In related news, the Social Democrats leader Bohuslav Sobotka said that his party would not consider forming a coalition with either the TOP 09 party or the Civic Democrats in the case of snap elections. He added that should the Social Democrats win the next elections, they would choose political allies that would support his party in its effort to rework the poorly conceived reforms of Prime Minister Petr Nečas’s government.
Hundreds of Catholics on Sunday poured into the Czech capital’s St. Vitus Cathedral, where Cardinal Dominik Duka was celebrating the country’s main Easter mass. The cardinal highlighted the important role Easter played in the Christian faith and blessed all attendees, as well as believers around the world. Some tourists had also come to attend the two-hour mass. Additional Easter masses were held in several other churches in Prague as well as across the country.
Huntsmen found another five wild boars which died under mysterious circumstances on Sunday, in the Tachov region near the city of Plzeň. In recent weeks, some 20 wild boars died from unknown causes in the Czech Republic. Veterinarians have confirmed that the animals were not shot; a mass poisoning of boars by a human is looking to be a likely cause of the recent wave of wild boar deaths. Blood and other samples were drawn from the dead animals and are being analyzed at a laboratory in Prague.
Tomáš Berdych secured the Czech Republic a spot in the Davis Cup semi-finals with his victory over the Serbian Janko Tipsarevic in Prague on Sunday. Berdych won in three tiebreakers, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (9-7), giving the Czech Republic a 3-1 lead in the best-of-five tie. The result put the Czechs into the semifinals against Argentina in September. Argentina had clinched a quarterfinal win over Croatia on Sunday.
In the highest altitudes of the Krkonoše mountains, some 10 centimeters of fresh snow fell on Saturday night. According to the mountain rescue service, snow continued falling on Sunday. In addition, conditions are very windy. A second-level avalanche warning has been issued. However, the main skiing resorts are still operating, some of them until early April.
Prime Minister Petr Nečas has said, in an interview that was published in the weekend edition of the daily Mladá fronta dnes, that his party, the Civic Democrats, had been preparing for possible snap elections for weeks. Mr Nečas explained that the senior government coalition party started putting together an election campaign two weeks ago, for fear that spats over austerity measures would force the government to resign. In addition, he said, the trial of Public Affairs deputy Vít Bárta, the de-facto leader of the junior coalition partner, was a factor in the party’s decision to prepare for possible early elections. The prime minister said that the Civic Democrats were concerned that in the case of an acquittal, Mr Bárta would put the government under pressure in an effort to return to the cabinet. The verdict in the highly publicized corruption trial will be delivered next Friday.
Deputy leader of the government coalition’s TOP 09 party, Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, has said that his party would consider forming a coalition with the Social Democrats in the case of early elections. He added that while he would not welcome working together with the current opposition party, TOP 09 would prefer it if junior coalition partner Public Affairs quit the coalition. The party was pushing through its agenda in a way that damaged the government, he said. However, the TOP 09 leader added that the coalition needed the junior partner’s deputies’ votes to push through reforms that will work to improve the country’s prosperity and prevent it from sliding into a financial crisis.
Far-right extremists from the Workers Party for Social Justice held a march through the predominantly Roma-inhabited neighborhood of Chanov in the suburbs of Most in Northern Bohemia on Saturday. Some 60 to 70 people joined the march; much fewer than had previously been expected. Some one hundred anti-right-wing protesters also gathered in the impoverished Chanov area but pledged that their demonstration would be a non-violent one. Police were monitoring the situation closely; there were no clashes between both groups.
Dozens of Prague residents paid tribute to homeless people who died from exposure in the winter months with a minute of quiet at the Woodrow Wilson statue near the Czech capital’s main station on Saturday. Among the participants of the gathering were some homeless men and women as well as people working for homeless charities. In honor of the homeless who died this winter was laid down near the statue. Organizers said that unfortunately, people living in affluent societies were getting used to the existence of abject poverty and that the event was meant to highlight the need for social change within Europe.