The Czech Army is planning some 1,800 lay-offs in the coming months, said Chief of Staff General Vlastimil Picek on Tuesday. The redundancies will be made up of 600 civilian staff and 1,200 soldiers, Mr Picek said. The army is laying off employees due to budget cuts at the Defence Ministry brought about by the current economic downturn. In 2009, the Defence Ministry’s budget is down by more than 7 billion crowns (377 million USD) on that of the previous year. A spokesperson also told the press that, for the meantime, the army was not seeking to take on new recruits.