President Miloš Zeman has quit his non partisan stance as head of state and is behind the ANO party, prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka commented Sunday in a tv interview in connection with the ongoing government crisis. Social Democrat leader Sobotka added that if Zeman did not follow his request and sack ANO leader Andrej Babiš as finance minister then he would consult with lawyers and constitutional experts about the next moves. On Saturday, Sobotka said that Zeman and Babiš formed a power bloc mutually supporting each other. The president has said he would examine the request to sack Babiš on Monday but does not expect to make a decision until his return from a trip to China on May 18. Separately, Babiš said he would not take part in a debate of party leaders about the crisis because he would face five opponents and the moderator would also be against him.
The ANO party has a candidate to replace Andrej Babiš as minister of finance if the head of state agrees to his replacement, Babiš told public broadcaster Czech Television Babiš did not name the possible candidate to replace him. Prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka repeated Saturday that he was prepared for ANO to nominate a new finance minister on condition that the person was not linked to Andrej Babiš’ Agrofert agro-chemical empire. Sobotka said that one of the first tasks of the new minister would be to investigate the issue of so-called one crown bonds. Babiš has been accused of using these bonds issued by Agrofert as a massive tax dodge. He denies the accusation. The prime minister has called for president Miloš Zeman to sack Babiš as finance minister with the future of that post seen as crucial to resolving the ongoing government crisis.
Czech Television is taking part in the four country cooperation to make a two-part series about the life of empress Maria Theresa. The 300th anniversary of the birth of the sole empress of the Habsburg empire is being marked this month. The co-production between public service broadcasters from Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary features actors from all four countries. Czech actor Vojtěch Kotek is play the empress’ husband. The various nationalities speak in their own native language with the final result dubbed. Some of the scenes for the series are being shot at Czech stately homes.
In football, Slavia Prague have opened a two point lead at the top of the Czech league. Slavia beat Bohemians 1905 3:1 in the Prague derby whereas reigning champions and previous league leaders Viktoria Plzeň drew 2:2 earlier in the day against Jablonec. There are three matches left to play in this two horse race for the title before the end of the season with Slavia also having the advantage of a better goal difference.
In ice hockey the Czechs won their second World Championship encounter. They beat Belarus 6:1. The Czechs established a two goal lead in the first period, the second was tied with one goal each, and a further three goals without reply followed in the final period. The Czechs lost the opener in Paris against Canada. In the next match on Monday they will face Finland.
Ethiopian Gebretsadik Abraha won the Prague Marathon on Sunday with a new record time of 2:08:46. He led his countryman Bazu Worku in the closing hundreds of metres. A new women’s record was also set by Kenyan Valerie Aiaybei with the time of 2:21:57. The route was changed slightly by organisers with the aim of creating the conditions for new records.
The weather on Monday will see showers and rain in the centre and north of the country and overcast weather with sunny intervals elsewhere. Maximum temperatures will range between 12 and 18 degrees Celsius.