All of the ministers in Andrej Babiš’s ANO minority government have now taken the reigns at their departments. On Monday morning Mr. Babiš did the rounds, accompanying Robert Plaga to the Ministry of Education, Ilja Šmíd to the Ministry of Culture, Jiří Milek to the Ministry of Agriculture and Klára Dostálová to the Ministry of Regional Development.
Once Mr. Babiš’s ministers have approved their own policy programme they will begin fresh efforts to win support for their minority government. On Tuesday ANO will speak to Christian Democrats’ chairman Pavel Bělobrádek.
The Social Democrats, the Mayors and Independents and the Czech Pirate Party have also confirmed that they will hold talks with representatives of the Babiš government in the coming days.
Two police officers arrested last week by the General Inspectorate of the Security Services are suspected of unauthorised phone tapping, Czech Radio reported on Monday, referring to the charges against them. Eight other people were also detained last week on suspicion of attempting to influence criminal proceedings.
The two officers are accused of receiving information on phone numbers from a manager at mobile operator Vodafone without obtaining permission from a judge. The pair deny any wrongdoing and a spokesperson for Vodafone said the company was unaware of any such leak.
The Czech state has allocated CZK 400 million in subsidies to companies in the food industry this year, the newspaper Hospodářské noviny reported on Monday. Over a quarter of that funding went to Agrofert, which is owned by former finance minister and recently appointed prime minister Andrej Babiš of ANO. Agrofert, which is the biggest player on the Czech agriculture and foodstuffs markets, is the single company that has gained the most in state subsidies in 2017.
Earlier this year Mr. Babiš placed his shares in Agrofert and the company SynBiol into a trust fund because of the law on conflict of interest. In 2014, the year the ANO chief entered government, 20 percent of the relevant subsidies went to Agrofert.
A 71-year-old woman who was shot dead in Jihlava on Friday was evidently killed by her former husband, the Czech News Agency reported. The police said the husband had then killed himself. They said the shooting was apparently connected to a business dispute between the pair.
The woman was shot four times after stopping her car at a crossroads by the male driver of another vehicle that pulled up beside her. The man, who was 64, is believed to have then used his gun to take his own life; his body was found near Chrudim in East Bohemia on Saturday. Police are still investigating the case.
Supporters of Václav Havel took part in a march in remembrance of the late Czech president on Sunday evening, a day before the sixth anniversary of his death. Around 200 people took part in the event which involved a walk up to Prague Castle and was intended to highlight the dissident-turned-politician’s legacy.
Participants carried a large love heart, a symbol with which Havel, who died on 18 December 2011, was associated.
Václav Havel led the Velvet Revolution of 1989 and served as Czechoslovak and then Czech president for 13 years.
In ice hockey, the Czech team beat Sweden in their last match of the Channel One Cup staged in Moscow on Sunday.
The Czechs won 4:1 and secured second place in the tournament. It was won by hosts, Russia. They won all three games in the tournament for the first time since 2013. Wins against Finland and Canada preceded the victory against Sweden.
There should be some bright spells and snow in the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 1 degree Celsius. The following days should see daytime highs climb to around 5 degrees Celsius.