President Miloš Zeman has said that he would prefer to name a fresh government if the current centre-left coalition collapsed rather than hold new elections. Zeman made the comments in an interview with the daily Mladá Fronta Dnes on Saturday. The president added that a likely new coalition combination would be ANO together with the Civic Democrats(ODS) and Top 09 with ANO leader and current minister of finance Andrej Babiš as prime minister. Zeman said with regard to the reported antipathy between Babiš and TOP 09 deputy leader Miroslav Kalousek, that no differences were insuperable. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and Babiš told the paper that there was no likelihood the current government would fall.
Representatives of the Czech government and judges came to a compromise agreement in their clash over claims for back pay on Friday. Government negotiators agreed to set aside 1.2 billion crowns to pay judges and state part of their claims for three years of back pay. The claims follow a court ruling that the state failed to calculate their pay rates properly from 2009. State payments have been estimated as high as 5 billion crowns to settle the claims. The government will meet on Monday to decide whether to agree the deal.
In ice hockey, the Czech national team beat Russia for the second time in three days with a 4:3 victory in Prague on Saturday. The winning goal came from a penalty scored by Vladimír Svačina five minutes before full time. It was his first goal for his country at this level after 13 appearances in the team. Two of the other Czech goals were scored by Michal Vondrka. In spite of the two wins, the Czech Republic is still bottom of the Euro Hockey League group table trailing Finland, Sweden, and Russia.
Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká has won the finals of the ladies parallel giant slalom world cup event in Sudelfeld, Germany, on Saturday. Ledecká came in 0.60 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Swiss Julie Zogg, over the two descents. Ledecká is now placed second in the world cup leader board for the parallel giant slalom event.
In tennis, Karolína Plíšková will play the first tie for the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup first round match against Canada on Saturday. She will be followed on to the court in the singles duels by Tereza Smítková, according to the draws made in Quebec. Although the Czech Republic is missing top players such as Petra Kvítová and recent Australian Open winner Lucie Šafářová, the Canadians are also without number one player Eugenie Bouchard. The reigning champions, the Czechs, are still reckoned to be favourites to win.
Czech ice hockey legend Patrik Eliáš scored his 400th goal in the NHL league in Friday’s 4:1 victory for New Jersey against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Team mate Jaromír Jagr also scored in the game, at the end of the encounter and in an empty goal. That takes Jagr’s NHL account to 716 goals. That is just one short of the fifth all time highest NHL scoring total held by Canadian Phil Esposito.
Weather forecasters on Saturday warned against heavy snow and high winds. The warning of winds of up to 90 kilometres an hour on high ground and heavy snow affects Bohemia from mid-evening and Moravia from around midnight. A level three avalanche risk will apply to the Krkonoš and Jeseník mountains with visitors cautioned to take care. The current cold snap in the country is expected to ease slightly from the middle of next week.
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