The Chamber of Deputies has voted to lower the age of criminal responsibility from 15 to 14. The age of consent is also set to drop from 15 to 14. The changes are part of a new Penal Code which also lengthens prison terms for murder and other serious crimes; it must now go before the Senate and the president.
The Communist Party voted against the new legislation, as it also includes a provision to make denial of "communist genocide" a crime like denying the Holocaust.
The governing Social Democrats have agreed to introduce rent deregulation at a faster tempo than previously planned, with rents set to rise by an average of 14.2 percent a year. Rents will increase at the beginning of January in the years 2007 to 2010.
The Social Democrats decided to quicken the pace of deregulation after holding talks with the two smaller parties in the coalition, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union.
Meanwhile, the Chamber of Deputies has rejected a proposal to extend until the end of 2009 the deadline for the return of property confiscated under communism. The current deadline for the filing of restitution claims is the end of next month. The Social Democrats and the Communists, who together hold a majority in the Chamber, voted against the extension.
The average monthly salary in the Czech Republic rose to 18,883 crowns (around 750 US dollars) during the third quarter of this year, according to figures released by the Statistical Office. Adjusted for inflation it represents an increase of 4.2 percent.
Prince Albert II of Monaca came to the Czech capital on Wednesday to support football club AS Monaco in a UEFA Cup game against Slavia Prague. The prince is due to hold a private meeting with the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, on Thursday morning.
The Prague Big Band founded by jazz pianist Milan Svoboda is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a concert at the city's Lucerna hall on Wednesday. Some 105 members have passed through the group since it was founded in 1975.
It should be cloudy over the next few days with temperatures of around 1 or 2 degrees Celsius.
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