The Civic Democratic Party’s election leader Miroslava Nemcova, has ruled out a coalition with four parties which she described as “undemocratic”. They are tycoon Andrej Babis’s ANO party, Tomio Okamura’s Dawn of Direct Democracy, the Euro-skeptic Chin Up and the Citizens’ Rights Party – Zemanites. Mrs. Nemcova said the Civic Democratic Party would not repeat the mistake it made in 2010 when it entered into a coalition with then newcomer Public Affairs.
Monday is the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Munich Agreement allowing the Nazis to annex Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, border areas chiefly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The deal was agreed on September 29 1938 but actually signed in the early hours of September 30 by the leaders of the UK, France, Germany and Italy. Czechoslovakia was not represented at the talks and considered the deal a betrayal on the part of its nominal allies the UK and France. Six months later the Nazis took over the whole of Bohemia and Moravia.
Czechs will be able to test their English language skills at language schools around the country from November 25-30.The event, organized by the Association of Foreign Language Schools and the national centre Europass is intended to raise interest in learning foreign languages and mapping Czechs’ foreign language skills. The comprehension test will also be available online. According to the results of a Eurobarometer study 49 percent of Czechs speak one foreign language, as compared to the EU average of 54 percent.
A 34-year-old postal service worker in the Brno area has been charged with fraud. The woman allegedly abused the trust of senior citizens, signed their pension slips and took their money. In order to deflate suspicion she originally covered her own needs from their pensions and paid them back later when she received her own salary, but later claimed the money had simply not arrived. If convicted she could face up to two years in jail.
The Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitová has risen to seventh in tennis’s world rankings after winning the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo at the weekend. Her return to the top 10 after a three-week absence boosts her chances of reaching the prestigious season-ending World Tour Finals, which features the top eight players. Tomáš Berdych, meanwhile, has climbed to fifth in the men’s rankings after reaching the final of the Thailand Open in Bangkok.
The Czech Republic’s biggest health insurer VZP plans to seek a loan of CZK 2.5 billion from the Ministry of Health, the former’s director Zdeněk Kabátek said on a Czech Television debate show on Sunday. Mr. Kabátek said that the minister of health, Martin Holcát, had already expressed support for such a loan, which would fill a gap in VZP’s budget for this year. The insurer’s director also said that it planned to buy the controversial website IZIP, via which it communicates with its clients, for CZK 59 million. At present VZP spends CZK 72 million every year on the site’s services.
A flood protection system at Prague Zoo should be extended within the next three years, the city’s first deputy mayor Jiří Vávra said at an event marking the 82nd anniversary of the institution’s opening. According to an analysis that Mr. Vávra presented, it is possible to erect barriers around the zoo without causing greater flood damage to other spots in the Czech capital. The report was commissioned after flooding in June that badly affected lower parts of the zoo, which had been devastated during severe floods in 2002. This year’s damages are expected to exceed CZK 100 million.
Police in Prague made 82 arrests on Saturday night in connection with a game between the city’s two biggest soccer clubs Sparta and Slavia at the latter’s Eden Stadium. The majority of those arrested were Sparta fans. Most were detained for misdemeanours, while 13 are suspected of promoting fascism or disorderly behaviour, the Czech New Agency reported. Police said they were also looking for a man who threw a firecracker into a group of Slavia fans. Sparta won the game 2:0 and maintained their lead in the Czech top division.
Major road works on the Czech Republic’s busiest motorway, the D1, have come to an end for this year. A section of the highway between Loket and Hořice was reopened on Sunday morning, meaning the entire road – which runs from Prague to Ostrava – is now open to motorists. The huge modernisation project is set to cost CZK 14 billion, much of which will be drawn from European Union funds.
A moving express train came close to crashing into a stationary express train at Neratovice in central Bohemia on Saturday evening. The fact the two machines were on the same track has been blamed on human error. After the emergency brakes were activated on the moving train it came to a halt around 100 metres from the one that was standing. No passengers were injured in the incident, which follows a similar situation involving two local trains on the outskirts of Brno earlier this month.