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Opposition appeal to Hamáček to rethink membership of coalition

The leaders of five opposition parties that have tabled a vote of no-confidence in Andrej Babiš’s government have appealed to Social Democrats’ chairman Jan Hamáček to rethink his party’s membership in the ANO-led coalition.

The leaders of five opposition parties that have tabled a vote of no-confidence in Andrej Babiš’s government have appealed to Social Democrats’ chairman Jan Hamáček to rethink his party’s membership in the ANO-led coalition.

The heads of the Civic Democrats, the Pirates, the Christian Democrats, the Mayors and Independents and TOP 09 made the call on Tuesday. Tomio Okamura of Freedom and Direct Democracy also backs a no-confidence vote tabled after a scandal sparked by statements from Mr. Babiš’s son.

The opposition leaders called on the prime minister to explain the circumstances surrounding a trip made by his son to Russia-occupied Ukrainian territory, which Pirates’ boss Ivan Bartoš described as a potential security risk.

The opposition also want President Miloš Zeman to drop his stated intention of asking Mr. Babiš to form a new government if his current one loses Friday’s no-confidence vote.

Andrej Babiš Jr. says he was taken to Crimea against his will at a time when his father was being investigated for wrongly acquiring EU grants.

Zeman reasserts backing for Babiš ahead of no-confidence vote

President Miloš Zeman has told Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that he will task him with forming a new government if his current one loses a no-confidence vote on Friday. The two men held talks at the president’s Lány residence on Monday evening.

Mr. Zeman had already said he would continue to back the prime minister last week, when the latter became embroiled in a scandal surrounding his son. Andrej Babiš Jr. says his father wanted him to disappear when he was being investigated on charges of wrongly acquiring EU subsidies.

Mr. Babiš denies that his son was forcibly sent to Crimea and asserts that he is mentally ill. He said on Monday there was no reason for the opposition-tabled no-confidence vote, which his minority cabinet, backed on key votes by the Communists, is expected to survive.

Government to raise minimum wage to CZK 13,350 a month

The government will increase the Czech minimum wage by CZK 1,150 to CZK 13,350 a month from January, the minister of social affairs, Jana Maláčová, said. The Social Democrat minister said she would push to ensure that figure is close to CZK 16,000 by 2021, when the government’s term ends.

The ANO minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, said she abstained from a vote held during Tuesday morning’s cabinet meeting. She argued that the change would increase companies’ costs.

The average monthly salary in the Czech Republic in the middle of this year was CZK 31,851. Some 4 percent of the country’s workforce is on the minimum wage.

Czech Elena Gorolová makes BBC 100 Women 2018 list

Czech woman Elena Gorolová has been named on an annual BBC list of 100 inspirational and influential women. Ms. Gorolová is a Roma social worker based in Ostrava. The BBC highlighted her campaigns against forced sterilisation and work to return institutionalized children to their birth families.

The 49-year-old told Czech Radio that Czech doctors were no longer carrying out forced sterilisations and the focus of her work today was securing financial compensation for victims of the practice. She herself was sterilised without her knowledge.

Czechs secure place in second level of Nations League

The Czech Republic have avoided relegation from the second level of European football’s Nations League after a 1:0 win over Slovakia in Prague on Monday night. The only goal of the game came from Roma striker Patrik Schick.

The hosts had needed just one point to avoid going down to League C in the new competition and Slovakia were in the end relegated from a group that had already been won by Ukraine.

The result was the third victory in four games in charge for the Czech Republic’s recently appointed manager, Jaroslav Šilhavý.

Richest Czech Kellner buys daughter horse for quarter billion crowns

The Czech Republic’s richest man has Petr Kellner has bought a horse valued at around CZK 250,000,000, the news website iHned.cz reported on Tuesday. The mare named Catch Me if You Can will be ridden by Mr. Kellner’s daughter, Anna Kellnerová, who is a competitive showjumper. The purchase was announced on the Facebook page of the Czech Equestrian Team.

iHned.cz reported that Mr. Kellner had outbid Bill Gates, who had offered the equivalent of CZK 200,000,000 for the horse, which was previously ridden by Laura Klaphake.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be overcast with some snow in the Czech Republic. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 2 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs will climb to about 4 or 5 degrees Celsius by the weekend.