Justice Minister Pavel Nemec has said he will call for 300 million crowns (roughly 12 million US dollars) and 200 new employees for the Czech prison service. The justice minister made the comments during a Sunday news programme, saying he planned to submit the financial requirements to the cabinet following the 2006 state budget vote scheduled in the lower house this week. According to Mr Nemec, the impulse behind his decision was a recent escape by two Czech convicts from a maximum security prison, which cast light on the poor situation - not enough funds and too few personnel - in Czech prisons.
The country's largest opposition party, the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, have wrapped-up a two-day party congress in the Moravian city of Brno, outlining the party's priorities ahead of national elections in 2006. At the weekend, party members criticised the current government coalition, expressing alarm over allegedly growing ties between the ruling Social Democrats and the Communists. On Sunday, Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek stressed his party would take solutions "directly to the people", and would aim at a positive election campaign.
The Civic Democrats continue to top public opinion polls, but the Social Democrats have been gaining. Both parties have set goals of winning more than 30 percent of the vote next year.
Around 50 history fans in historic-replica costumes marked the 200th anniversary of Napoleonic battles on Bohemian territory on Sunday. Several hundred on-lookers turned out to watch the enacted battle near the village of Stoky, representing an original clash between Napoleon's armies and Austrian forces in 1805. The battle, won by the Austrians, was a Pyrrhic victory, coming two days after Napoleonic forces won at Austerlitz (Slavkov, near Brno).
Later this week, around 4,000 visitors from 23 countries are expected to visit the Czech Republic to take part in a re-enactment of the famous Battle of Austerlitz, near Brno.
Czech cross-country skier Katerina Neumannova has finished first in the women's 10 km Nordic World Cup skiing freestyle in Finland. Neumannova beat her nearest rivals Russian Julia Chepalova and Estonian Kristina Smigun on Sunday, beating Chepalova by approximately 21 seconds. Neumannova holds four medals from past Winter Olympics. Her World Cup finish on Sunday has brought her number of career wins on the World Cup circuit to fourteen.
More cloudy weather is expected on Monday, with some sunny intervals. Daytime temperatures at the beginning of the week are expected to hover at a lowly 0 degrees Celsius.
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