Thursday, July 19, 2012

News 7.19.2012

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

News Thursday, July 19th, 2012

By: Daniela Lazarova

* The government has said the gap in public finances will be reduced at
a slower pace.

* The cabinet has decided to leave a sensitive decision regarding
proposed salary hikes for judges, state attorneys, ministers, deputies
and MEPs in the hands of Parliament.

* The police has tightened security at all Czech airports in the wake
of Wednesday's bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria.

* Bailiffs will not have access to the social cards via which the state
will in future pay social welfare benefits.

* A 13-year-old boy is in critical condition after attempting to commit
suicide by hanging at a summer camp.



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Gap in public finances to be reduced at slower pace
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The government has said the gap in public finances will be reduced at a
slower pace than earlier envisaged. In a document put to the cabinet on
Thursday the Finance Ministry reviewed its estimate for this year's
deficit from 3 to 3.2 percent of GDP. The slide has changed the deficit
target for the coming years with the revised figures being 2.9 percent
of GDP for 2013, 2.5 for 2014 and 1.6 for 2015. At a press conference
following Thursday's cabinet session Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek
said the cabinet had had to make a choice between further austerity
measures and cutting the gap in public finances at a slower pace. He
said ministers had concluded that further austerity measures could
prove counter-productive since they were likely to undercut growth.


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Parliament to decide on proposed salary hikes for politicians
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The government has decided to leave a sensitive decision regarding
proposed salary-hikes for judges, state attorneys, ministers, deputies
and MEPs in the hands of Parliament. The proposal drafted by the Labour
and Social Affairs Ministry comes in response to a ruling by the
Constitutional Court which abolished a law that cut the salaries of
judges within a broader framework of austerity measures. The proposed
salary hike would mean that the salaries of judges, politicians and
state attorneys would be calculated from a higher base than now and the
lower house id to be presented with several alternatives as to what
that base should be from 2.7 times the average salary to over three
times the amount. Although the government says it has no alternative
but to respect the ruling of the Constitutional Court it has been
accused of arrogance of power. Trade unions say the amendment is an
insult to ordinary people at a time of salary cuts, tax hikes, rising
inflation and growing unemployment.


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Rychetsky says salary hikes not inevitable
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The chief justice of the Constitutional Court Pavel Rychetsky on
Thursday rejected the claim that the government had no option but to
implement extensive salary hikes for all officials in high office in
the executive, legislative and judiciary spheres. Judge Rychetsky said
the respective ruling had been related to a cut in judges' salaries
only and the court had moreover ruled that judges salaries could not be
lowered which did not mean they had to be raised.


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Security tightened in wake of Burgas attack
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The police says it has tightened security at all Czech airports in the
wake of Wednesday's bomb attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria. A
police spokeswoman said more officers were patrolling the premises and
security checks of luggage had been tightened. Israel bound flights
from Prague's Ruzyne Airport are being given special attention. The
police spokeswoman said the tightened security was a routine measure
taken in the wake of the attack in Bulgaria and stressed that the
police had no reports of a heightened security threat in the Czech
Republic.


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Bailiffs not to have access to social cards
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Bailiffs will not have access to the social cards via which the state
will in future pay social welfare benefits, the head of the Association
of Bailiffs Petra Bacova told the ctk news agency on Thursday. She said
this was the result of an agreement between the association, the
ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the bank Ceska Sporitelna
which will manage the accounts. The bank has pledged not to disclose
the account number and it will be up to its owner to decide whether or
not he wants to use part of the money for debt-repayment. There have
been complaints by the socially needy that bailiffs often leave them
without money with which to buy basic necessities for themselves and
their children.


