The minister of the interior in the interim Czech government does not believe that a vote to dissolve Parliament scheduled for Tuesday will be carried. Speaking on a television debate show on Sunday, Martin Pecina said he believed the Chamber of Deputies would actually vote to dissolve itself next month at the soonest. Meanwhile, a survey conducted for Czech Television by the agencies Median and STEM/MARK suggests that over two-fifths of Czechs do not believe the vote – which would force the holding of early elections within 60 days – will be passed. An interim cabinet headed by Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok was appointed by President Miloš Zeman after the collapse of the last government in June.
Forecasters have warned that most parts of the Czech Republic will be hit by severe storms on Monday. The storms, bringing hail stones, rain and strong winds, are likely to cross Bohemia on Monday afternoon and evening and to reach Moravia on Monday night, the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute said in a statement. Some areas may be hit by mild flooding.
The Letní Letná international festival of new circus and theatre gets underway at Prague’s Letná Plain on Sunday evening. This year’s edition kicks off with a free show in which leading Czech artists in the field will come together for a one-off performance. Among the main attractions at the 10th Letní Letná, which runs until September 3, will be two circuses from France.
Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the death of the Czech scientist Otto Wichterle, inventor of modern soft contact lenses. Wichterle, who was born in Prostějov, South Moravia in 1913, produced the first contact lenses in the early 1960s on an apparatus made from a Merkur children’s building kit. The Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (CSAS) sold the patent to an American company and actual mass production of contacts began in the US. Wichterle himself became head of the CSAS after the Velvet Revolution.
The Czech men’s tennis number one Tomáš Berdych has been knocked out in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Open, after losing 5-7 5-7 to the Spaniard Rafael Nadal on Saturday. However, reaching the last four at the tournament means that Berdych, who is 27 and has taken eight ATP titles in his career, will rise to fifth in the world, his highest ever ranking.
In the most hotly anticipated game in Czech soccer’s top flight so far this season, reigning champions Viktoria Plzeň drew 0:0 with title contenders Sparta Prague on Saturday night. The two clubs remain tied in first place, with Plzeň ahead on goal difference. The West Bohemians host Slovenia’s Maribor on Tuesday in the first leg of a playoff tie to reach the lucrative and prestigious Champions League.
Striker Václav Kadlec is set to move from Sparta Prague to the German club Eintracht Frankfurt in a deal believed to be worth EUR 3.2 million. Sparta announced that a deal had been done to sell one of the club’s prized assets at a news conference on Sunday. Kadlec, who is 21, had been at Sparta for five years. He has made four appearances for the Czech national team, scoring one goal.
The week-long Prague Pride festival of sexual minorities reached a climax on Saturday with a parade through the centre of the Czech capital. The third Pride parade followed a different route than in previous years, partly because opponents of homosexual marriage and adoption reserved a number of spots in the city centre for their own gatherings. Organisers said heading for 20,000 people had turned out for the event, which culminated with a concert at Prague’s Letná Plain.
The Czech National Theatre has been guilty of financial irregularities for several years, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Saturday, citing an audit completed under a former minister of culture. The institution’s new director, Jan Burian, told the newspaper that the theatre had broken the Labour Code with regard to the payment of taxes and health and social insurance. The National Theatre was recently in the news when Mr. Burian was sacked by the current minister of culture before being reinstated a few days later. A number of actors quit in protest, though most have since returned.
The leadership of the Social Democrats has decided to make party chairman Bohuslav Sobotka the head of its electoral campaign and its candidate for the post of prime minister. The Social Democrats have topped the opinion polls for some time and are expected to come first in the next general election. However, President Miloš Zeman – who previously lead the party – is believed to be close to its number two man Michal Hašek; he recently said he would appoint a “representative” of the winning party PM, leading to speculation he could overlook Mr. Sobotka in favour of Mr. Hašek.