Press Advisories

18. 8. 20109:29

State 'A Levels' to Be Held Next Year

State 'A Levels' To Be Held For the First Time in 2010/2011, the Government Has Decided; Laws on Asylum and Residence For Foreigners to Undergo Amendments

The goal for unified 'A levels' is to objectively compare graduates' knowledge, and with it, to make savings and increase effectiveness in education. Over time, their results could be used by universities as part of their admissions procedures. A dress rehearsal for the state exams will take place in October.

"There was a lively debate on state A levels. The ODS ministers and I myself did not support the launch of state A levels," the prime minister said after the government's meeting. "The government decides collectively, and in this case the majority of votes were for this proposal. The state A levels examination will take place on the basis of this decision," the prime minister added.

Amendments to the law on the residence of foreigners will now introduce joint liability between employers and mediating agencies for foreign employees. Employers, for example, will pay the costs connected with the expulsion of a foreigner they employ who does not leave the Czech Republic after the expiration of their residence permit, or for costs for their health care in the event that they are fired before the expiration of their work permit. The amendment further implements the so-called "blue card," a long-term residence and work permit for highly-qualified foreign employees. Another new item for foreign employees is the introduction of identity documents with biometric elements instead of the sticker affixed to travel documents used until now. Foreigners requesting residency permits will be required to prove that they are capable of providing for their stays from their income, as well as that of their family.

"Returning to the country of origin should above all work on a volunteer basis. The voluntary fulfilment of the responsibility to return has priority; only in the event of the non-fulfilment of these responsibilities should the phase of forcing them occur from the state's side," the prime minister said about the amendment to the law on the residence of foreigners in the Czech Republic.

At today's meeting, the government expressed a neutral standpoint on amendments to the law on lotteries, which was presented by the City of Prague. According to Prime Minister Nečas, the government agrees with its intention, but nevertheless the proposal contains legislative and technical shortcomings. For this reason, the government tasked the finance ministry to present its own amendments to the law on lotteries, one which will enable communities to regulate the operation of video lottery terminals on their territory.

Prime Minister Nečas also confirmed the Czech Republic's negative position on the implementation of banking taxes on an European Union level. "The government position remains clearly to insist on a refusal position," Prime Minister Nečas said.