Britain, which now holds the rotating EU presidency, is set to propose cuts to the union's 2007-2013 budget proposed by the previous presidency. Britain is expected to suggest slashing the proposed EU budget by three percent in part by lowering regional aid to newcomers like the Czech Republic and rural development funds to several old member states. Prime Minister Tony Blair is due to meet central and east European leaders on a trip to Estonia and Hungary on Thursday and Friday, and the proposed cuts are certain to top the agenda. The Czech Prime Minister, Jiri Paroubek, appealed to Blair in a letter on Monday to reconsider the matter.
Ombudsman Otakar Motejl says the police crackdown on a techno music rave in July of this year, which left several dozen people injured, was legal. The Ombusdsman's Office undertook an investigation into the affair, following widespread criticism of the police who used brute force, water canon and tear gas to disperse the participants. In his report the Ombudsman says that the police acted within the bounds of the law since the rave had spilled over onto private property. On the other hand he expressed the view that the officers present failed to take adequate preventive measures that might have helped to avoid the later use of force.
The opposition Civic Democrats have called on Health Minister David Rath to resign over suspected corruption. When Mr. Rath was president of the Medical Chamber his advisor Eva Klimovicova allegedly demanded huge bribes from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for preferential treatment. The health minister has distanced himself from the scandal, saying he had no knowledge of such activities.
A Russian entrepreneur doing business in the Czech Republic has been sentenced to seven years for fraud. Sergei Morev acquired fifteen million crowns from EU funds and the Czech Ministry for Regional Development under false pretences. An inspection later revealed that the money was not used to buy new technology -as stated in the application - but outdated equipment, while the bulk of it went to pay Morev's debts.
Wednesday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered snow showers and day temperatures ranging from minus two to plus two degrees Celsius.
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