Daily news summary News

26-03-2005

Gross re-elected head of the Social Democratic Party

A slim majority of delegates at the Social Democratic Party's congress in Brno, has re-elected Prime Minister Stanislav Gross as head of the Social Democrats. On Saturday Mr Gross defeated lone rival Zdenek Skromach by a total of 53 percent of the vote - a number of delegates abstained. Following his victory Mr Gross said he accepted responsibility for his party in the next national elections, in 15 months' time.

Ball now in Christian Democrats' court

At the very least Mr Gross' re-election as chairman of the Social Democratic Party has left the future of the governing coalition in doubt: coalition partners, the Christian Democrats, have been calling for the prime minister's resignation for weeks, saying they would pull out of the government unless the prime minister accepted responsibility for a recent financial scandal. There has been no final decision by the Christian Democrats yet: following Saturday's result, they say they will wait until the party congress wraps up on Sunday, before deciding their next move.

Opposition leader criticises congress result

Opposition leader of the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, Miroslav Topolanek, meanwhile, has wasted no time in criticising Mr Gross' re-election as head of the Social Democrats. He called the result a "bad one for Czechs" and said his party would initiate a vote of no confidence on the government in Parliament next week. Some members of the other opposition party, the Communists, meanwhile have said they were not surprised by Mr Gross' re-election.

Kampa park a site for Easter celebrations

A medieval-style tent-city has been set-up in Prague's Kampa park for visitors to mark this year's Easter celebrations. On Saturday visitors were able to try their hand at traditional arts and crafts, including glass and jewellery decoration. Performances from the Passion play, and medieval-style attractions like historic fencing, attracted the most interest. Several hundred visitors attended the events at Kampa park, located in the city's Little Quarter - performances continue on Sunday.

Czechs survive scare against Finns in world cup qualifier

The Czech national side, lead by coach Karel Bruckner, just edged Finland in its football World Cup qualifier. Goals from Milan Baros and Tomas Rosicky in the first half quickly put the Czechs in the lead, but Finland's Jari Litmanen pulled one back early in the 2nd, arguably the game's nicest goal, knifed out of the air. The 2nd half then saw a flurry of goals from both sides, with the Czechs just edging the Finns 4:3. The winning goal was scored by Vratislav Lokvenc, in for striker Jan Koller, who is injured.

Weather

The following days are expected to be a cloudy with a chance of light rain. Daytime temperatures should be around 14 degrees Celsius.

26-03-2005