The largest opposition party, the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, have
said they expect the coalition government of Prime Minister Stanislav
Gross to ask the lower house of parliament for confidence. Otherwise
they said they will call a no-confidence vote in the government after
the Easter national congress of the ruling Social Democratic Party at
which Prime Minister Gross will seek election as party chairman. The
Civic Democrats have been critical of the recent row within the
governing coalition and suggested early elections as the only way out
The government crisis had been caused by Prime Minister Gross's failure to provide a plausible explanation of how he financed a Prague apartment five years ago and how his wife funds her business. The controversies triggered a row between the two biggest coalition parties: the Christian Democrats called on the Social Democrat Prime Minister to step down and Prime Minister Gross in turn threatened to ask the President to sack the three Christian Democrat ministers. The Social Democrats now consider the government crisis to be over, after they gave the strong backing to Prime Minister Gross on Saturday and after he made a public apology for his statements in connection with the row.
President Vaclav Klaus is expected to meet the US President George W. Bush at the White House on Tuesday. The meeting is expected to last around thirty minutes, according to the Czech Republic's Ambassador to the United States, Martin Palous. Mr Palous did not comment on the topics to be discussed by the two presidents but called the visit a "positive signal for Czech-US relations". President Klaus is currently on a private visit to the United States, promoting his book on the Czech Republic's journey from communism to a free society.
Earlier on Saturday, the Prime Minister Stanislav Gross said he considered the government crisis, triggered by the controversies surrounding his family's private finances, to be over and called on his cabinet to get back to work. In a confidence vote on Saturday morning, his party gave Mr Gross the strong backing following weeks of crisis of confidence focusing on him personally. In three weeks' time Prime Minister Gross, who is the acting head of the Social Democrats, will seek election as party chairman at the Social Democrats' national congress.
"Horem padem" or "Up and Down" in English - has won the Czech Lion award for the best Czech film of 2004. The film, directed by Jan Hrebejk and produced by Ondrej Trojan, won a total of four prizes at Saturday's award ceremony in Prague; for best Czech film, best director, best script and best actress in a leading role.
Both the coalition Christian Democrats and the opposition Civic Democrats
have said that they consider Prime Minister Stanislav Gross's Saturday
public apology as insufficient. Mr Gross's Social Democrats, on the
contrary, welcomed the apology as an end to tensions within the ruling
Prime Minister Gross officially apologised on Saturday for giving rise to a political row by some of his ill-advised statements in connection with the controversy over the way he financed his apartment. In a live address to the nation in Czech Television's evening news programme, Prime Minister Gross also announced his wife was going to terminate all her business activities in order to put an end to the current political crisis. Mr Gross has been under fire for several weeks because of his failure to provide a plausible explanation of how he financed a Prague apartment five years ago and how his wife funds her business.
The Czech National Library has said it is interested in acquiring a 14th-century manuscript which is on offer at a Paris auction room. The 24-page parchment book is a fragment of a Latin translation of the "Chronicle of Dalimil" - the oldest Czech language chronicle in verse and one of the fundamental documents of Czech historiography. The Latin translation is believed to have been made in Italy in the second half of the 14th century. The Czech National Library is in talks with the Culture Ministry over a financial contribution by the state towards buying the manuscript. The catalogue price of the artefact is between 120,000 and 150,000 euros but according to experts its final price could climb up to 1 million euro at the auction.
The former president of Ukraine Leonid Kuchma has cut short his holiday in the Czech Republic and left for Kiev, where authorities are seeking to question him over the gruesome death of a reporter. Prosecutors want to question the former president after Yury Kravchenko, who served as his interior minister, was found dead on Friday just hours before he was due for questioning on the murder of an investigative reporter five years ago. Mr Kravchenko reportedly accused Mr Kuchma and his entourage of leading to his suicide in a note. Mr Kuchma had been vacationing in the West Bohemian spa town of Karlovy Vary.
The Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has officially apologised for giving
rise to a political row by some of his ill-advised statements in
connection with the controversy over the way he financed his apartment. In
a live address to the nation in Czech Television's evening news programme
on Saturday, Prime Minister Gross also announced his wife was going to
terminate all her business activities in order to put an end to the
current political crisis. The Prime Minister also pledged to put forward a
bill shortly which would, as he said, clarify matters related to the
private finances of politicians and state officials.
Mr Gross has been under fire for several weeks over questions as to where he got money to buy his apartment six years ago, and how his wife funds her business.
In response to Saturday's Social Democrats' confidence vote, the head of the coalition Christian Democrats, Miroslav Kalousek, said it was the Social Democrats' internal decision. He repeated that his party had given the Social Democrats until after their party conference to deal with the problem. The chairman of the third government party, the Freedom Union, Pavel Nemec, welcomed the result saying it was a positive signal for the stability of the current coalition. The deputy head of the opposition Civic Democrats, Petr Necas, said that the Social Democrats' decision does not change the fact that confidence in the government has been compromised. The opposition Communist Party said it was up to the Social Democrats how they dealt with their own affairs.
Collapse of Prague footbridge raises concerns regarding state of other bridges
Some like it hot: Czech Republic sees rise in number of household saunas
The fascinating story of Czech settlers who founded the farm town of Prague, Oklahoma
ANO leader Andrej Babiš appointed Czech prime minister
Czech wage rises continue apace, low earners seeing larger increases