World number nine Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic confirmed Tuesday that he will not be playing in the US Open because of a back injury. "It's over for the US Open and it seems the break could be even longer," the player told the CTK news agency. Stepanek, 27, has a 30-15 record this season, winning his first ATP title in Rotterdam, and reaching the finals in Hamburg and Wimbledon quarter-finals. A question remains over his participation in the Davis Cup World Group playoff tie against the Netherlands from September 22-24.
A planned round of talks on a new government was called off on Tuesday after the two strongest parties on the Czech political scene failed to reach agreement on who should attend. Prime minister designate Mirek Topolanek and the outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek are trying to reach agreement on the conditions under which Mr. Paroubek's Social Democrats would be prepared to tolerate a minority Civic Democrat government. The conditions discussed include the set-up of the future government, its policy programme and its term in office. The Social Democrat leader, whose position was bolstered by the even division of forces between the left and right parties in the lower house, stalked out of Monday's talks saying there would be no further negotiations with the Civic Democrats but later changed his mind after what he described a s a conciliatory gesture from the winning party. The prime minister designate Mirek Topolanek said the negotiations with the Social Democrats should not last longer than a fortnight - with or without a deal.
The Czech Chamber of Agriculture has said that wheat yields in the Czech Republic will be lower than last year and due to bad weather conditions less than half of the harvested crops is expected to reach standard quality. Speaking at a news conference on Monday, the head of the chamber Jan Veleba said the situation can affect the prices of some foodstuffs, such as flour, baked products or meat. An unusually hot and dry July was followed by heavy rain at the beginning of August which damaged a lot of the crops.
The district state attorney's office in the city of Plzen has said two young traffic police officers from the Tachov district attempted to rob a local petrol station on Sunday night. They were detained as they were trying to assault the staff. One of them was on duty and wearing a police uniform at the time of the attack. Both men, aged 26 and 27, have been accused of plotting a robbery and one of abuse of power.
Prime Minister designate and Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek and
Social Democrat chairman and outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek met on
Monday morning for talks about a future Czech government but the talks
have failed to make progress. Mr Paroubek said it was unlikely that his
Social Democrats would support a minority Civic Democrat government. Mirek
Topolanek, on the other hand, accused Mr Paroubek of blocking the
of a rightist minority government. Meanwhile the Social Democrat
leadership decided later on Monday that the party would continue in the
negotiations with the Civic Democrats on a Civic Democrat minority
The Civic Democrats won the most votes in a national election in June, but parliament has been deadlocked because the right and left-wing blocs hold the same number of seats in the lower house.
A remembrance ceremony on Monday in front of the Czech Radio building on Prague's Vinohradska Street marked the 38th anniversary of the beginning of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. Officials laid wreaths in front of the Czech Radio building which was the site of the bloodiest fighting in August 1968 between the occupiers and the citizens of Prague. The invasion of Warsaw-Pact troops crushed the reform movement known as the Prague Spring and Soviet units stayed in Czechoslovakia until 1991. More than 70 people were killed and several hundred wounded in the first weeks of the invasion.
Financial analysts approached by the CTK news agency have agreed that the major advantage of an early adoption of the euro for Czech citizens would be easier travelling. On the other hand, they warned that the economy might overheat causing a rapid growth of prices. The government have agreed that the Czech Republic should adopt the European currency in 2010 but the term has been put into question by some experts. For example, the deputy finance minister Eduard Janota said on Sunday that the Czech Republic's planned adoption of the Euro in 2010 was in danger because the Czech Republic was not going to fulfil all the Maastricht criteria by the middle of 2007.
Outgoing Social Democrat prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, said on Sunday that he intended to press for early elections to the lower house in 2008, saying that he did not want to allow a minority Civic Democrat government to govern until 2009, when the Czech Republic will hold the presidency of the European Union. The chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Mirek Topolanek, does not agree with the notion that the next government's mandate should end before the EU presidency term finishes in June 2009. Earlier, Mr Paroubek had expressed the opinion that early elections would not hurt the Czech Republic's success during the EU presidency rotation.
One man died at the scene of a highway accident on the D1 motorway near
Brno on Sunday, and the driver of the vehicle was taken to hospital
with critical injuries.
It is the second serious accident on the D1 motorway to take place over the weekend. On Saturday, the D1 was closed for over 10 hours as police conducted an investigation into a major accident involving a semi-truck and thirteen other vehicles.
The deputy finance minister Eduard Janota says that the Czech
Republic's planned adoption of the Euro in 2010 is in danger. Mr.
Janota made the statement during a televised interview on Sunday. He
says that the Euro's adoption is threatened because the Czech Republic
must fulfill all the Maastricht criteria by the middle of 2007, and
that includes criteria regarding the proposed state budget deficit. EU
standards set deficit rates at a maximum of 3.3% of GDP, while the
Czech Republic's proposed budget for 2007 stands at 88 billion crowns,
including a deficit of 3.8% GDP.
Meanwhile, outgoing prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, has reacted to the news by saying that it is better to delay the introduction of the Euro than to cut-back on social programs.