Flood alerts have been declared in many parts of the Czech Republic due
to rain and the recent thawing of snow following a sharp rise in
temperature. Roads and people's homes have been flooded, and residents
were evacuated in two places.
However, weather forecasters say things should improve over the next couple of days when it is expected to be dry. Temperatures will reach up to 19 degrees Celsius in the middle of next week.
The Christian Democrats have passed a resolution at a party conference in Prague, saying they will leave the governing coalition and push for early elections if Prime Minister Stanislav Gross is not replaced as head of the Social Democrats at their conference next weekend. Christian Democrat leader Miroslav Kalousek has been calling for Mr Gross's resignation since the prime minister and his wife became involved in a financial scandal.
President Vaclav Klaus has compared the European Union to the Communist-era international organization Comecon, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance. Speaking in the US magazine Time, Mr Klaus said the EU was structurally similar to the old Eastern bloc organisation, although ideologically different. He also reiterated his call for the EU to be widened rather than more deeply integrated, saying it should accept countries like Kazakhstan and Morocco as members.
More than 70 Czech politicians, artists and sports stars were voluntarily locked up in a mock prison cell on Prague's Wenceslas Square on Friday, in a protest against the plight of Cuban dissidents. The protest was due to last 75 hours, marking as it did the arrest of 75 Cuban dissidents two years ago. Former Czech president Vaclav Havel, a strong critic of the Castro regime, sent a video message supporting the event, which was organised by the NGO People in Need.
A new opinion poll suggests the Czech prime minister, Stanislav Gross, has lost public support. The prime minister, who has recently been embroiled in a scandal involving his family's property, is now supported by 18 percent of voters, according to the STEM poll. In January he had almost 50 percent support. The new poll found that most popular politician in the country is Culture Minister Pavel Dostal, who is fighting cancer.
Regulations regarding work in the Czech Republic are among the strictest in Europe, according to an OECD report quoted in Friday's Hospodarske noviny. The study found that only Portugal was less 'liberal', while the United Kingdom had the weakest labour legislation. The report says the Czech government should amend the country's labour law to make it easier for employers to lay off workers.
A mobile Czech hospital is coming back from Sri Lanka earlier than originally planned. The hospital had been expected to remain in the disaster hit region until at least July but is now due to return next month. Director Jaromir Dolansky said the main reason was a loss of sponsors after media reports that the hospital had a shortage of patients.