The Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats are reported to be on the verge of producing a coalition deal. If they agree on a programme during talks on Tuesday night the document would then be discussed internally by the three parties. Agreement has been reached in most areas, though differences remain over issues surrounding taxation and the health system. The parties are expected to focus on the division of portfolios next week when the leader of the Christian Democrats returns from an overseas trip.
Members of the police’s organised crime unit have searched the offices of power giant CEZ for materials relating to solar power stations. The police would not give details of the target of the investigation, which saw raids on Tuesday at CEZ’s headquarters in Prague and a daughter company in Hradec Králové. While much remains unclear, Prague Supreme State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová confirmed that the matter was linked to solar power stations. In recent years CEZ has spent billions of crowns buying solar power stations from private companies, some of which are reported to have had unclear ownership structures.
Livia Klausová, the wife of former president Václav Klaus, has arrived at the Czech Embassy in Bratislava to take up the post of ambassador. Mrs. Klausová, who was born in Slovakia, will officially assume the position in mid-January, when she presents her credentials to the Slovak president, Ivan Gašparovič. She was put forward by the current Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, leading to some speculation that the post was a reward for her and her family supporting Mr. Zeman’s presidential campaign.
The first non-conditional sentence for software piracy has been handed down by a Czech court. A man from Most received a 20-month jail term for illegally copying and selling software from the firms Microsoft and Adobe, the anti-piracy organisation BSA told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday. The software companies said the miscreant had caused them losses of half a million crowns.
City Hall in Brno has had a map created of sites where there is a relatively high risk that unexploded World War II bombs may be buried, the newspaper Brněnský deník reported on Tuesday. Bombs were dropped on the Moravian capital by both the Americans and the Russians in the latter part of the war. One historian told Brněnský deník that there are still 10 or 12 US time bombs in the city that could explode when celluloid strips preventing them from going off eventually perish.
Councillors in Brno have approved the naming of a narrow street in the city after late president Václav Havel. Václav Havel Alley leads from the theatre Divadlo Husa na provázku, with which the playwright was associated, to the cathedral at the city’s Petrov. The idea was put forward by a senior figure at the theatre; it was first rejected in a public internet poll before being approved in another vote in which people had to cast their ballots in person.
Police in Prague are stepping up security at banks in the city in the period leading up to Christmas when, they say, crime usually increases. Officers will focus on drop-offs of shops’ takings and ATMs. They will monitor selected banks and carry out checks on individuals spotted in their vicinity, a spokesperson said.
Viktoria Plzeň are preparing for a crucial Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow at their Štruncovy sady stadium on Tuesday night. It is not possible for either club to qualify from their group and the match will decide which claims third spot and a berth in the second-tier Europa League. Plzeň need to win 1:0 or 2:1 or by a two-goal margin to advance. It will be the West Bohemians’ last game under coach Pavel Vrba, who is taking over as manager of the Czech national team.
The Davis Cup has gone on display in the lobby of the Czech Radio building on Prague’s Vinohradská St. Visitors can view the tennis trophy and also have their photograph taken with it between 9:00 and 18:00 on Tuesday and Wednesday. Inspired again by veteran Radek Štěpánek, the Czech men’s team recently won the trophy for the second time in a row.
President Miloš Zeman has said he plans to have the final word in the line-up of the new cabinet. In an interview for Czech Radio on Sunday Mr Zeman said he would veto any proposed minister whom he did not consider to be an expert in the given field. Giving a case in point the president said he would never appoint Martin Stropnický from ANO 2011 to the post of defense minister although, in view of his qualifications, he would have no problem accepting him as culture or foreign minister. Critics say this may be a strategy on the part of the president to keep the interim Rusnok cabinet which he himself handpicked in office for as long as possible.