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New coalition government appointed by President Klaus

President Vaclav Klaus officially appointed the centre-left government of Prime Minister Stanislav Gross on Wednesday, 39 days after the demise of the previous government led by Vladimir Spidla. Mr Gross has put together a coalition of the same three parties which were in government under his predecessor: the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union.

The coalition, with a majority of just one in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies, faces a vote of confidence on August 24.

Mr Gross, Europe's youngest prime minister at 34, said he believed his government would survive until the next general elections in 2006, adding that two years was plenty of time to undertake serious, responsible and courageous tasks.

The prime minister had promised fresh blood, though while eight ministers are under 40 years old, two thirds of his 18-member cabinet served under Mr Spidla in the last government.

Spidla holds first meeting with future European Commission head Barroso

Meanwhile, former prime minister Spidla, who will become the Czech Republic's representative on the European Commission in November, had his first meeting with the next president of the commission, Jose Barroso, in Brussels on Wednesday. Mr Spidla discussed social issues with Mr Barroso, but said it would be up to the future chairman to decide on his role in the next commission.

No arrests made over unauthorised techno music festival

Contrary to press reports, nobody has been either arrested or detained in connection with the organisation of the Czechtek techno music festival near a village in west Bohemia, a Pilsen police spokesperson said on Wednesday. On Monday night the police began breaking up the unauthorised festival, which began on Friday and attracted 15,000 people at its peak.

Number of foreigners in Czech Republic doubles in ten years

The number of foreigners living legally in the Czech Republic has more than doubled in the last decade, according to figures just released by the Czech Statistics Office. While in 1994 there were around 100,000 officially registered foreigners, there are now almost 250,000, accounting for 2.3 percent of people living in the Czech Republic.

60-year-old first person to die this year after being bitten by infected tick

A 60-year-old man from Beroun in central Bohemia has become the first person to die after being bitten by an infected tick in the Czech Republic this year. Though the man died in the middle of May, the cause of death has just been confirmed. Almost 120 people were infected by ticks between the start of the year and August 1, the daily Pravo reported on Wednesday.

Nedved considering retiring from international football

Czech captain Pavel Nedved has said he is considering retiring from international football. Nedved, 32 at the end of the month, said it appeared his international career was a "closed chapter". The midfielder, who plays for the Italian club Juventus, is widely regarded as the best Czech player of his generation, and this year became only the second Czech to be named European Player of the Year. And staying with football, in the latest FIFA rankings released on Wednesday, the Czech Republic is ranked fifth in the world.


Thursday is expected to be sunny in many parts of the country, with the likelihood of storms in some places. The maximum temperature should be 30 degrees Celsius. Forecasters say the hot weather should last for at least another week.