Opposition Civic Democrats to support government income tax bill
The opposition right-of-centre Civic Democrats will support the government's proposal to lower the income tax. In a TV discussion programme on Sunday, Civic Democrat Vlastimil Tlusty said party deputies will vote in favour of the bill at Tuesday's lower house session. The Civic Democrats have been blocking the proposal as it only affects those with a monthly wage of up to 30,000 Czech crowns (around 1,200 US dollars); an estimated four million people. They have instead been pushing for a flat tax rate of 15 percent to include those with higher incomes. Mr Tlusty says his party has not had a change of heart but simply realises that lowered taxes for some is better than for none.
Number of diabetes patients increases twofold in only two decades
The number of Czechs with diabetes that is caused by excess weight has doubled in the last two decades. Of the country's population of ten million, some 750,000 suffer from "Type 2 diabetes", which is not treated with insulin but rather by dietary changes, exercise, and tablets. Experts warn ever more Czechs are inactive, have a poor diet, and suffer from high blood pressure.
Deputy Health Minister Rath to oversee hospital care
Deputy Health Minister David Rath has declared war on those hospitals, which fail to provide proper care for in-patients. The director of the largest state-owned insurance company, VZP, is expected to present him with a list of up to forty of the country's worst offenders, Mr Rath said in a TV discussion programme on Sunday. A commission of experts will evaluate the hospitals and the worst cases will be fined or even closed down. This is part of a health ministry effort to lower the 11 billion crown (some 450 million US dollars) health insurance debt and improve overall health care.
Ten people injured in coach accident
Ten people were injured, one seriously, when a bus carrying Greek tourists collided with a car near Rakovnik, around 50 kilometres west of Prague, on Saturday evening. A woman who suffered life-threatening injuries was airlifted to Prague's Motol hospital. Other injured were taken to a local hospital. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.
Czech TV clear winner at Elsa television awards ceremony
The Czech Film and Television Academy's Elsa Television Awards were held at Prague's Lucerna Ballroom on Saturday night. With the exception of commercial TV Nova's investigative programme Na Vlastni Oci, all awards went to productions by the public broadcaster Czech TV. Among Elsa winners were feature film In Nomine Patris (Best Film), actor Viktor Preiss (Best Actor), actress Vilma Cibulkova (Best Actress), film director Jaromir Polisensky (Best Director), and screen writer Jan Drbohlav (Best Screenplay).
The two main commercial stations, TV Nova and TV Prima boycotted the ceremony, protesting against the Film and Television Academy's selection procedure; the Academy had not considered the Czech Pop Idol and reality shows, for example, for awards.
We can expect some heavy early morning fog and occasional showers in the next few days. The mild temperatures that we have been enjoying will also fall to reach a maximum of 15 degrees Celsius throughout the week.