Daily news summary News of Radio Prague

22-06-2003

Government seeks further budget cuts

The government met on Sunday to discuss further details of a planned fiscal reform aimed at reducing the widening public finance deficit. This time, the cabinet sought ways to reduce budget expenditures by another 20 billion crowns. The proposed reform will include sweeping changes in the social and pension systems, tax adjustments as well as changes in state administration, including a reduction of the number of civil servants by 30 thousand within the next three years.

Trade Unions to stage more protests against the planned reforms

Thousands of members of the Trade Unions are planning to stage a protest demonstration outside the government headquarters in Prague. The cabinet will be discussing a draft pension and fiscal reform. The Trade Unions recognise the necessity of reforms but believe that in the current form, the proposed changes will benefit the rich while making life more difficult for the poor.

The demonstration on Monday will be organised by the largest Trade Union organisation in the country, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, and comes just four days after two or three thousand protesters gathered in Prague to protest against the planned reforms.

Eurosceptics ask Constitutional Court to annul EU referendum

Opponents of the Czech Republic's EU entry are seeking the recent referendum on EU accession to be annulled. They have lodged a complaint with the Constitutional court against the way the Czech government distributed money for the information campaign before the referendum. They claim they had applied for a grant for their own campaign in accordance with the law but that the government ignored their request. The group claims that the government misused money collected from all taxpayers to finance its pro-European campaign, discriminating those who oppose it.

CzechTrade to open four new offices abroad

The Czech government's trade promotion agency, CzechTrade, is opening four new offices abroad to expand its network of 25 branches worldwide. The new offices are to be opened in Brazil, India, Austria and Sweden. CzechTrade provides information and all kinds of assistance to Czech firms to help them find trade partners abroad.

Czech weather forecast

And finally, a weather forecast. Monday should see a cold front moving across the Czech Republic from the West. Meteorologists have issued a warning against high winds, heavy thunderstorms and torrential rain that could accompany the cold front.

22-06-2003