Senate rejects church property restitution bill
The Czech Senate on Wednesday rejected a controversial church property restitution bill that would give the Catholic Church and other religious groups some 135 billion crowns worth of property, most of it as financial compensation, in return for possessions confiscated by the communist regime in the 1950s. The upper house, controlled by the opposition Social Democrats and Communists, rejected the bill with 43 votes out of 77 present. The opposition sees the legislation as unfair, and claims it would return more property than originally taken away. The bill will now return to the lower house; Prime Minister Petr Nečas on Wednesday expressed confidence that coalition MPs will find the 101 votes to overturn the Senate veto.