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Hamáček to discuss Poche impasse with Babiš

The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, is due to discuss cabinet positions with the ANO prime minister-designate Andrej Babiš on Tuesday evening. The parties are planning to enter a minority coalition propped up by the Communists. However, Mr. Babiš has rejected the Social Democrats nominee for minister of foreign affairs, Miroslav Poche.

Mr. Babiš has not revealed his own party’s list of candidates for ministerial portfolios and Mr. Hamáček said he would be keen to hear those names from the ANO leader. The Social Democrats leader says he hopes to resolve the dispute over Mr. Poche within a week.

President Miloš Zeman and the Communists are also against the appointment of Mr. Poche as foreign policy chief.

Government rubberstamps major overhaul of census system

The acting Czech government has approved a major overhaul of the country’s census system. Under the changes the Czech Statistics Office will acquire most of the data it requires about citizens from public registers or via the internet. The remaining information will be obtained by Czech Post.

The changes stem from rules for the next census, due in 2021, rubberstamped by the cabinet on Tuesday morning.

Whereas in 2011 Czechs had to provide 47 pieces of information in three years’ time they will be required to submit 23. Questions on religion, family status or work position may be among those removed by the time the bill becomes law.

Government approves outline 2019 budget

The acting Czech government has approved an outline state budget for 2019 and a mid-term outlook for the economy for 2020 and 2021, an Office of the Government spokesperson told reporters. The minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, said before Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting that there would be a maximum deficit of CZK 50 billion next year.

The 2019 draft budget envisages increased funding for teachers’ salaries and pensions as well as reduced social welfare benefits. Most ministries can expect more state money, except for the Ministry of Health, which is projected to take in more from health insurers.

First Czech quadruplets in 15 years born in Prague

The first quadruplets in 15 years were born in the Czech Republic last week. The three girls and a boy – named Anežka, Monika, Klára and Ondřej – were born at Prague’s Motol teaching hospital, representatives said on Monday. The births went smoothly and all the babies are reportedly doing well.

The quadruplets are the 22nd to have been born in this country since 1950. The only quintuplets ever born in the Czech Republic turned five recently.

Robbins, Gilliam and Paquin revealed as guests at 2018 Karlovy Vary

Actors Tim Robbins and Anna Paquin and director Terry Gilliam have been revealed as special guests at the 53rd edition of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which begins on Friday next week. They join previously announced guests such as Barry Levinson and Richard Linklater, who are both directors.

Terry Gilliam will introduce his latest movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Tim Robbins will present Bob Roberts and Cradle Will Rock, two films he directed; the Hollywood star will also perform a concert with his band at the festival.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly sunny in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with daytime highs of up to 28 degrees Celsius. Temperatures are expected to climb to 30 degrees on Thursday before falling to around 18 degrees at the end of the week.