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Ministry of Regional Development may be renamed Ministry of Public Investment

The Czech government will later this month weigh up changing the title of the Ministry of Regional Development, Czech Television reported. Prime Minister Andrej Babis of ANO wants to have the government department – which was set up 22 years ago – renamed the Ministry of Public Investment, a move that would be accompanied by a rearrangement of the purviews of government offices, Czech Television said.

The minister of regional development, ANO nominee Klára Dostálová, is in favour of the change. However, other cabinet members have said they need time to consider the matter.

Ťok: Only “real superman” could achieve more motorway construction

The under pressure minister of transport, Dan Ťok, has hit back at critics who say insufficient progress has been made on motorway building and maintenance in the Czech Republic. In an interview published by news site iDnes.cz, the ANO appointee said there had never been such rapid and sufficient construction at any point since the Velvet Revolution. Mr. Ťok said it would take a “real superman” to achieve more than was currently being done.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said recently that the minister needed to get tough with subordinates in order to produce results. Mr. Ťok said he had proven at his department and elsewhere that he could be very tough.

Following the public rebuke from the PM bookmakers began offering odds on when Mr. Ťok would be replaced.

2018 warmest year recorded in Prague since 1775

2018 was the warmest year in Prague since 1775, according to records kept at the city centre Clementinum weather station, which went into operation back then. The average temperature in the capital last year was 12.8 degrees Celsius, which is 3.2 degrees above the average between 1775 and 2014, forecasters said on Saturday.

The majority of the 10 warmest years registered by meteorologists at the Clementinum since the late 18th century occurred after the year 2000.

Black ice warning issued for most of country on Saturday night

A black ice warning has been issued for most of the Czech Republic from Saturday evening to Sunday morning. The only exception will be the Karlovy Vary and Plzeň regions in West Bohemia but even there sporadic black ice is expected, according to a warning issued by the Hydro-Meteorological Institute.

The country has been hit by heavy snowfall in recent days. On Saturday the snow began to melt and rain that fell during the day is expected to freeze when temperatures fall below zero Celsius during the night.

Charter 77 signatory and leading theologian Milan Balabán dies at 89

The Communist-era dissident Milan Balabán has died at the age of 89. A theologian, Evangelical pastor and poet, he was considered one of the Czech Republic’s leading religious thinkers.

In the 1950s Balabán – who was born in what is today Ukraine – joined a group of Evangelical theologians named Nová orientace (New Orientation), which pushed for reforms in Czechoslovakia. He later signed the Charter 77 protest document.

He lost his license to serve as a cleric in the mid-1970s and was forced to do manual labour, including working for the operators of the Prague sewer system.

Peschkeová and Melichar lift doubles title in Brisbane

The Czech-American pairing of Květa Peschkeová and Nicole Melichar have won the doubles competition at tennis’s Brisbane International after a 6-1 6-1 win over Taiwanese sisters Hao-Ching Chan and Latish Chan on Saturday.

Melichar (who was born in born in Brno) and Peschkeová had previously overcome the Czech world numbers ones in the women’s doubles, Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková, in the semi-finals in Brisbane.

Meanwhile Czech Karolína Plíšková has reached the singles final at the tournament, in which she will face Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine.

Weather forecast

Sunday should see bright spells and some snow in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to -1 degree Celsius. More snow is expected through the week.