Cabinet meets to debate controversial end of year bonuses

The Czech government is meeting late on Sunday to decide whether or not to grant civil servants so called 13th and 14th salaries, special end of year bonuses which were guaranteed by law in the past. A meeting between Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla and trade union leaders produced no tangible result. Union leaders said Mr. Spidla had listened to their arguments but made no promises. Civil servants say their annual incomes would drop significantly without this supplement and have threatened various protest actions if the Cabinet fails to find the extra money. Trade unions believe the outlooks are not good since most ministers support the payment of only symbolic end of year bonuses amounting to 10 percent of the monthly wage.