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Klaus congratulates Meciar
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President Vaclav Klaus has sent a message of congratulations to the
former Slovak prime minister Vladimir Meciar on occasion of his 70th
birthday. In the letter, Mr. Klaus refers to the break-up of the
Czechoslovak federation which was effected by the two statesmen and
gives the former Slovak prime minister credit for the civilized manner
in which it was handled. President Klaus refers to the Czechoslovak
split as an inevitable step that was professionally done and benefitted
both countries. He points out that, 20 years on, both countries are
strong and stable members of the EU and remain close friends and
allies. Earlier this week Slovakia marked the 20th anniversary of the
declaration of national sovereignty passed by the Slovak Parliament
which set in motion the "velvet" divorce.


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Coalition survives fourth vote of no confidence
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The coalition government survived yet another vote of no confidence on
Wednesday. Only 89 out of 101 needed MPs voted against the government,
with a record number of 22 parliamentarians absent. All 89 members of
the governing Civic Democrats, TOP 09 and LIDEM parties who were
present voted in favour of the government, as did independent MP Michal
Doktor and Public Affairs' Milan Stovicek. The vote was preceded by six
and a half hours of debate that Prime Minister Petr Necas said was
senseless political theatre. Opposition leader Bohuslav Sobotka said
the vote was essential in spite of its failure, as the debate cast
light on the coalition's attempts to impede the police and the justice
system. It was the fourth vote of no confidence that the current
government has faced.


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MP Stovicek sitting on the fence
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Deputy Milan Stovicek of the opposition party Public Affairs may get
kicked out of the party after repeatedly supporting the governing
coalition in crucial votes. The MP stayed with Public Affairs after the
party split and the break-away faction around deputy prime minister
Karolina Peake remained in the government but despite his party being
in the opposition he has almost consistently continued to support the
ruling coalition. Although Public Affairs has repeatedly called their
MP to order over the matter the party is hesitant to expel him given
the fact that such a move would most likely strengthen the numbers of
the ruling coalition. Karolina Peake, the head of the break-away
faction now going under the name LIDEM, has said she has not given up
on her efforts to bring more politicians to her camp.


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Thirteen-year-old attempts suicide at summer camp
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A 13-year-old boy is in critical condition after attempting to commit
suicide by hanging at a summer camp near Hluboka. The boy was rushed to
hospital and is on life-support. The head of the camp said she had had
no indication that the boy was in trouble, saying it was unlikely that
he had been a victim of bullying. The case is being investigated.


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Football: Viktoria Plzen face Georgia's Metalurgi Rustavi
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Czech football club Viktoria Plzen face Georgia's Metalurgi Rustavi on
Thursday evening in the second qualifying round of UEFA's Europa
League. The match takes places in Tbilisi and news website idnes
reported that Rustavi players actually turned up to watch Plzen players
train. Plzen finished third in the Czech league last season, a year
after winning the Czech League for the first time.


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Weather:
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The coming days are expected to be sunny to partly cloudy with rain in
places and daytime highs around 25 degrees Celsius.



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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/panorama/dana-zatopkova-recalls-past-olympic-triumphs.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/sport/zatopkova_dana1p.jpg
Dana Zatopkova recalls past Olympic triumphs
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With the summer Olympics fast approaching Czechs are gauging their
chances and reliving past triumphs. One of the highlights of these past
successes was the 1952 triumph at the Olympic games in Helsinki when
30-year-old runner Emil Zatopek and his wife Dana bagged four gold
medals in quick succession. Sixty years on Dana, now just weeks short
of 90, recalls their incredible life together and the hard-won
successes that made them a household name.

http://radio.cz/en/section/panorama/dana-zatopkova-recalls-past-olympic-triumphs

http://old.radio.cz/mp3/podcast/en/curraffrs/david-rath-corruption-scandal-takes-fresh-turn.mp4http://img.radio.cz/pictures/politik/rath_david3p.jpg
David Rath corruption scandal takes fresh turn
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The corruption scandal surrounding David Rath took another set of
twists and turns this week as police accused the former Social Democrat
health minister and Central Bohemian governor of taking an additional
nine million crowns in bribes. Mr Rath is already remanded in custody
as police investigate his involvement in a prior affair.

http://radio.cz/en/section/curraffrs/david-rath-corruption-scandal-takes-fresh-turn






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