Monday, April 23, 2012

News 4.23.2012

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

News Monday, April 23rd, 2012

By: Christian Falvey

* Members of the senior ruling party say the government's mandate can
be tested in a vote of confidence this week.

* Independent MP Karolina Peake says she has enough supporters behind
her new faction to save the centre-right government from collapse.

* The leaders of the three ruling parties in government have agreed to
terminate their coalition agreement.

* Public Affairs MP Katerina Klasnova has resigned as deputy chairwoman
of the Chamber of Deputies.

* Police have asked the Chamber of Deputies to give up Public Affairs
member Otto Chaloupka for investigation.

Civic Democrats withdraw club requirement on Peake faction

The Civic Democratic Party has withdrawn its main requirement on the
emerging independent MPs supporting the government, with its leadership
now saying that the government's mandate can be tested in a vote of
confidence at the end of the week. Prime Minister Necas amended his
previous requirement on Monday to say that an "institutional agreement"
would suffice, so that agreements would not have to be signed with each
independent MP individually. Chairwoman of the lower house Miroslava
Nemcova said that it was easier to agree with a club and better for
cooperation, but that she would withdraw from the demand if there were
enough votes to keep the government in power. Deputy chairman of the
Civic Democrats Pavel Drobil said that the number of MPs supporting the
government was not as important as their 'quality'.

Peake strengthens 'comfortable majority'

Independent MP Karolina Peake says she has enough supporters behind her
new faction to save the centre-right government from collapse. Ms Peake
caused a split in the junior coalition party Public Affairs when she
quit last week. She has since been followed by eight other MPs, who
intend to form an independent faction to support the government in lieu
of Public Affairs. On Monday, Peake announced the support of Public
Affairs' Milan Stovicek and said she believed that others would follow.
The faction is still one member short of the ten required to create a
parliamentary club. With the support of Peake's faction the government
would currently have a thin majority of 102 votes in Parliament,
however other MPs, including remnants of Public Affairs, have said they
would support the government's principle measures.

Coalition agreement to end Friday

The leaders of the three ruling parties - the Civic Democrats, TOP 09
and Public Affairs - have agreed to end their coalition agreement as of
Friday April 27. Although the junior Public Affairs party will no
longer be in government, it has agreed to continue to support the
government's long-term austerity plans. Following the split in the
scandal-tarred Public Affairs, the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 announced
that they would no longer work with the group tied to de facto leader
Vit Barta, who was recently found guilty of bribery.

Klasnova resigns as deputy chairwoman of lower house

Public Affairs MP Katerina Klasnova has resigned her post as deputy
chairwoman of the Chamber of Deputies. Klasnova told a press conference
on Monday morning that she sees no reason to be bound to the government
while it breaks its coalition agreement by seeking the support of party
defectors. Prime Minister Necas and Public Affairs defector Karolina
Peake, she said, were attempting to persuade more members of the
splintered party to join an emerging club of independents to maintain a
parliamentary majority. Klasnova, who is the wife of the de facto
Public Affairs leader Vit Barta, added that she would remain in the

Police ask Chamber of Deputies to give up Chaloupka

Police have asked the Chamber of Deputies to give up Public Affairs
member Otto Chaloupka for investigation. Mr Chaloupka is suspected of
having accepted money from the salary of a former assistant. According
to the Chaloupka, he and a group of people had agreed to save money to
finance Public Affairs' election campaign. The assistant thus
transferred 25,000 of his 35,000 monthly pay to the MP, who says he did
not keep the money for himself. Otto Chaloupka is one of the
parliamentarians who has been discussed as a possible supporter of
Karolina Peake's new political faction. He is currently in the United
States but says he will remain with Public Affairs.

Four out of five dissatisfied with political situation

A new poll suggests that nearly four out of five Czechs are
dissatisfied with the current political situation. According to the
survey conducted by the CVVM agency, mayors and local authorities enjoy
the greatest confidence while the Chamber of Deputies and government
hold the least, with 12% and 16%, respectively. Public confidence in
the president has dropped to less than 50% for the first time, compared
to 68% this time last year.

Run on building savings a risk, says central bank

The Czech National Bank believes the hundreds of billions of crowns
deposited in building savings are a risk, the central bank��s
vice-governor Vladimir Tomsik has told the daily Hospodarske noviny.
Tomsik said that while domestic financial institutions are in good
health, the central bank is trying to make building savings spread
their risks. At present, he said, people over-save because of the
subsidies they receive, however an interest scare could cause
two-thirds of all the money in building savings to be transferred
within three months, bringing risk to the entire banking sector.
According to the latest data there are 433 billion crowns saved in
building savings; deposits in the Czech banking sector comprise more
than 1.1 trillion.

Civic groups to demonstrate in front of Parliament on Tuesday

Various civic groups plan to demonstrate in front of Parliament on
Tuesday. The Prague Forum and Democracy Czech-Up Initiatives intend to
draw attention to members of Parliament who are suspected or even
convicted of criminal activities but have not given up their mandates.
Organiser Vaclav Nemec said that MPs Pavel Bem, Pavel Drobil, Vit
Barta, and Jaroslav Skarka were jeering at the principles of politics
by remaining in Parliament as if nothing had happened. The Green Party
will also be present due to a vote on fees for polluters.

Civic Democrats offer TOP 09 joint Senate ballots in certain districts

The Civic Democratic Party has offered TOP 09 joint ballots in Senate
elections in certain districts this autumn. Party chairman and Prime
Minister Petr Necas announced the decision after a meeting of the party
leadership on Monday. Deputy head of the Senate Premysl Sobotka says
the idea is still too new to involve any specific constituencies. A
total of 27 seats will be available in the election, with the Civic
Democrats defending 14 of them. TOP 09 vice chairman Miroslav Sobotka
said his party had not been consulted on the idea are would be prepared
to discuss it

Kubice closes a corruption hotline

Interior Minister Jan Kubice has decided to close a corruption hotline
he says is not effective enough. The 199 line on which people could
call in suspicions of corruption was launched more than four years ago
and has since cost nearly 12 million crowns. At the end of last year
only 30% of the 25,000 calls the line had received were deemed
relevant. Only twelve criminal complaints were filed based on
information from the calls; the remaining 70% were generally either
systematic callers or wrong numbers.


The start of the week should be partly cloudy to overcast with
scattered showers and day temperatures at around 15 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Thousands call on government to step down

This weekend saw thousands join an anti-government protest in Prague
calling for an end to the current government and its reform policies,
which critics call unnecessarily strict. The trade union-led
demonstration saw as many as 100,000 people come out - with the promise
that unless the government paves the way for early elections, protests
will only be more intense.
Sports News 23.4.2012

In Sports news this Monday: Pardubice win the Czech hockey league
playoffs; in the NHL, the Philadelphia Flyers with Jaromir Jagr knock
Pittsburgh out of the Stanley Cup playoffs; in football, three teams
compete for the title with four rounds to go; and in tennis, the Czech
Republic's women's team beats Italy to reach the Fed Cup finals.
Lubomir Doruzka: Legendary music journalist and translator of Western

Lubomir Doruzka first began writing about music seven decades ago when,
during WWII, he produced a clandestine magazine on his greatest
passion, jazz. The quintessential American art form was frowned upon by
the Communists after their 1948 takeover of Czechoslovakia. However, in
the relatively liberal 1960s Mr. Doruzka was able to edit music
magazines and play a very active role in international jazz
organisations. As well as being a music journalist, he is also a
renowned translator of American and British writers - and as a young
man did many translations with his lifelong friend, the novelist Josef

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