After a pause of several months, the Czech Republic is once again allowing the adoption of Czech children by foreign couples abroad. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs banned foreign adoptions last years following the death of a three-year old Czech boy in an adoptive Swedish family due to alleged neglect. Adoptions will now be governed by stricter rules involving extensive psychological tests for both the children and their prospective parents.
Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek wants to call a meeting of the
leadership of the three ruling parties - for August 13th to propose an
individual income tax rate of 13.5 percent of the super gross wage (the
gross wage plus health and social insurance) next year and 12 percent in
2010. According to the daily Pravo, the proposal is a reaction to pressure
by fellow Civic Democrat Vlastimil Tlusty.
The governing collation of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens originally proposed a 15 percent individual income tax in a draft reform which was approved in May. Experts say fine-tuning of the proposal will be impossible to complete by August 14, when the draft is to be discussed at the Chamber of Deputies meeting.
The US Embassy has confirmed that a team of American experts will come to
the Czech Republic on Monday to examine the conditions for stationing a
possible US radar base at the village of Misov, some 90 kilometres
southwest of Prague, which was chosen as the most suitable location.
Municipalities near the Brdy military area, where the radar base is to be positioned, are against the plan, fearing the radar could affect the environment or the health of local residents. They have repeatedly rejected the base in locally- held referenda.
Social Democrat chairman Jiri Paroubek plans to marry his new partner
The chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, is planning to marry his new partner Petra Kovacova once he divorces his wife Zuzana Paroubkova, Pravo reported. Speaking to the daily, Mr Paroubek indicated that all of the media would have to write about Miss Kovacova "decently", referring to the fact that some tabloids had called his partner his "mistress".
The opposition leader announced a month ago that he and his wife were divorcing after 28 years and that Ms. Kovacova, some 20 years his junior, was his new girlfriend.
Communist MP Josef Vondruska, who was asked by the Czech police to be
stripped of his political immunity, should offer to give it up himself,
deputy chairman of the Communist party Jiri Dolejs told the Czech Press
The police want to question Mr Vondruska as part of their investigation into the abuse of prisoners in Minkovice jail where he was a warden throughout the 1980s. It is alleged that he treated political prisoners with particular severity. The Committee on Mandate and Parliamentary Privilege will discuss the matter next week before referring it to parliament.
Police suspect Christian Democratic deputy Pavel Severa of having leaked
the so-called "Kubice report" to the media. The controversial
report claimed that the state administration had been infiltrated by
organized crime. Mr Severa has denied the accusation but has refused to
Jan Kubice, head of the anti-organised crime unit, presented the report last year to the lower house's defence and security committee, of which Mr Severa was a member. The report was leaked only four days before parliamentary elections. The then ruling Social Democrats accused the Civil Democrats - the largest opposition party at the time - of being responsible for the leak which they say "reversed the election outcome".
Guns from Ceska zbrojovka arms producer were stolen during their transport to the US in the past few days. The damage amounts to more than 80,000 Czech crowns (USD 4,000). According to the Pravo daily, it was the second arms theft from the delivery over the Atlantic Ocean in the past months and the third in the past year.
According to a survey by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs carried
out between 2004 and 2006, Great Britain is the most popular destination
for Czechs seeking jobs abroad, followed by Germany, Austria and Ireland.
Almost 55,000 workers from the Czech Republic registered in EU countries and Switzerland last year, out of which more than 17,000 in Great Britain. The reason for their choice is legislation, knowledge of the language, and the fact that the British labour market has been open since 2004. In comparison with other states that joined the EU in 2004, the mobility of work force in the Czech Republic is still very low.
The Parliamentary Budget Committee recommended on Wednesday that mps
should not approve the government's package of tax reforms, when it comes
up for discussion on August the 14th. Finance Minister, Miroslav Kalousek
has said that the committee's verdict 'was to be expected', as members of
the governing coalition were outnumbered by opposition Social Democrats and
Communists, who are against the reforms. Radim Fiala of the ruling Civic
Democrats was missing from the meeting, and the reforms were vetoed by 11
votes to 10.
The reforms have already passed through a first reading in the lower house of Parliament. But with the smallest of majorities, the centre-right coalition needs the support of every single one of its deputies to get the reforms approved.
The vice-chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Milan Urban, has called for state prosecutors to be given an increased amount of independence from the government. He made the announcement on Wednesday morning, one day after the deputy prime minister, Jiri Cunek, had all charges of corruption against him dropped. Mr. Cunek stood accused of accepting a half-a-million-crown bribe from a building company, when he was mayor of Vsetin, in 2002. His case was transferred from one prosecutor to another by Renata Vesecka, the Supreme Public Prosecutor, in early June, in a move that was considered by many to be politically motivated.
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