The Czech agriculture sector is experiencing a deep crisis that is the worst in forty years, the President of the Czech Agrarian Chamber Vaclav Hlavacek said on Monday. Speaking to journalists at a press conference, Mr Hlavacek said Czech farmers cannot be blamed for the problems they are facing and therefore need the state to come to their aid with the establishment of minimum prices for some agricultural products. According to Mr Hlavacek, the main factors responsible for the crisis are the unfavourable climate, the strong crown which reduced exports, and the fact that for two years farmers have been selling products at prices much lower than they can afford. The Agricultural Ministry has already expressed its support and plans to discuss a possible solution with the Finance Ministry on Wednesday.
Renowned personalities from all over Central Europe have signed a petition calling for the establishment of a European centre dealing with past and present issues of forced displacement, German Social Democrat MP Markus Meckel, said on Monday. Senior Czech politicians such as Senate Chairman Petr Pithart and Deputy Prime Minister Petr Mares have added their names to a list already containing signatures from important politicians and writers such as Former German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, German writer Guenter Grass, Hungarian recipient of the prestigious Nobel Prize for Literature Imre Kertesz, as well as former Polish Foreign Ministers Wladyslaw Bartoszewski and Bronislaw Geremek. According to Mr Meckel, the proposed centre would serve as a meeting point but also a place for scientific research and the collection of documents dealing with expulsions, displacements and deportations. It has not been decided where such a centre would have its headquarters.
Czech President Vaclav Klaus has thanked Constitutional Court judges for their work at a farewell ceremony at Prague Castle on Monday. On July 15, eight of the fifteen judges at the court retire after a ten year term. While President Klaus has already nominated suitable candidates to the constitutional court, their appointment is yet to be approved by the Senate, which is expected to meet on Wednesday.
The Speaker of Parliament, Lubomir Zaoralek has called a special parliamentary meeting for next Tuesday, at which lower house deputies are to discuss several draft laws, especially twelve dealing with the reform of public finances, and vote on next year's enlargement of NATO by seven more countries. Mr Zaoralek called the session in response to a written request from sixty-two ruling coalition deputies.
An exhibition of the Czech crown jewels at Prague Castle came to a close at the weekend. Almost 50,000 people queued up to see the jewels over an 11-day period. The jewels are only publicly displayed on special occasions; they were shown this year to mark the 85th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia and the election of a new president.
Tuesday is expected to be a hot day with clear skies and temperatures reaching a maximum of 28 degrees Celsius.
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