A meeting between representatives of the would-be coalition between the
Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens, and leading
members of the Social Democratic Party has brought no end to the ongoing
political deadlock. The Social Democrats refused to formally enter the
coalition government, meaning the three-party coalition remains one seat
short of a majority. Civic Democratic Party chairman Mirek Topolanek says
that the goal now is to establish guidelines by which the Social Democrats
would tolerate the three-party coalition, and to set these conditions in
writing. Talks between the political leaders are expected to continue this
week, with Tuesday's meetings focusing on economic issues and decreasing
the unemployment rate.
A fifth attempt to elect a new chairman of the lower house is also set for Friday, and Social Democrat Lubomir Zaoralek is expected to stand for the position.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has called on all Czech citizens who have decided to leave Lebanon amid the continuing Israeli military operations to contact the Czech Embassy in Beirut by phone or email. A ministry spokesman said that out of some 150 Czechs who were in Lebanon prior to the attack, only some 20 to 30 have stayed. He urged them to stay in touch with the embassy.
Czech hockey player Jan Bulis has signed a contract to play with the NHL's Vancouver Canucks. The Pardubice native will earn $1.3 million USD in the one-year deal. Although the 28 year-old forward was originally looking to play for an American-based team, Bulis told reporters that he is happy with Vancouver because "it's an excellent hockey club, and the city is one of the most beautiful in the world." Since beginning his NHL career in 1997, Jan Bulis has played for Washington and most recently for Montreal.
The Czech National Park authority has decided to close a portion of the Ceske Svycarsko (Czech Switzerland) National Park after a destructive fire over the weekend. On Sunday afternoon fire fighters managed to contain a fire in the park, situated in the northwest of the country, after some 20 hectares of forest had been destroyed. Tourists are being warned that they must stay on marked hiking and biking trails, and police are not allowing anyone into the zone affected by the fire. The fire is the largest there in thirty years, and damages run into the millions of crowns. Firefighters expect to be at work for at least the next three days, neutralizing the situation. Experts say the risk of forest fires is extremely high in the current hot and dry weather.
Telecommunications operator Telefonica 02 Czech Republic—formerly known as Cesky Telecom—has recorded gains of more than fifty percent at the half-way point in the year. Profits have reached 4.3 billion Czech crowns, or over $191 million USD. Meanwhile, the company's financial director, Juraj Sedivy, announced that there will be further staff downsizing before the end of 2006, but he refused to offer specifics. The Spanish company Telefonica holds roughly 70% of shares in Telefonica 02 Czech Republic.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has called on all Czech citizens who have decided to leave Lebanon amid the continuing Israeli military operations to contact the Czech embassy in Beirut by phone or electronic mail. A ministry spokesman said that out of some 150 Czechs who were staying in Lebanon prior to the attack only some 20 to 30 have stayed. He urged them to stay in touch with the embassy.
The Central Executive Committee of the Social Democrats on Saturday
unanimously approved the steps taken so far by party leader and
outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek in post-election negotiations.
The party body also authorised the Social Democrat leadership to hold
talks next week with the emerging centre-right coalition of the Civic
Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Greens about policy
priorities and programme concessions.
Talks on the formation of a new government have been going on for some six weeks, since a national election resulted in a perfect split in the lower house of the Czech Parliament.
Fire fighters have been trying to put out a fire in the National Park of Ceske Svycarsko in the northwest of the country since Saturday afternoon. According to estimates some 20 hectares of forest has been destroyed and some 24 units including one from neighbouring Germany, are working to contain the blaze using thirty trucks, two helicopters and a plane. Experts say the risk of forest fires is extremely high in the current hot and dry weather.
A Czech mountaineer died in the Mont Blanc massive on Saturday after being struck by lightning when camping in the mountains, the French police said. The man was camping with his wife and daughter at the altitude of 3,800 metres. He went out of his tent and was struck by a bolt of lightning. The wife and daughter sustained no injury, the police said.
The head of the Traffic Inspectorate from the north Moravian town of
Frydek-Mistek, Michael Cas, caused a traffic accident on Saturday night in
the city of Ostrava and a breathalyser test proved he had been drinking
alcohol. The incident occurred only a few days after the Czech police
president was caught breaking the speed limit on a motorway, some three
weeks after a new and tougher transport law came into effect. Mr Cas had
been quoted in the Czech media making positive comments about the new law
in recent weeks.
According to a poll conducted by the Median agency and published in Saturday's Mlada fronta Dnes, 67 percent of Czechs approve of the new transport law which introduced tougher punishments for driving offences. The poll suggests most Czechs believe that drivers will be more cautious and there will be fewer accidents.
Martin Nekola: Czech Chicago and other untold stories of Czechs abroad
Czech President Zeman addresses Council of Europe
How should socialist architecture be treated now?
Czech pre-election battle plugs into war of words over lithium mining deal
Czech ministry mulls massive recruitment of foreign workers to fill jobs