News

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Christian Democrat deputy Severa suspected of leaking so-called Kubice report

Police suspect Christian Democratic deputy Pavel Severa of having leaked the so-called "Kubice report" to the media. The controversial report claimed that the state administration had been infiltrated by organized crime. Mr Severa has denied the accusation but has refused to comment.

Jan Kubice, head of the anti-organised crime unit, presented the report last year to the lower house's defence and security committee, of which Mr Severa was a member. The report was leaked only four days before parliamentary elections. The then ruling Social Democrats accused the Civil Democrats - the largest opposition party at the time - of being responsible for the leak which they say "reversed the election outcome".

Czech Prime Minister proposing to decrease individual income tax

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek wants to call a meeting of the leadership of the three ruling parties - for August 13th to propose an individual income tax rate of 13.5 percent of the super gross wage (the gross wage plus health and social insurance) next year and 12 percent in 2010. According to the daily Pravo, the proposal is a reaction to pressure by fellow Civic Democrat Vlastimil Tlusty.

The governing collation of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens originally proposed a 15 percent individual income tax in a draft reform which was approved in May. Experts say fine-tuning of the proposal will be impossible to complete by August 14, when the draft is to be discussed at the Chamber of Deputies meeting.

Czechs seeking jobs abroad prefer Great Britain

According to a survey by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs carried out between 2004 and 2006, Great Britain is the most popular destination for Czechs seeking jobs abroad, followed by Germany, Austria and Ireland.

Almost 55,000 workers from the Czech Republic registered in EU countries and Switzerland last year, out of which more than 17,000 in Great Britain. The reason for their choice is legislation, knowledge of the language, and the fact that the British labour market has been open since 2004. In comparison with other states that joined the EU in 2004, the mobility of work force in the Czech Republic is still very low.

Communist MP accused of abusing prisoners should give up his political immunity

Communist MP Josef Vondruska, who was asked by the Czech police to be stripped of his political immunity, should offer to give it up himself, the deputy chairman of the Communist party Jiri Dolejs told the Czech Press Agency.

The police want to question Mr Vondruska as part of their investigation into the abuse of prisoners in Minkovice jail where he was a warden throughout the 1980s. It is alleged that he treated political prisoners with particular severity. The Committee on Mandate and Parliamentary Privilege will discuss the matter next week before referring it to parliament.

Czech Republic resumes adoptions abroad

After a pause of several months, the Czech Republic is once again allowing the adoption of Czech children by foreign couples abroad. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs banned foreign adoptions last years following the death of a three-year old Czech boy in an adoptive Swedish family due to alleged neglect. Adoptions will now be governed by stricter rules involving extensive psychological tests for both the children and their prospective parents.

Czech guns disappear during transport to the US

Guns from Ceska zbrojovka arms producer were stolen during their transport to the US in the past few days. The damage amounts to more than 80,000 Czech crowns (USD 4,000). According to the Pravo daily, it was the second arms theft from the delivery over the Atlantic Ocean in the past months and the third in the past year.

A team of US experts to come to radar site next week

The US Embassy has confirmed that a team of American experts will come to the Czech Republic on Monday to examine the conditions for stationing a possible US radar base at the village of Misov, some 90 kilometres southwest of Prague, which was chosen as the most suitable location.

Municipalities near the Brdy military area, where the radar base is to be positioned, are against the plan, fearing the radar could affect the environment or the health of local residents. They have repeatedly rejected the base in locally- held referenda.

Social Democrat chairman Jiri Paroubek plans to marry his new partner

The chairman of the opposition Social Democrats, Jiri Paroubek, is planning to marry his new partner Petra Kovacova once he divorces his wife Zuzana Paroubkova, Pravo reported. Speaking to the daily, Mr Paroubek indicated that all of the media would have to write about Miss Kovacova "decently", referring to the fact that some tabloids had called his partner his "mistress".

The opposition leader announced a month ago that he and his wife were divorcing after 28 years and that Ms. Kovacova, some 20 years his junior, was his new girlfriend.

Slavia wins Champions league qualifier in shootout

Czech football team Slavia has knocked Slovakia's Zilina out of Champions League competition, beating the team in the second qualifying round match 4-3 in a shootout on Wednesday, after the match ended scoreless in overtime. Slavia will face Ajax Amsterdam in the next round.

Weather

Showers and storms are expected in the next couple of days with temperatures reaching up to 26 degrees centigrade.