Czech canoeist and two-time Olympic champion Martin Doktor has come in 4th in the one-kilometre race at the European Championships, being held in Racice in the Czech Republic. The C1 category was won by Romanian racer Florin Mironcic. German competitor Andreas Ditmer was 2nd, while Russian Maxim Opalev, was 3rd.
The right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party, which won the general election in June and recently signed a coalition agreement with two smaller parties, has called on the rival Social Democrats to outline conditions under which they would be willing to tolerate the emerging centre-right government. More than a month since voters went to the polls, the emerging coalition has been trying - but so far been unable - to break the political deadlock in Parliament. The coalition is one mandate short of a majority required to pass in a confidence vote. On Friday, the coalition - which includes the Greens and the Christian Democrats - again attempted to elect a candidate for speaker of the lower house, but was not successful. Rivals, the Social Democrats, have since repeated calls for a caretaker government to be formed instead of the proposed coalition - a position criticised by the Civic Democrats.
Strong storms - including heavy rain and hail - hit parts of the Czech Republic - Pardubice in Central Bohemia, as well as the Moravian region of Olomouc on Friday and Saturday. Friday evening fire fighters dealt with fallen trees and localised flooding in southern Bohemia - specifically the area around Cesky Krumlov.
A documentary by Slovak film director Marek Skopa has won the Viewers' Prize at the 41st Karlovy Vary international film festival, proof say, producers, that Czech audiences have strong ties to documentary films, as well as fiction features. Titled "Other Worlds" the documentary received 47,000 votes. The prize is organised and awarded by the Czech daily newspaper "Pravo".
The British media have been reporting that English football club Aston Villa have been readying the ground for the departure of Czech striker Milan Baros - in favour of trying to retain the services of Dutch striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Baros joined Villa last year, but is reportedly not against joining Hamburg, who have made an offer of 8 million pounds for the transfer. Negotiations between the English and German sides are reportedly to continue in the coming week.
The body of a drowned man estimated to be in his early twenties was found on Saturday on a river near Stribrna Skalice, a small town in Central Bohemia. The man is believed to be a foreigner. This week saw an unusual number of drowning accidents in the Czech Republic: on the state holidays on July 5th and 6th seven people, including a four-year old boy, lost their lives, either drowning in swimming pools or at recreational reservoirs. On Saturday, an older man in southern Bohemia became the latest drowning fatality - he may have also suffered a heart attack.
The lower house has once again failed to elect a new leadership. The centre right coalition's joint candidate for the post of speaker, Jan Kasal of the Christian Democrats, received just 99 votes of 200 on Friday morning. In contrast to last week's vote in which not all members of the Civic Democratic, Christian Democratic and Green Party coalition voted for Miroslava Nemcova of the Civic Democrats, Friday's vote secured the support of all members of the coalition. Civic Democratic MP Milos Patera who is recovering from a stroke was not present. Mr. Kasal's name had been put forward on the understanding that he would hold the post for a temporary period until a political agreement has been reached on the new government.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Social Democrats, Jiri Proubek, has
reacted to Friday's unsuccessful vote in the lower house by calling for
a caretaker government. According to Mr. Paroubek, the Civic Democrats
need to accept a compromise solution to the current government
stalemate. Mr. Paroubek says that failure to elect Jan Kasal as the
chair of the lower house is akin to last week's failed attempt to elect
Miroslava Nemcova of the Civic Democrats to the post. Social Democratic
MPs did not vote for either candidate.
Mr. Paroubek has also rejected the Civic Democrat's offer to have the leader of the lower house be a Social Democrat, in exchange for support for the three-party center-right coalition.
A poll conducted by the on-line server Novinky indicates that 60% of respondents are against the idea of a caretaker government.
Statistics released by the Czech Interior Ministry show a marked decrease in traffic accident related deaths. Compared to last year when 11 people were killed on roads during the national holidays on July 5th and 6th, this year only one person died in an automobile accident during the holidays. Transport experts credit the change to the Czech Republic's new traffic law which came into effect on July 1st, and imposes strict punishments for traffic offences. A new point system which tabulates traffic offences can result in unsafe drivers losing their licenses.
The chairman of the Civic Democratic Party, Mirek Topolanek, has reacted to Friday's vote in the lower house with a proposal to hold a supplementary election in the Czech Republic—one that would elect one additional MP to the Chamber of Deputies. Mr. Topolanek told reporters that the model was used to solve a similar post-election stalemate in Slovenia, where it proved successful. The extra MP would tip the balance that is currently set evenly at 100 seats for the leftist parties, and 100 for the center-right parties combined. Mr. Topolanek has suggested that the lower house have 201 MPs rather than the current 200, a change that would require a constitutional amendment.