A new opinion poll taken following the rejection of the draft European Constitution by French and Dutch voters has shown that the majority of Czechs now opposed to adopting the document. A poll of 2300 people conducted for the daily Mlada fronta Dnes by the SC&C agency shows only 19 percent of Czechs in favour of adopting the draft EU constitution. Prior to the French and Dutch results, most opinion polls showed over 50 percent of Czech in favour of it. The new SC&C poll predicts that 29 percent of Czechs would vote against the EU constitution in a referendum and turnout would be low.
An international conference aimed at tackling the problem of acid rain got underway in Prague on Monday. The chairman of the conference's executive committee, Mr Jakub Hruska, said in an interview that acid rain continues to destroy Czech forests. Spruce trees growing in the Czech mountains were most at risk, he said. Sulphur emissions have declined significantly over the past 15 years, as the country has moved away from the use of brown coal towards cleaner energy sources. But Mr Hruska said that trees and other plants were still under threat from high levels of nitrogen, a result of increased motor vehicle traffic nationwide.
In other news, as of Tuesday this week, Czech taxpayers stop 'working for the government' and begin earning for themselves. This year, Tax Freedom Day arrives on the 14th of June, two days earlier than it did in 2004. By this measure, Czech taxpayers will spend 165 days of this year making money for public budgets and then 201 days earning for themselves. The date is calculated in large part by comparing the ratio between total tax revenues and net national incomes. The overall burden on the Czech taxpayer has increased in recent years. When first introduced in the Czech Republic in the year 2000, Tax Freedom Day came eight days earlier, on the 6th of June.
And speaking of taxes, the main opposition Civic Democratic Party (ODS) will reportedly downplay its proposal for a 15 percent flat tax in the 2006 general elections. An unmanned party source told the Pravo daily that the ruling Social Democrat's "demagogic" arguments against the flat tax as beneficial only to the wealthy were difficult to defend against. The centre-right Civic Democrats have argued that imposing a flat tax would dramatically increase foreign direct investment (FDI) and encourage more people to report their income.
Overcast skies, light rain and daytime highs in the upper 20s (Celsius) is the forecast for the coming days, but the sun should be out and shinning brightly in time for the weekend.
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events