Pharmacists say strike is inevitable

The head of the Czech Chamber of Pharmacists, Lubomir Chudoba, has said that the planned strike of pharmacists is becoming inevitable because of the attitude of the health ministry. Mr Chudoba said that the outcome of a meeting of pharmacists and Health Minister David Rath on Monday will decide whether pharmacies will close their doors on Wednesday or not. Czech pharmacists disagree with the ministry's recent decision to cut their profit margins by three percent in order to reduce medicine costs. Meanwhile, Health Minister David Rath says he is considering a further reduction of the profit margin, which now stands at 29 percent.

Sobotka: tax burden not to be reduced in coming years

The deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that he is not considering any significant reduction in the overall tax burden in the coming four to five years. Mr Sobotka said, however, that he plans to restructure the taxes. Speaking in a televised debate on Sunday, Minister Sobotka said that the overall tax rate should stabilise around 37 percent in the coming years.

Grebenicek to lead South Moravian Communists in parliamentary elections

The former chairman of the opposition Communist Party, Miroslav Grebenicek, is going to lead the Communists' candidate list in South Moravia in June's parliamentary elections. Mr Grebenicek will compete in his constituency with Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the ruling Social Democrats, Environment Minister Libor Ambrozek of the coalition Christian Democrats and Vaclav Mencl, an MP for the opposition Civic Democrats. Mr Grebenicek, who is seen as a hardliner, stepped down last autumn after 12 years of being party leader. The Communists are the third strongest party according to public opinion polls. They occupy one fifth of the seats in the lower house.

PM to visit Norway, Denmark next week

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek is to visit Norway and Denmark next week. He is due to meet his counterparts and other officials and he will also be received by Denmark's Queen Margarethe II. Prime Minister Paroubek will meet members of the Czech expatriate community in the Norwegian capital Oslo and in the Danish capital Copenhagen he is going to hold talks with businessmen investing in the Czech Republic.

PM supports Health Minister's ad campaign

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek has said he supports Health Minister David Rath's information campaign in the form of paid newspaper advertisements. Mr Paroubek called it the only way to put right facts concerning the activity of the healthcare sector. Advertisements featuring Minister Rath's portrait have appeared in Czech papers this week promising to ensure more healthcare and medicines for Czechs in 2006. The ministry claims in the advertisement that it motivates physicians to prescribe cheaper generic drugs in higher quantity. The chairman of the coalition Christian Democrats, Miroslav Kalousek has called the advertisements unethical.


The beginning of next week should be overcast in most parts of the country. Daytime temperatures should range from minus 2 to zero degrees Celsius.