Cover

The government’s austerity package has prompted "amazement at the first pay cheques for this year,” headlines Lidové noviny. Police representatives demanded the resignation of the Interior Minister, while MPs in the Czech parliament, who had previously approved the spending cuts, also mounted their own rebellion. When they voted for the budget, many of the parliamentarians overlooked the fact that along with a 5% paycut, they would also face a 15% tax on allowances, which, as the daily points out, amounts to "serious money." Lidové noviny remarks that "the rest of the country is looking on as MPs come to terms with the consequences of their own inattention," and adds that President Václav Klaus, who will now have to pay income tax, "does not understand why the salary for his post, has been hit even harder than those of his fellow citizens."