At a meeting over the weekend, the Green Party gave its leader, Martin
Bursik, and his negotiating team a clear mandate to take part in
coalition-building talks with all parties except the Communists. Mr.
Bursik says that negotiations with the winning party, the Civic
Democrats, and the Christian Democrats currently take precedent over
discussions with the Social Democratic Party.
The Green Party stands by its campaign promise not to support any government that would be dependent on the backing of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia.
The Greens earned six percent of the vote in recent elections, and have a mandate of six seats in the lower house—their first-ever presence in high-level Czech politics. Mr. Bursik has not revealed which—if any—ministry posts may be desirable for the Greens in a coalition arrangement, though analysts say that the Ministry of the Environment is of logical key interest for the Greens.
Three Green Party members were also expelled over the weekend for their leadership of the so-called 'Leftist faction' that emerged just prior to the elections, causing an internal conflict within the party. Eva Holubova, Karel Volny and Vaclav Drbohlav were voted out of the Green Party.
The Home Credit and Finance Bank of Russia, which is controlled by the Czech financial group PPF, reports a decrease in profits for 2005. Compared to 2004 when the bank saw a profit of 338 million crowns ($15.1 million USD), 2005 figures rest at about 256 million crowns ($11.5 million USD). The Home Credit and Finance Bank ranks second on the Russian market, and opened 31 new branches throughout the Russian Federation in 2005.
In a Sunday televised program on T.V. NOVA, the leader of the Civic
Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, revealed that his party has its own
candidate in mind to administer the Chamber of Deputies. If the Civic
Democrats are successful then their current party deputy leader,
Miroslava Nemcova, could be nominated for Chairwoman of the lower house
when MPs convene to vote on June 27th. Mr. Topolanek sees Miroslava
Nemcova as a fine candidate because according to him, she has the
experience to lead the lower house, as well as the qualities required
to do the job well. Ms. Nemcova was the deputy leader of the lower
house during the last Social Democratic-led government.
The Civic Democrats are taking the position that the Chair's post in the lower house need not automatically fall to the second-place Social Democrats, and that they as the winning party intend to occupy the chair of the lower house. Meanwhile, the Social Democratic Party has spoken publicly about the possibility of Jiri Paroubek running for the chairmanship of the lower house. The Social Democrats feel that they should hold the post, given their second-place yet still strong showing in the recent elections.
The daily Pravo reports that the number of Czechs recycling is on the rise—and in fact, Czechs are among the best recyclers in Europe. The country has already surpassed recycling parameters set by the European Union that are to take effect in 2012. According to the report, 67% of people practiced recycling on a regular basis in 2005 and the average citizen sorted 36.2 Kg. of waste. Czech households recycled a total of 360 000 tonnes of garbage in 2005, and 168 000 tonnes of this material was reused.
Vendula Frintova of the Czech Republic has won bronze in the women's
triathlon World Cup race in Richards Bay, South Africa. It is the first
time in her career that Frintova has placed within the top three
finalists. She finished with a time of 2:06:59 and fainted after she
crossed the finish line. Emma Snowsill of Australia took first place,
and Anja Dittmer of Germany clinched the silver.
Lenka Radova of the Czech Republic finished fifth with a time of 2:07:38.
The Civic Democratic leadership, which is currently in the process of
trying to secure support for a governing mandate, does not see a grand
coalition with the Social Democrats as a viable option. Mirek Topolanek,
the chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, says that this would go
against the wishes of party members, as well as voters. At present, the
Civic Democrats are in the process of negotiating a coalition with the
Christian Democrats and the Greens, though this solution would still leave
them with only 100 seats in the 200-seat lower house.
Over the weekend, all 74 newly-elected Social Democratic MPs signed a declaration vowing not to support a coalition led by Mr. Topolanek. Over the weekend, Social Democratic leader Mr. Paroubek said that he envisions a new Czech government will be formed by August.
Since the Velvet Revolution in late 1989, every election victor in the Czech Republic has managed to form a government.
Hundreds of people, including politicians and foreign guests, took part
in a ceremony Saturday to remember the Nazi massacre that levelled the
central Bohemian village of Lidice 64 years ago. The ceremonies
included the opening of an updated and expanded exhibit at the
newly-reconstructed Lidice Memorial Museum. The original museum, opened
in 1962, began to undergo extensive reconstruction last year.
In addition, former Czech Cultural Minister, Pavel Dostal, was awarded honorary citizenship by the town of Lidice, in memoriam. Mr. Dostal died in 2005 and during his time as cultural minister, he worked to revitalize the Lidice Memorial.
The village of Lidice was crushed by Nazi forces on 10 June 1942 in retaliation for the murder of the Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. 340 villagers were murdered by the Nazis in Lidice.
The Social Democratic Party continues to take the position that one of
its members should become the new chairman of the Chamber of Deputies.
The Social Democrats came second in the recent elections, and say that
they deserve to fill this important administrative post. The Social
Democratic leadership says that it will not exchange this position for
support of Mirek Topolanek's proposed Civic Democratic-led coalition
According to deputy party leader Zdenek Skromach, the Social Democractic leader, Jiri Paroubek, is considered a front-runner for the chairman's post by his own party. Czech law does not allow for the posts of prime minister and chairman of the lower house to be held simultaneously, which is something that Mr. Paroubek does not consider problematic. Until a new government is formed, Mr. Paroubek remains the Prime Minister.
With the World Cup underway in Germany, Czech - German border crossings are registering a marked increase in traffic volume. The Saturday edition of the daily Pravo reports that in addition to football fans travelling to Germany by car, the Czech border police are also encountering many suspected prostitutes who are crossing the border into Germany, many of them from poorer states in central Europe. Customs agents at the west Bohemian Rozvadov crossing are registering approximately 25 Bulgarian women per day, the majority of them thought to be prostitutes. Border guards have tightened control measures, conducting thorough searches for drugs and weapons. Czech customs agents are also checking to make sure that football fans from the United Kingdom who have been banned from match attendance are not attempting to enter Germany by car from the Czech Republic.