Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka has said that if his party does well in the elections, he would try to arrange a one-party minority government with support from other parliamentary parties, including the Communist Party. Mr. Sobotka said his party was not considering scrapping the 1995 Bohumin party conference resolution which bans direct cooperation with the communists on the national level, but that it would seek support from those with whom it could agree on a common policy programme – jump-starting economic growth, creating new jobs, and scrapping direct fees for health care, among others.
Prague’s Bulovka hospital suffered a cyber attack on Wednesday night. A spokesperson said the hospital’s patients’ data base was not violated but the central information system was switched off for close to 8 hours, necessitating the transfer of some cases to other hospitals. The hospital has filed a criminal complaint against unknown culprits.
The Prague Transport Company has refused a delivery of four new trams from the Skoda Transportation Company due to a series of technical faults, the ctk news agency reports. The company said the trams had serious defects which prevented them from being put to use. It said it had been forced to return trams with similar defects in the past. Skoda Transportation has a contract to deliver 32 new trams to Prague Transport this year. The company has failed to comment on the development.
Psychologists say an increasing number of young Czechs suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder. One percent of children aged between 11 and 14 and two percent of teenagers between 15 and 18 have been diagnosed with IAD. Psychologists from the Bohnice mental institution say that children with other problems frequently fall prey to Internet Addiction Disorder as a means of escaping reality.
U.S. Open doubles champion Radek Štěpánek will face Argentina's Juan Monaco in the opening singles of the Czech Republic's Davis Cup semi-final on Friday as the defending champions bid to reach a third final in five years. World number five Tomáš Berdych will then take on Argentine Leonardo Mayer in the second of the opening day's matches in Prague.
If elected, the Civic Democrats will help the under 30s to buy their first home and make it easier for them to start their own business, party leaders said at the official launch of their manifesto on Wednesday. Acting leader Martin Kuba also said that they would focus on middle class voters and described the Civic Democrats as the only authentic right-wing party. They had been the dominant party on the right in the Czech Republic for two decades but have slipped behind TOP 09 in the opinion polls. Elections are scheduled for the last weekend of October.
The recently formed Liberal Environmental Party headed by one-time Greens chairman Martin Bursík have decided not to stand in next month’s election. In a statement, the party said they did not wish to split the centre-right vote in the poll. A representative, civic activist Matěj Hollan, told the Czech News Agency that the Liberal Environmental Party, which came into existence just two weeks ago, did not have enough time to prepare the kind of campaign that would win them seats in the Chamber of Deputies. The party is not backing any other groupings.
The Social Democrats’ foreign affairs spokesman, Lubomír Zaorálek, says Prague should have a “more balanced and just” policy toward Israel. The Czech Republic is regarded as one of Israel’s strongest supporters. Speaking on Wednesday, Mr. Zaorálek said his country’s approach had not always been balanced in recent years and that it was necessary to have relations with the Palestinians. He also raised doubts over possible participation in a UN mission at the Golan Heights by Czech soldiers. The Social Democrats are expected to form the next Czech government.
The population of the Czech Republic fell slightly in the first half of this year, according to official figures released on Wednesday. There were 10,512,900 people living in the country at the end of June, just over 3,000 fewer than at the end of 2012. The population of the capital Prague had also dropped marginally, to 1,246,176 at the end of the first half of the year.
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