News

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Heavy snowfall causes problems across the country

Prague's Ruzyne airport was closed to all incoming and outgoing traffic for most of the day on Sunday due to heavy snowfall. It re-opened for limited service after 3pm CET. Some 25 centimetres /10 inches/ of snow blanketed the country in the early hours of Sunday causing traffic snarls and train delays. Continuing snowfall throughout the day complicated road maintenance work. The main east-west motorway, the D1, was restricted to one lane in each direction and some parts of the country were completely cut off. More snow has been forecast in the coming days.

Topolanek promises to increase old age pensions if his party wins elections

The leader of the opposition Civic Democratic Party Mirek Topolanek has promised to increase old age pensions if his party wins the June general elections. Mr. Topolanek, whose party currently leads in opinion polls, said that during the rule of the Social Democrats old age pensions had actually dropped when compared to the average wage, which was something that his party was prepared to correct. The Civic Democratic Party leader said that while in 1997 old age pensions amounted to 46 percent of the average wage, they were now down to 40 percent.

Zeman not interested in political come-back

The former prime minister and ex-chairman of the ruling Social Democrats Milos Zeman has ruled out the possibility of running in the 2008 presidential elections. Mr. Zeman who has interrupted his quiet life as a pensioner in the Moravian highlands in order to support his party before the June general elections said on Sunday that he had no intention of returning to top-level politics. He is planning to tour two election regions to support the current Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek and the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Zdenek Skromach whom he described as the party's most worthy candidates. Mr. Zeman has just published a book of memoirs which many observers believe will hinder rather than help his party in the elections.

Pharmacists want to air their grievances to the PM

The Association of Pharmacists has announced that its members would refrain from further protest actions until they have discussed their grievances with the Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek. They say they no longer want to deal with Health Minister David Rath who lowered their profit margins at the start of this year as part of a package of cost-cutting measures across the health sector. The Association of Pharmacists has protested against the measure for weeks saying that it would lead many of them into bankruptcy.

Sport - ski jumping event

Czech ski jumper Jakub Janda came fifth in Sunday's World Cup Ski Jump event in Oslo. He now holds the overall World Cup lead with a 175 point advantage on Finland's Janne Ahonen, who came in twelfth.

Weather:

Monday is expected to be partly cloudy to overcast with more snow showers and day temperatures between plus two and minus two degrees Celsius.