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Communists: Taxing church compensation condition for supporting ANO-led govt.

The head of the Communists’ deputies group, Pavel Kováčik, says the party will only support a mooted ANO-Social Democrats minority coalition if financial compensation paid to churches for property seized during the communist era is taxed. The Communists are currently discussing a deal with ANO under which the former would support a government helmed by them in key lower house votes.

Speaking on a TV debate show on Sunday, Mr. Kováčik said disagreements over foreign policy were one reason the Communists were not entering coalition with ANO but would only support such a government.

ANO, the Social Democrats and Freedom and Direct Democracy have previously given their backing to a Communist bill that would tax compensation paid to churches under a major restitution bill approved in 2012.

Fire brigades mark centenary with show by Vltava in Prague

Fire officers from around the country took part in a spectacular show combining water hoses, coloured lights and music on the banks of the Vltava river in Prague on Saturday evening. More than 1,000 officers from 200 fire brigades took part in the event, which was held to celebrate the centenary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.

Thousands of locals and tourists watched the 30-minute show, which took place on embankments between the capital’s Jirásek and Palacký bridges and culminated with fireworks.

Lawmakers push to do away with second round of Senate elections

Moves are afoot to do away with the present system of voting for the Senate, Czech Television reported. Currently if no candidate receives over half the vote in a first round of Senate elections, the two front-runners enter a second round a week later.

In April a group of Senators from the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats, the Mayors and Independents, the Civic Democrats, the Greens and ANO tabled a bill under which a first-past-the-post, one-round system would be created.

Backers of the change point out that turnout in the first round of Senate elections, held at the same time as regional and local elections, is 36 percent on average but that falls to 17 percent during the second round.

The policy programme of the ANO government in resignation includes creating a one-round system and that pledge also features in the manifesto of a potential ANO-Social Democrats coalition.

Strýcová knocked out in third round of French Open

Barbora Strýcová has been knocked out in the third round of tennis’s French Open. The 32-year-old, who has only reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament once in her career, lost 4-6 3-6 to Yulia Putintseva of Russia on Sunday afternoon.

Strýcová’s exit means that no Czech players remain in the French Open in Paris as it enters its second week.

Pavel Nedvěd turns out for seventh tier side to play with son

Retired football legend Pavel Nedvěd played a one-off game for the Czech lower league club Skalná on Saturday. Nedvěd, who is 45, took part in the match in order to fulfill his dream of lining up alongside his son, also called Pavel, the Czech News Agency said.

The Nedvěds were on the losing side in the encounter, which took place in the seventh tier of Czech soccer, as Skalná were overcome 4:1 by Královské Poříčí.

Pavel Nedvěd spent five years at Italy’s Lazio and eight at Juventus and in 2003 became only the second Czech to win the Ballon d’Or as European footballer of the year. He earned 91 international caps.

Warm weather set to continue through June

Temperatures over the next month should not fall below average for the time of year, while the week beginning June 18 is likely to be warmer than usual, according to a regular four-week forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.

The coming week should see temperatures approaching 30 degrees Celsius. Rain and storms are also expected during the week but precipitation for the whole month of June should not exceed the long-term average.

Weather forecast

Monday should be bright with temperatures of up to 27 degrees Celsius. The weather is expected to stay more or less the same throughout the week before giving way to rain next weekend.