Wednesday, December 26, 2012

News 12.26.2012

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

News Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

By: Jan Richter

* The Czech Republic this year failed to meet two out of four
conditions set by the EU for the adoption of the euro.

* The electoral campaign for the direct presidential vote formally
began on Wednesday.

* Record-high temperatures have been registered in dozens of places
across the Czech Republic.

* Meteorologists have warned of increased risk of flooding due to
swelling rivers in the south and west of the country.

* Some 240 winter swimmers took part in Prague's annual swim in the
Vltava on Wednesday.



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Czech Republic fails two meet two our of four euro adoption criteria
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The Czech Republic this year failed to meet two out of four criteria
set by the EU for the adoption of the single European currency, the
euro, according to a report by the Czech National Bank and the Finance
Ministry. Due to a hike in the VAT rates, the Czech Republic did not
meet the criterion of price stability. It also exceeded the
three-percent limit on government budget deficit which is expected to
reach percent of the GDP this year. The Czech Republic meets the
remaining two conditions - government debt below 60 percent of the GDP
and long-term interest rates. Although bound by its EU accession treaty
to adopt the euro, the Czech Republic has set no date for doing so.


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Presidential electoral campaign formally begins
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The electoral campaign for the direct presidential elections formally
began on Wednesday, 16 days ahead of the first round of voting. The
individual candidates launched their campaigns much earlier; each of
them will now also receive five hours of air time at the country's
public broadcasters, Czech TV and Czech Radio. The electoral campaign
will cease two days before the first round of the vote, scheduled for
January 11 and 12. Nine candidates are in the Czech presidential race;
however, some unsuccessful aspirants intend to challenge the election
process before court which could delay the election.


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Record-high temperatures registered across Czech Republic
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Record-high temperatures have been registered in more than 30 places
across the Czech Republic, mainly in southern and western Bohemia. The
highest temperature - 16.6 degrees Celsius - was recorded in the
community of Vlkovice, outside Klatovy in the south of the country,
meteorologists said. However, the warmest Christmas holidays in recent
memory occurred in 1983 when temperatures exceeded 17 degrees Celsius.


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Meteorologists warn of flooding risk
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In related news, meteorologists on Wednesday warned of increased risk
of flooding due to swelling rivers in the south and west of the
country. While water levels are expected to remain stable over the next
24 hours, heavy rain which should arrive on Thursday, could swell upper
courses of many rivers. The warning is in place for the West Bohemian
and parts of the South Bohemian regions between Thursday night and
Saturday morning.


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Drivers warned against snow, ice on roads
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Despite a spell of unusually warm weather, the authorities on Wednesday
warned drivers against snow- and ice-covered roads in parts of the
country. In the eastern part of the Czech Republic, many roads continue
to be covered with frozen snow and fallen trees complicate traffic in
some places. Most main roads in the Sumava and Krkonose mountains have
been gritted but the authorities call on drivers to exercise extra
caution.


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Average pension increase to fail to cover rising living costs
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The average Czech retirement pension is set in for a slight increase in
January which will fall short of covering the rising cost of living,
the news website novinky.cz reported on Wednesday. The average monthly
pension of just over 10,700 crowns, or less than 570 US dollars, will
rise by 137 crowns. However, this will not cover the inflation rate of
2.7 percent along with a one-percent rise in VAT. The centre-right
government this year froze pension increases which are otherwise by law
set to cover a 2-percent or higher rise in inflation and real wages.


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State spent 4.5 billion on cultural heritage in 2011
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Some 4.5 billion crowns of public money were spent last year on care
for cultural heritage and historical monuments, according to figures by
the Czech Statistical Office. Regions, towns and municipalities spent
2.5 billion crowns in 2011 while the state provided around 2 billion.
The bulk of the state funds comes from the Culture Ministry which
finances the National Heritage Institute, an organization in charge of
maintaining around 100 chateaus, castles and other historic sites.


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Annual winter swim held in Prague
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Some 240 people are taking part on Wednesday in the 66th edition of the
Alfred Nikodem Memorial, an annual winter swim in the Vltava River in
Prague. This year, swimmers from Slovakia, Poland, the UK and Germany
also participated in the event which takes place near the National
Theatre building in the centre of the capital. The swim is named after
Prague winter swimmer Alfred Nikodem who established the tradition in
1923.


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Weather
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The end of the week should be overcast with occasional rain and snow in
higher places. Daytime highs should range between 3 and 7 degrees
Celsius.




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Articles posted on www.radio.cz today
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http://img.radio.cz/pictures/c/muzea/zeman_karel/cesta_do_praveku1p.jpg
Visionary filmmaker Karel Zeman
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In this Christmas special Radio Prague highlights the work of visionary
filmmaker Karel Zeman. His daughter Ludmila Zeman - acclaimed
children's book author & illustrator - remembers her father's approach
as a director. Also highlighted: the new Karel Zeman Museum in Prague.

http://radio.cz/en/section/special/the-work-of-visionary-filmmaker-karel-zeman-and-his-daughter-ludmila-acclaimed-childrens-book-author-illustrator






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