Defence Minister Alexandr Vondra said Sunday that exceeding the planned budget deficit could bring about the fall of the government. In a debate on Czech Television, Mr Vondra said that the leading Civic Democrat and TOP 09 are not considering raising corporate tax, as has been demanded by the opposition and the junior coalition party Public Affairs. A one-percent increase in the corporate tax would bring some 7 billion crowns to the state coffers, though not immediately. Only an increase in VAT would have an immediate effect, Mr Vondra pointed out. Tax revenues have been rising year-on-year, but less than the Finance Ministry has planned. The 2011 budget deficit is set at 135 billion crowns. The coalition has agreed on a VAT increase from 10 to 14 percent in 2012. As of 2013, the two VAT rates (14 and 20 percent) are to unify at 17.5 percent.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová is attending the Wimbledon champions’ ball on Sunday evening after winning women’s singles tournament on Saturday against Russian Maria Sharapova, 6-3, 6-4. The 21-year-old said she had been receiving been receiving congratulatory text meesages all day from friends from her hometown of Fulnek in Moravia and from other Czech sports stars like Jaromír Jágr and Roman Šebrle. Kvitová said Sunday she was looking forward to the ball, but was glad that dancing was not mandatory. Petra Kvitová is the first Czech to win the women’s singles tournament since Jana Notovná, 13 years ago. On Monday she will move up to a career record of world no. 7 on the WTA list.
Culture Minister Jiri Besser will propose that the state earmark half a billion crowns for support of film productions next year, compared to this year´s 300 million crowns, a sum that has been completely spent already. Speaking on Czech Television in Sunday, Mr Besser said he believed he would get 300 million crowns for film production during the 2012 budget bill debate, but would be demanding 500 million crowns. Economists say the state will benefit from such incentives, estimating profits of at least 18 to 20 percent for the state.
Czech meteorologists have issued flood warnings for the Regions of Liberec and Ústí nad Labem, where heavy rainfall is expected on Sunday. Alerts have also been issued for the regions of Moravia-Silesia. Current forecasts for the mountain regions expect between 25 and 110 mm of rain between Sunday and Monday. Meteorologists say there is a chance of level one inundation levels in isolated cases.
The International Summer School of Early Music began on Saturday, this year with a primary focus on Central European music over the centuries. The Valtický Chateau in South Moravia will be hosting 266 chosen attendees who will be trained in ancient instruments, dance and song. The Summer School is the oldest and most comprehensive course of its type in the Czech Republic and welcomes participants of all age categories from small children to seniors and foreigners from many continents.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has won the Wimbledon grand slam tournament in an outstanding finals performance against Russian Maria Sharapova decided in only two sets, 6-3, 6-4. The win marks Kvitová’s first grand-slam title and makes the 21-year-old the first Czech to win the women’s singles tournament since Jana Notovná, 13 years ago. On Monday she will move up to a career record of world no. 7 on the WTA list.
Thirty-nine-year old star Czech hockey player Jaromír Jágr will return to the NHL in the 2011/2012 season after signing with the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. The winger, who won two Stanley Cups during his NHL career but played the last three seasons in the KHL, had received offers from the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings. But both teams withdrew their offers on Friday after failing to hear from the player; the Penguins' management said it had never intended to get into a bidding war over the winger. Other clubs that expressed an interest in the player, who most recently shined at the World Championships in Slovakia, reportedly included Montreal (home to the player’s agent and former Habs player Petr Svoboda). According to sources, Philadelphia signed a one-year contract with Jágr worth 3.3 million US dollars.
Voters in 24 communities of Bohemia and Moravia are electing new local representatives to bodies that dissolved last year due to disputes among their members. In one area the municipal committee is being elected nine months late because no candidate could be found until now. Voting is taking place between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., after which time the results will be published by the Czech Statistical Office on the website www.volby.cz. Complete results will be available on Sunday.
The 3rd annual Oslavy Prahy, or “Celebrations of Prague”, festival is underway in the Czech capital. The programme offers music and theatrical performances at various locations in Prague city centre, as well as events showcasing history, art and science. This year’s festival also marks the 800th anniversary of the Birth of St Agnes of Bohemia. Old Town Square and Petřín Hill are hosting large rock concerts. Guided tours of works of art in the National Gallery are available for free and manby of the city’s churches and famous landmarks are also open to the public free of charge or for reduced rates.
Czech President Václav Klaus has accepted an invitation to share his views on global warming through a series of lectures in Australian cities. The invitation was made by the Australian Institute for Public Affairs, a libertarian think tank based in Melbourne. The conservative broadsheet The Australian writes that Australian politicians, including Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the premiers of various states have refused to meet with Mr Klaus because of his views on environmentalism, which he believes is a leftist ideology that is dangerous to freedom, democracy and the market economy. His visit is set to take place at the end of July.
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