Talks between the parties in the new government on a joint policy programme will probably continue at the beginning of next week, Prime Minister Stanislav Gross told reporters on Friday. Though a draft policy agenda was revealed earlier this week, the Social Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Freedom Union have yet to reach a final coalition agreement.
Christian Democrat leader Miroslav Kalousek said the government had to be sure it had the money to meet all the priorities outlined in its policy programme, and said a break of a few days could help the parties reach agreement.
However, Social Democrat Labour Minister Zdenek Skromach said his party would not agree to any significant changes to the outline policy programme. Mr Skromach was speaking after talks with senior Social Democrat officials in Prague on Friday.
Two miners died on Thursday night, when ventilators in the Doubrava mine in the Karvina district of north Moravia stopped working due to a power cut. Police said, however, that a siren had alerted miners to the cut and the two men, aged 34 and 35, should not have entered the shaft. An investigation into the accident has been launched. Twelve miners have died in mines in Ostrava and Karvina so far this year, according to operators OKD.
Swimmer Kvetoslav Svoboda was due to carry the Czech flag at the opening ceremony at the Olympic Games in Athens on Friday evening. The Czech Republic's team of some 140 athletes is the biggest the country has ever sent to the games. Earlier on Friday, President Vaclav Klaus officially opened the "Czech House" in the Olympic village.
On Saturday, the Czechs could be in the running for their first medal, when shooter Katerina Kurkova takes part in the women's 10-metre air rifle event. Kurkova became European champion in the discipline earlier this year, and two years ago was crowned world champion.
Meanwhile, the tennis draw in Athens has not been kind to the Czechs: Jiri Novak has drawn fourth-seed Tim Henman of Great Britain in the first round, while Barbora Strycova will play women's number one Justine Henin-Hardenne from Belgium.
Two Czech women were arrested by soldiers in Mexico City on Thursday in a raid on a laboratory producing illegal drugs. Local authorities said the drug gang were processing up to 50 kilogrammes of South American cocaine a day. A Czech consular official said a large amount of money had also been found during the raid.
Saturday should be cloudy with rain in places. Temperatures are expected to range between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.
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