The inhabitants of Rohozná, a small village near Jihlava, voted overwhelmingly against the construction of a nuclear waste storage site on their land in a referendum on Saturday. Rohozná is one of eight Czech locations being considered by experts for the purposes of a nuclear waste store. On Saturday, three quarters of the village’s 312 inhabitants came to vote. Two hundred and twenty six people voted against the dump, while six people voted for the project. Nearly as many voters were opposed to a preliminary geological survey of the area, the village’s mayor František Venkrbec said after the vote on Saturday evening.
The Czech Finance Minister has said he wants to raise the rate of VAT in the Czech Republic in a bid to lessen next year’s budget deficit. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Eduard Janota said that he would be proposing to Parliament a raise in the lower rate of VAT from nine to 11 percent, while the higher VAT rate should go up from 19 to 20 percent, he added. Should his proposals be accepted, Mr Janota said that the budget deficit in 2010 would amount to around 160 billion crowns (8.83 billion USD). If no such changes were made, Mr Janota said that next year’s budget deficit would be closer to 230 billion crowns (12.7 billion USD). In the same interview with Czech Television’s Václav Moravec, Mr Janota said that it was ‘unrealistic’ to think about euro adoption before 2014 or 2015 in the current financial climate.
Italian Valentino Rossi won the 250cc MotoGP race at the Czech Grand Prix meeting in Brno on Sunday. The victory means that Rossi extends his overall championship lead and moves a big step closer to clinching a ninth world title. After a thrilling head-to-head dual with Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, Rossi profited from the latter’s fall five laps from the finish to extend his lead to 50 points going into the final seven races of the season. Rossi started the race in pole position after setting a track record in qualifying on Saturday.
Three hundred Czech tourists were left stranded in Tunisia on Sunday while the same amount again were left waiting in Brno and Ostrava after it emerged that a tour operator had failed to organise their chartered flights. Travel agency Sunny Days said that passengers in Brno and Ostrava, who were supposed to fly to Tunisia on Saturday evening would board their aircraft before midnight tonight. Similarly, the tour operator said that passengers in Djerba would be put on a flight home before midnight on Sunday. The agency said that those who had been left stranded in the Czech Republic had been compensated and offered an extension to their holiday. Those who return to the Czech Republic from Tunisia on Monday morning will also receive compensation, the owner of the travel service, Rida Bin Ahmad said. According to airline CSA, no planes were ordered by the agency and the mix-up was not their fault. A spokesperson for Sunny Days would not comment upon what had happened.
Meanwhile in athletics, Czech javelin thrower Barbora Špotáková qualified for Tuesday’s final in the discipline at the World Championships in Berlin with her first throw on Saturday. The reigning World and Olympic Champion Špotáková threw 63.27 metres on her first attempt, surpassing the qualification limit by 1.27 metres. According to Lidové noviny’s news website, however, Špotáková seemed unhappy with her throw. She subsequently told journalists that she felt in bad mental shape. The world record holder’s arch rival, Russia’s Maria Abakumova, threw 68.92 metres in qualifying, which is a season’s best, Lidové noviny wrote. The final takes place on Tuesday at 19:25 CET.
A Cessna light aircraft carrying four people crashed near Strakonice in
South Bohemia on Sunday, killing three of those on board. All three adults
on the plane died when the aircraft crashed into the Otava River, while the
one child on board was seriously injured and is in a critical condition in
hospital, police said. The accident happened at 9:50 CET said Jiří
Matzner, spokesperson for the South Bohemian police. He added that the
police were investigating the cause of the crash.
On Friday, another Cessna aircraft crashed while landing at Prague’s Letňany airport. Four people were injured in the accident, which was attributed to the pilot mishandling the landing.
The head of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Petr Kužel, has said that while the number of redundancies is now falling in this country, he believes that firms will not start taking on new employees until next year. On Friday, the Czech Statistical Office suggested that GDP was down in the second quarter by 4.9 percent compared with the same period last year. The bureau did, however, suggest that the Czech economy was showing some signs of recovery, with results for the second quarter actually up on those from the first by 0.3 percent.
Police are investigating links between a firebomb attack on a Roma family’s home which shocked the nation and the far-right Workers’ Party, Interior Minister Martin Pecina said on Sunday. A two-year old girl remains in hospital in a serious condition with 80 percent burns following April’s attack, in connection with which four people have just been charged. On Sunday, the interior minister said that police were investigating the accuseds’ links with the extremist Workers’ Party. He said, however, that while the investigation was ongoing he would not comment any further. Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Mr Pecina said that the Interior Ministry would again try to outlaw the Workers’ Party. He said that the ministry’s case would be brought to court in September.
Finance Minister Eduard Janota has warned that, without government intervention, the budget deficit in 2010 could reach some 256 billion crowns (14.12 billion USD), which constitutes seven percent of GDP. Speaking on Czech Radio on Saturday, Mr Janota added that this would be a very bad outcome, on a level with the current economic situation in Hungary. The finance minister said that the government must make some legislative changes, increasing the amount of money coming into state coffers and making extensive budget cuts across the board if this situation was to be avoided. He added that the Finance Ministry would be proposing such legislation to Parliament in due course. Mr Janota said that it was important that changes were made but that, ahead of early elections in the autumn, he was in no doubt that such changes would only be made with difficulty.
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