The centre-right opposition Civic Democrats have called for a special session of the lower house of parliament to debate leaked tape recordings, allegedly of finance minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš bad mouthing Social Democrat ministers and plotting how to release damaging information in the press, on May 10. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said Friday that parliament was the right place for the recording to be discussed. A reporter at the centre of the scandal, Marek Přibil, has been sacked by the Czech daily Dnes, part of the Agrofert empire owned by Andrej Babiš. He says he met Babiš but did not make any recordings of their conversations. Babiš, who describes the leaked material as part of a campaign against him, had insisted in the past that he was not involved in the two national newspapers and top radio station he owns indirectly after they were placed in a trust.
In football, Viktoria Plzeň saw their hopes of retaining the league title shrink after a 2:2 away draw against Jablonec. Plzeň saw a two goal lead evaporate with two second half goals from Jablonec’s Martin Doležal. The draw leaves Plzeň one point ahead of Slavia Prague, who can overtake them on Saturday evening with a Prague derby against Bohemians 1905.
In tennis, Kristyna Plišková has battled her way to the final of the WTA tournament, the Prague Open. She faced Germany’s Mona Barthel in the final but lost 2:6, 7:5, 2:6. She had beaten Jelena Ostapenko in straight sets 6:4, 6:2 to reach the final. It was the second time that Kristyna, the sister of world number three Karolína Plišková, has reached her second WTA singles final. Whatever the result of the final on Saturday, she will now break into the top world 50 rankings with a placing of 47.
The Ministry of Culture has decided not to declare Karlovy Vary’s Thermal Hotel as a cultural monument. The decision was announced by the spa city’s mayor, Petr Kulhanek. The decision means that the hotel, the focus for the annual film festival in the West Bohemian city, will not have to abide by stricter conditions during reconstruction due to take place later this year. The ministry’s move has been contested by the family of the architect Věra Machinová who was behind the so-called brutalist style construction in the 1970s. An appeal can be launched against the ministry decision.
In ice hockey, the Czechs got off to a losing start in the World Championships being hosted by France and Germany. The Czech team lost 1:4 against reigning champions, Canada, in Paris with the sole Czech goal scored in the third period by Lukáš Radil. The Czech team next faces Belarus on Saturday afternoon.
The Czech competition office has stopped in its tracks a tender by the South Bohemian regional authority for the modernisation of Česká Budějovice airport. The preliminary move follows suspicions surrounding the winning bid for the work estimated at more than 400 million crowns. The international company Hochtief, which believes it made the lowest offer, but was excluded from the tender. The case is being investigated by police.
The weather on Sunday will be sunny with occasional showers. Top temperatures will range between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.
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