Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has dismissed speculation of a coalition crisis in the wake of a flaming row between Finance Minister Andrej Babiš of the ANO party and Health Minister Svatopluk Nemeček of the Social Democrats. The prime minister, who met with Andrej Babiš late on Friday night, said that there was no question of the coalition falling apart adding that a meeting planned for Wednesday would help clear the air. He expressed regret that the ministers had played out their conflict in the media, rather than on coalition ground. Mr. Babiš has criticized the heath minister’s performance in office, saying that if he were a member of his ANO party he would have been recalled long ago.
Health Minister Svatopluk Nemeček told journalists he was not interested in escalating the conflict with the finance minister and wanted to get back to get back to work. The minister said he was not concerned about losing in post and felt that he had the support of his party leadership. On Friday the health minister accused media controlled by the Agrofert company, which is owned by ANO party leader Andrej Babiš, of publishing lies and trying to damage his reputation. Mr. Babiš advised the health minister to get psychiatric treatment.
A new police anthem which was to be played on special occasions has evoked a storm of controversy in police ranks. The majority of officers have rejected the anthem as a piece of music reminiscent of the 1950s communist era. Police president Tomáš Tuhý who released the anthem to the press on Friday has said he would get it reworked so that it would better represent a modern-day force.
Parts of Moravia, particularly the Ostrava and Karvina regions report worsened air quality with dust particles in the air exceeding three times permitted norms. Children, chronically ill and elderly people have been advised to stay indoors. Heavily-industrialized Moravia and Silesia are particularly prone to smog in the winter months and the problem is aggravated by city transport and coal heating.
A unique 64-carat diamond worth 16 million US dollars is currently on display in Prague. The stone, lent from Antwerp, was found in Lesotho, South Africa in 2012 and is the biggest diamond ever shown in the Czech Republic. The exhibition features a collection of some 200 diamonds of various colours, shapes and sizes altogether worth 21.5 million dollars. It can be viewed at Siroka 15 in Prague and will run until November 16th.
The Prague Transport Authority has announced that due to maintenance work in Prague’s Metro service on line A between the stations Dejvická and Můstek will be interrupted in both directions over the weekend. Metro service between the stations Můstek and Náměstí Míru will be provided on a single track by a shuttle train. Prague Metro is providing replacement buses.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová beat Andrea Petkovic 6-2, 6-4 to give the Czech Republic a 1-0 lead over Germany in the Fed Cup final on Saturday. Lucie Šafářová will play Germany's number one Angelique Kerber in the second singles match on the indoor hard court at Prague's O2 Arena.