Sunday, July 10, 2011

News 7.10.2011

Copyright (c) 2011 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Sunday, July 10th, 2011

By: Sarah Borufka

* According to political pundits, the biggest success of the current
government is the fact that it still exists.

* Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is set to meet with his Cyprian
and Namibian counterparts in Prague next week.

* Health Minister Leos Heger said on Sunday that some of the revenue
from taxing tobacco should be invested in the health sector.

* Unions, employers and the government have reached an agreement on a
new piece of legislation concerning early retirement.

* The Israeli movie Restoration has taken the top prize at the 46th
Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Experts: Biggest success of government is its survival

According to political pundit Vladimira Dvorakova, the current
government's single biggest success is the fact that it still exists
after having been shaken by a number of scandals in the year since it
was appointed. Business analysts also criticized the government for not
approving a number of important reforms quickly enough, but assessed
that it deserves praise for its efforts to push through far-reaching
austerity measures. Following a serious crisis that brought the
three-party, right-of-center coalition government to the brink of
collapse in April, the public's trust in it dropped to a low figure of
16 percent, according to a STEM survey conducted in June.

Foreign Minister to receive counterparts from Cyprus, Namibia

Foreigner Minister Karel Schwarzenberg will be meeting with his Cyprian
and Namibian counterparts in Prague next week. Cyprus's Markos Kyprianu
will be paying an official visit to the Czech capital on Thursday. Mr.
Schwarzenberg and Mr. Kyprianu will be discussing EU issues. His visit
is the first by a Cyprian foreign minister in 12 years. The Namibian
Utoni Nujoma will be arriving in Prague on Thursday, the first time
that a foreign minister from this country has ever visited Prague.

Health Minister: Tobacco tax revenue should partially go to health

Health Minister Leos Heger said on a program on Czech Televison on
Sunday that part of the tax revenue from tobacco taxes should go into
the health sector. He added that he is in favor of a further increase
in tobacco taxes. Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek had given him a
vague promise that in the case of an overall increase in taxes, some of
the tobacco tax revenue would go into the health sector, the health
minister said. He also explained that another way of involving insured
patients more and increasing their responsibities towards the insurer
would be to introduce higher health insurance rates for those who
practise high-risk sports.

Unions, employers and government officials reach agreement on early
retirement pensions

Unions, employers and government officials have reached agreement on a
piece of legislation that will determine under which conditions people
who work in high-risk or physically demanding jobs will be able to
retire prematurely without taking a cut in their pensions. Employers
will be contributing funds in cases where employees retire between one
and five years earlier. The new legislation is part of far-reaching
pension reform. As part of this reform, the current age of retirement
will gradually be increased.

Nearly two thirds of Czechs not able to afford summer holiday abroad

Nearly two thirds of all Czechs will not be able to afford a summer
vacation abroad this year, according to a poll published by the SANEP
agency. While 45 percent of the population is planning a holiday for
later in the year, almost a third will not be leaving on either a
domestic of foreign vacation at all in 2011. For nearly half of the 339
respondents, cost is the most important factor in deciding on a
holiday. Of those who are leaving on vacation this summer, one in two
will be getting to their holiday destination by car, while only 13.6
percent will be traveling by plane.

Israeli picture Restoration takes top prize at Karlovy Vary film

The Israeli movie Restoration, directed by Joseph Madmony, has taken
the best picture prize at the 46th Karlovy Vary International Film
Festival. France's Pascal Rabate was awarded the best director Crystal
Globe for Holidays by the Sea during Saturday evening's closing
ceremony, while Punk's Not Dead by the Macedonian director Vladimir
Blazevski took the prize in KVIFF's flagship East of the West section.
Guests at the festival, which was first held in the West Bohemian spa
town in 1946, included actors Judi Dench, John Turturro and John

Heavy storms hit Czech Republic Saturday night

The Czech Republic was hit by strong storms Saturday night.
Firefighters had to remove fallen trees and branches in a number of
places across the country, especially in southern Bohemia, and assisted
people whose cellars flooded due to heavy rain. Railway traffic was
also affected by the inclement weather and several routes were shot
down due to fallen trees and branches. In Prague, a house caught fire
it was hit by lightning, leading to damages of around 1 million Czech
crowns. No one was injured.


Strong storms are expected to hit the Czech Republic over the weekend.
Rains and even hail are expected in some places; with southern Bohemia
and Moravia the two most affected regions. Daytime temperatures between
24 and 28 degrees are expected on Saturday.

Articles posted on today

When Czechs go into war singing

Some might argue that Czechs are not exactly a nation of warriors, and
that the last time they really fought was at the notorious 17th century
Battle of White Mountain, which they lost. But that of course couldn't
be further from the truth. Troops from Bohemia and Moravia took part in
many wars, including the two greatest conflicts of the 20th century.

This e-mail is sent to you automatically according to the settings you
chose at To change the settings, click
here. (C) 2011, Radio Prague - the international service of Czech Radio,
all rights reserved., E-mail: