The lower house of the Czech Parliament has begun a two-day session leading up to a vote of no confidence on Friday morning testing Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla's coalition government. The vote was initiated by the senior opposition Civic Democrats, who say that the current government is damaging the country. However, the opposition - which also includes the junior Communist Party - lacks three votes to bring the government down. The government is therefore confident it will survive Friday's test.
The former Prime Minister and Social Democrat leader Milos Zeman has said that the Social Democrats have betrayed their election manifesto. Speaking at a lecture on the topical problems of Czech economy in Prague on Thursday, Mr Zeman sharply criticised the reform of public finances proposed by the government as damaging for the country. Among other things, former Prime Minister Zeman said that the government should raise corporate income tax and state budget revenues instead of trying to save money at the expense of pensioners, employees and the sick.
The Governor of the Czech National Bank Zdenek Tuma has said the government should start working on a second stage of its planned reform of public finances as soon as possible. In order to improve the state of public finances the second stage of the reform should - according to Mr Tuma - concentrate on the pension system and financing of the health sector. Mr Tuma also said that the first part of the reform which is currently being discussed in the lower house of the Czech Parliament was softened during talks within the ruling coalition. Mr Tuma said that the central bank preferred the original draft of the reform as proposed by the Finance Ministry.
The Czech Film and Television Academy has announced it will nominate the film Zelary, directed by Ondrej Trojan, for the "Best Foreign Language Film" category of the American Academy Awards, the Oscars. More than 100.000 people have seen the film in the Czech Republic since its premiere on September 4th. Zelary is based on a novel by author Kveta Legatova, taking place during WWII. The runners-up for the nomination were the films Nuda v Brne and Pupendo.
Friday should be bright to partly cloudy with daytime temperatures reaching highs of 21 degrees Celsius.
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