Mr. Fabián said that he is open to discussions with the government about possible state support in order to keep the mine open longer. Prime Minister Rusnok said last week that no subsidies will be provided to OKD from state funds, though both he and President Zeman plan to meet with representatives of OKD and its parent company New World Resources next week.
Outgoing Defense Minister, Vlastimil Picek, said on Czech Television on Sunday that he is hoping to increase his ministry’s budget for next year. Speak on the Vaclav Moravec’s Questions talk show, Minister Picek said that he expects to increase the military budget from 42.7 to 43 billion crowns at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, when the government is set to vote on the proposed state budget for next year.
Around 65 percent of Czechs would like to see new political parties and movements in the lower house of parliament following the October elections, according to a new poll by the Herzmann agency in cooperation with Ppm factum. People who want a change in parliamentary representation are to a large part younger than 29 years old, or are from households with monthly income higher than 30,000 crowns. Out of the six best known new and non-parliamentary parties the poll shows that Andrej Babiš’s party ANO currently has the best chances of getting into parliament.
Businessman and chairman of the ANO party, Andrej Babiš, said on Sunday that he will remain the head of the food, chemicals and agriculture giant Agrofert holding even if he is elected to parliament. Speaking on the talkshow Partie on Prima television, Mr. Babiš said that neither he or anyone else from his party would take the position of agriculture minister or become memebers of any agricultural committees, but he does not see a problem with being an MP and leading one of the largest companies in the country.
The two main prizes at this year’s František Filipovský awards were given to Ivana Milbachová for the dubbing of Sarah Palin in the American TV film Game Change and to Vladimír Brabec for dubbing Tom in the American film The Way. Hana Talpová and Antonín Molčík received prizes for lifetime achievement in dubbing at a ceremony on Saturday, while Zdeněk Podhůrský received the viewers’ award for the dubbing of the character Micholas Rush in the Stargate Universe television series. The František Filipovský awards for dubbing were founded 19 years ago.
The 18th annual musical festival Strings of Autumn will begin on Monday in prague with a performance by the world-famous soprano Barbara Hannigan accompanied by the Prague Philharmonia orgchestra. The festival, which features a number of world renowned classical and jazz musicians will end on 9 November.
A 60-year-old man murdered his wife on Saturday evening near the Central Bohemian town of Kolín, after which he committed suicide. Police are investigating the motive for the crime. The couple was discovered by a relative. The police are not releasing information about the weapon used for the murders.
A former TOP 09 MP Stanislav Polčák released a proposal for a constitutional amendment to the Mladá fronta Dnes daily on Friday, which limits the powers of the Czech president. The proposal, among other points, limits the number of attempts the president has to form a new government in case of a successful no-confidence vote, and stipulates that the president’s appointments of central bankers will need to be approved by the Senate. The proposal was already unofficially discussed by parliamentarians over the summer. The Social Democrats might support the amendment, while the Civic Democrats said that they are open to a discussion on the issue, but do not want to make constitutional changes part of their election campaign.
A deputy health minister, Petr Nosek, will be leaving his post, according to a report in the Lidové noviny daily on Saturday. The announcement of the deputy’s departure comes after a crisis committee of hospitals, unions and patients sent an open letter to the Health Ministry on Tuesday asking for Mr. Nosek and his colleague Martin Plíšek to be dismissed from their posts, since they were responsible for drafting an ordinance on hospital fees, which is allegedly causing considerable financial problems for hospitals. Mr. Nosek is also expected to leave his position as the head of the board of directors of the biggest public health insurance company VZP. Health Minister Martin Holcát told Lidové noviny that Mr. Nosek is leaving based on an amicable agreement.
President Zeman’s advisory team met on Saturday at the Lany chateau to discuss the situation surrounding the plans of the OKD mining company to closed down the Paskov mine in the Moravian-Silesian region. Although a full list of participants has not been released, it is known that Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok and the president of the Confederation of Industry were present. Although Prime Minister Rusnok rejected the possibility of providing financial subsidies to OKD in order to keep the mine open for longer, he did say on Friday that he is planning to hold talks with the company’s shareholders next week in order to find a way to continue operations until 2016. Currently, the mine, which employs around 3,000 people is set to close by the end of 2014.
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