In football, Sparta|Prague closed the gap on the leaders of the top Czech league after a 3:0 win at home against |Karviná on Sunday. Sparta remain in fifth place on 26 points but close some of the gap with league leaders Viktoria Plzeň who could only manage a goalless draw against Mladá Boleslav on Saturday. Plzeň have 33 points, two points ahead of second placed Zlín.
Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek flies out to Kazakhstan Sunday for an official visit to the Central Asian country. The minister is accompanied by an around 30-strong delegation of companies, mostly from the transport, energy, construction, and engineering sectors. Kazakhstan is regarded as a promising market for Czech exports and know-how. The visit lasts until November 22.
Average temperatures for the season are expected for the next four weeks with snow in early December, according to the long range weather forecast of the Czech Hydrometeorological Office. The next week should be warmer but average daytime temperatures will then drop to around 3 degrees Celsius. Above average rainfall, turning to snow on higher ground, is expected in the last week of November and first week of December.
TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek says he has prepared an amendment which would seek to return VAT tax rates to the levels before the economic crisis of 2008 and would also abolish the so-called solidarity tax. The government of then prime minister Petr Necaš upped VAT rates by one percentage point in 2012 to 15 and 21 percent. He also introduced a seven percent tax on top earners. Kalousek argues that the increase was a temporary measure which was originally expected to end in 2015. The proposal is unlikely to win support from the government coalition.
Czech boxer Martina Schmoranzová is guaranteed at least a bronze medal in the European Championships. After her quarter-final win in the category up to 64 kg, the Czech is guaranteed at least a third place. Her next fight takes places on Tuesday against Russia’s Alexandra Ordinova with the winner booking a place in the final. Schmoranzová has already equalled her best performance in the European Championships in 2006 and 2011 when she was also placed third.
In ice hockey, Jaromír Jágr ended his NHL goal drought by scoring in the match against |Ottawa on Saturday. Jágr also contributed two assists as Florida beat Ottawa 4:1. Previously, Jágr hadn’t scored in 13 games. His sole goal against Ottawa came in the first minute of the third period. The Czech was voted the second star of the match.
The movement Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) led by Tomio Okamura has set a target to get 10 percent of votes in lower house elections to parliament due next year. Okamura set the target during the party’s national congress saying that it would give it the chance of being a decisive dealmaker in the formation of a new government. Okamura told supporters that the elections next year were a last chance for the party to make a breakthrough and ,if it failed, other movements offering radical alternatives would replace it. Okamura’s party, which opposes immigration and highlights the threat of Islam, won around five percent support in recent regional elections with opinion polls putting its popularity at around the same level.
The government has decided to take a neutral stance on a proposal from a lower house lawmaker that days are set aside to commemorate the lives of Karel IV and his mother, Eliška Premyslovna. A proposal from Úsvit (Dawn) backbencher Augustin Sylor would means that special days, but not state holidays, would be earmarked for the two historical personalities. The day market Karel IV would probably be May 14, the anniversary of his birth. So far there are 12 such special days in the year. A similar move in the lower house failed to progress further last year.