The leaders of the Czech football league, Sparta Prague, have suffered a shock 1:0 home defeat to Mlada Boleslav, who won promotion to the first division last season. It was Sparta's first loss in 18 games and since the appointment of Frantisek Straka as manager. Sparta are three points ahead of second-placed Teplice.
The Social Democrats have called on their supporters to vote against the right wing Civic Democratic Party, even if that means supporting the Communists, in the second round of elections to the Senate next weekend. The Civic Democrats have candidates in run-offs to 25 of 27 constituencies, while the Social Democrats have only three. Social Democrat leader Stanislav Gross said his party's aim was to prevent the Civic Democrats winning a sufficient majority in the Senate to be able to change the Constitution.
The Czech rock group Prazsky Vyber are playing a special concert in support of Cuba's opposition and to mark the 15th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The group - whose leader Michael Kocab was a dissident and oversaw the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia - are performing in Florida and the concert is being broadcast to Cuba by the opposition TV station, Marti.
The police want to charge the former ultra right republican leader Miroslav Sladek with damaging creditors. During his years in office, Sladek indebted the party heavily, although according to the police, he must have known that the party would be unable to meet its obligations. It now owes more than 40 million crowns. If found guilty, Sladek could face up to 5 years in prison.
The opposition Civic Democrat Party has called on voters to go to the
polls in next weekend's second round of elections to the Senate,
especially in constituencies in which its candidate is facing a Communist
Party opponent. The Civic Democrats have candidates in the run-offs in 25
of 27 constituencies. The party has already won one seat in the Senate,
when its candidate took more than 50 percent of the vote in the first
The Civic Democrats also won elections in 12 of the country's 13 regions at the weekend. They are expected to form coalitions with the Christian Democrats on most regional authorities.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic was at 8.9 percent at the end of
October, down from 9.1 percent a month earlier, according to figures
released by the Labour Ministry on Monday. Mild weather which boosted
activity in construction and tourism is credited with the slight fall
in the unemployment rate.
Inflation, meanwhile, rose by 3.5 percent on an annual basis in October, which is the biggest increase since March 2002.
Meanwhile, the leader of the governing Social Democrats, Stanislav
Gross, has said he is not considering stepping down, after his party
received just 14 percent of the vote in the regional polls.
Despite that poor showing, an opinion poll conducted by the CVVM agency in October suggests that 40 percent of Czechs "trust" the coalition government led by Mr Gross. In June, when a coalition of the same three parties was led by Vladimir Spidla, just over a quarter of Czechs said they trusted the government.
The Czech Tourist Office has revealed statistics showing that over 72 million tourists visited the Czech Republic in the first three quarters of 2004 - roughly the same as the previous year. The vast majority of visits, however, involve day-trips in which tourists come to the country on short business trips or to shop. According to the tourist office the number of tourists who actually spend at least one night in the country is around 5 million per year. The Czech Tourist Office has reported that the number of visitors from neighbouring countries has actually fallen in 2004, despite a simplification of procedures at border crossings following EU accession in May.