Sunday, March 18, 2012

News 3.18.2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Sunday, March 18th, 2012

By: Sarah Borufka

* Prime Minister Petr Necas has said he welcomes the election of
Joachiam Gauck to the post of German president.

* The Czech Finance Minister has said that further budget cuts are

* The TOP 09 party has made it clear that its leader, foreign minister
Karel Schwarzenberg, will not resign due to his planned candidacy in
the presidential elections.

* A painting by Czech abstract painter Frantisek Kupka has sold for 15
million crowns at auction.

* A record temperature of 23.9 degrees was registered in the Czech
Republic on the weekend.

Czech prime minister congratulates newly elected German president

Commenting on the election of Joachim Gauck to the post of German
president, Prime Minister Petr Necas said that he welcomed his election
and appreciated his fight against the former communist regime. Mr.
Gauck secured the mandate in the first round of voting on Sunday. The
79-year-old theologist is the first former citizen of the German
Democratic Republic to be elected president. He was a member of the
protest movement in the totalitarian German state and actively opposed
its communist regime. Mr. Gauck replaces Christian Wulff, who resigned
after allegations of corruption became public. This is the third time
in only three years that presidential elections were held in Germany.

Finance Minister: Budget cuts imperative

Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has said that it is imperative for
the government to agree on further austerity measures. Without them,
there was no reason for the coalition to remain in office. Speaking on
a debate program on Czech TV on Sunday, Mr. Kalousek added that
additional state budget cuts of 24 billion Czech crowns had to be
implemented this year. While ministers have said there simply were no
more expenses they could cut, Mr. Kalousek insists that decreasing the
state budget deficit is crucial. He added that the opposition Social
Democrats' claim that further cuts could be avoided was populist.

Foreign minister not to resign ahead of presidential race

The government coalition's TOP 09 party has made it clear that its
leader, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, would not resign from his
government office due to also pursuing a candidacy for the post of
president in next year's elections. Deputy party leader Miroslav
Kalousek said on Sunday that Mr. Schwarzenberg would be able to both
keep his post as foreign minister and prepare his presidential
campaign. Mr. Schwarzenberg had previously threatened to leave the
government over the Czech refusal to join the EU's fiscal compact. The
next presidential elections mark the first occasion on which Czechs
will be able to elect their head of state directly. Aside from Mr.
Schwarzenberg, former prime minister Jan Fischer, MEP Zuzana Roithova
and economist Jan Svejnar are also running for the post.

Kupka painting sold for 15 million Czech crowns at auction

A painting by Frantisek Kupka, L'Apotheose d Helene, was sold for 15
million Czech crowns at auction. The asking price was 12 million
crowns. Another work by a Czech artist, Toyen's Potapec or Diver from
1926, was sold for 13 million crowns in the same auction, which was
held at Prague's Topicuv salon on Sunday. Other works by Frantisek
Kupka's were sold for record prices in the past. In 2007, his painting
Abstract Composition set the Czech auction record for the most
expensive work of art ever sold.

OECD: Difference between Czech wages and pensions greater than EU

The difference between wages and pensions in the Czech Republic is
greater than the EU average, data from the OECD suggest. On average,
pension payments in the Czech Republic amount to about half of what an
employee earned before retiring. The EU average is 57.5 percent. The
gap may grow even further since the Czech government is currently
preparing a pension reform that would put any increase in pensions on
ice for the next three years. In Austria, Denmark and Hungary,
pensioners are paid about three quarters of their previous wage. In
Britain, the pension retired men and women receive amounts to only a
third of what they were earning before retirement.

Czech biathlete Michal Slesingr among top ten in biathlon World Cup

Czech biathlete Michal Slesingr has managed to make it to the top ten
in the biathlon World Cup that closed in the Russian Khanty-Mansiysk on
Sunday. Last year, he had come in 9th. The Czech biathlete Ondrej
Moravec came in 14th place. Jaroslav Soukup came in 29th. Norway's Emil
Hegle Svendsen won the world cup, with Germany's Arnd Peiffer coming in

Record temperatures registered across country

Record temperatures were registered across the country on the weekend
at a total of 66 weather stations that have been measuring temperatures
for longer than 30 years. The highest temperature was observed in
Dobrichovice, where the thermometer indicated daytime high of 23.9
degrees Celsius. In Prague's Klementium, a record from 1899 was broken
this weekend: the high there was 20.3 degrees. The oldest record was
broken in Pribram, which had not see such a high temperature in late
March since 1882.


The weekend brings the start of spring weather with clear skies and
daytime highs between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius. The pleasant
conditions are expected to last until Monday, when the weather will
cool down slightly.

Articles posted on today

Sylvie Bodorova, born a composer

This week's Sunday Music Show takes a well-earned look at Sylvie
Bodorova, one of the main figures of Czech modern classical music for
the last 30 years. Her compositions have been performed on every
continent in that time, including Antarctica. She is one of few female
composers whose work is a staple of classical musical festivals the
world over and is featured on more than two dozen albums.

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