The opposition Civic Democrat Party has called on voters to go to the polls in next weekend's second round of elections to the Senate, especially in constituencies in which its candidate is facing a Communist Party opponent. The Civic Democrats have candidates in the run-offs in 25 of 27 constituencies. The party has already won one seat in the Senate, when its candidate took more than 50 percent of the vote in the first round.
The Civic Democrats also won elections in 12 of the country's 13 regions at the weekend. They are expected to form coalitions with the Christian Democrats on most regional authorities.
Meanwhile, the leader of the governing Social Democrats, Stanislav Gross, has said he is not considering stepping down, after his party received just 14 percent of the vote in the regional polls.
Despite that poor showing, an opinion poll conducted by the CVVM agency in October suggests that 40 percent of Czechs "trust" the coalition government led by Mr Gross. In June, when a coalition of the same three parties was led by Vladimir Spidla, just over a quarter of Czechs said they trusted the government.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic was at 8.9 percent at the end of October, down from 9.1 percent a month earlier, according to figures released by the Labour Ministry on Monday. Mild weather which boosted activity in construction and tourism is credited with the slight fall in the unemployment rate.
Inflation, meanwhile, rose by 3.5 percent on an annual basis in October, which is the biggest increase since March 2002.
The Czech crown has set a new record of 24 crowns 18 hellers against the United States dollar. But analysts expect the dollar to strengthen when figures for the US economy are released later in the week.
The Czech Republic is the fourth most popular destination for British businesses which have moved jobs abroad to cut costs or are planning to do so, according to a report being presented at a meeting of the Confederation of British Industry in Birmingham. India, China and Poland are the countries where UK companies do the most off-shoring.
The Czech and Slovak Armies are taking part in joint exercises all this week on the border between the two countries. During "Hranica 2004" soldiers from both countries are being trained to deal with the effects of large-scale industrial disasters.
Tuesday is expected to be cloudy with rain or snow showers in places. Temperatures should range from 0 to 4 degrees Celsius.
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