Average temperatures for the season are expected for the next four weeks with snow in early December, according to the long range weather forecast of the Czech Hydrometeorological Office. The next week should be warmer but average daytime temperatures will then drop to around 3 degrees Celsius. Above average rainfall, turning to snow on higher ground, is expected in the last week of November and first week of December.
TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek says he has prepared an amendment which would seek to return VAT tax rates to the levels before the economic crisis of 2008 and would also abolish the so-called solidarity tax. The government of then prime minister Petr Necaš upped VAT rates by one percentage point in 2012 to 15 and 21 percent. He also introduced a seven percent tax on top earners. Kalousek argues that the increase was a temporary measure which was originally expected to end in 2015. The proposal is unlikely to win support from the government coalition.
Czech boxer Martina Schmoranzová is guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the European Championships. After her quarter-final win in the category up to 64 kg, the Czech is guaranteed at least a third place. Her next fight takes places on Tuesday against Russia’s Alexandra Ordinova with the winner booking a place in the final. Schmoranzová has already equalled her best performance in the European Championships in 2006 and 2011 when she was also placed third.
In ice hockey, Jaromír Jágr ended his NHL goal drought by scoring in the match against |Ottawa on Saturday. Jágr also contributed two assists as Florida beat Ottawa 4:1. Previously, Jágr hadn’t scored in 13 games. His sole goal against Ottawa came in the first minute of the third period. The Czech was voted the second star of the match.
The movement Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) led by Tomio Okamura has set a target to get 10 percent of votes in lower house elections to parliament due next year. Okamura set the target during the party’s national congress saying that it would give it the chance of being a decisive dealmaker in the formation of a new government. Okamura told supporters that the elections next year were a last chance for the party to make a breakthrough and ,if it failed, other movements offering radical alternatives would replace it. Okamura’s party, which opposes immigration and highlights the threat of Islam, won around five percent support in recent regional elections with opinion polls putting its popularity at around the same level.
The government has decided to take a neutral stance on a proposal from a lower house lawmaker that days are set aside to commemorate the lives of Karel IV and his mother, Eliška Premyslovna. A proposal from Úsvit (Dawn) backbencher Augustin Sylor would means that special days, but not state holidays, would be earmarked for the two historical personalities. The day market Karel IV would probably be May 14, the anniversary of his birth. So far there are 12 such special days in the year. A similar move in the lower house failed to progress further last year.
Czech president Miloš Zeman is characterised in the latest edition of the German news weekly Der Spiegel as a Vladimir Putin loyalist. It adds that his policy appears more directed towards the East than the West and highlights his stance against the continuation of EU sanctions against Russia. Zeman’s predecessor as Czech head of state, Václav Klaus is included in the list of European populists. The magazine points out that Klaus attended meeting of the right wing party Alternative For Germany (AFD) while still in power. The magazine argues that populist movements both on the right and left are on the rise.
The US producer of electric cars and batteries Tesla Motors could build a second large factory in the Czech Republic north of Prague, according to the website The Space Invader. Tesla Motor’s founder, Elon Must, recently announced plans for a factory making both batteries and cars somewhere in Europe. A first factory has already under construction in the United States. Sources say one factor favouring the Czech Republic is the fact that the country has mineable Lithium reserves. Lithium is an essential raw material for high performing batteries. Other factors include low labour costs, the low cost of land, and the country’s central position. The Ministry of Industry and Trade said it would not comment on investment plans before they were finalised.
Minister for Transport Dan Ťok has sought clarification from the Ministry for Regional Development about whether a new law might not inadvertently exclude state railway company Czech Railways from taking part in future tenders to operate rail routes. The problem revolves around a new law aimed at excluding companies with non-transparent shareholders from tenders. The state railway company according to certain interpretations would be caught by the new law, which took effect at the start of October, because its specific share structure. Other state companies might also be at risk such as the state electricity network company ČEPS and the electricity market operator OTE.
Archaeologists find unique grave of Roman era warlord in Uherský Brod
Czech Ambassador to Ethiopia Pavel Mikeš: ‘If you wait long enough, an egg will walk on two legs’
New debate erupts over use of -ová suffix in Czech female surnames
Divided by Freedom – Large-scale Czech Radio survey finds six social classes in Czech society
Josef Becher – the man behind Czech Republic’s iconic liqueur