The head of the Communist party, Vojtěch Filip met with President Miloš
Zeman at Lány chateau on Tuesday to discuss conditions for supporting a
minority government headed by ANO leader Andrej Babiš. The Communists
would insist, Mr Filip said, on a general referendum bill, a program
regularly raising the minimum wage over a four-year period, and a bill
protecting natural wealth, that is, the ownership of natural resources,
following the recent debate over lithium reserves.
Other items important for the party, Mr Filip told journalists after his meeting with the president, were a matter to be debated. He estimated that a new minority government could face a confidence vote by Christmas.
Tuesday, November 7th, marked the last day in which individuals could
register to run in next year’s presidential elections. The deadline to
file with the Interior Ministry was 4 pm. In order to qualify for the
ballot, candidates were required to gather 50,000 signatures from citizens,
or had to win support from twenty MPs or 10 senators.
The Interior Ministry in the coming days will assess which candidates met the legal requirements, and also verify a randomly chosen sample of signatures for each entry. A total of 18 candidates reportedly filed by Tuesday, but it is not yet clear whether all met the legal conditions.
The first round of voting in the presidential elections is to take place on January 12-13, with a runoff to be held a fortnight later if required.
A new poll conducted by the Median agency has suggested that presidential
candidate Jiří Drahoš, the former head of the Czech Academy of Sciences,
would make it into the second round of the presidential election in January
and would narrowly defeat the incumbent, Miloš Zeman, by a total of 51
percent to 49 percent.
The poll was conducted in the month of October; a month earlier, the poll suggested Drahoš would finish with 55.5 percent of the vote. The poll did not take into account the candidacy of latecomer former prime minister Mirek Topolánek, who announced his intention to run this week.
Another poll, conducted by CVVM and published on Monday, also suggested Mr Drahoš would make it into the second round. According to that survey, 34 percent would vote for the incumbent, 22 percent for Mr Drahoš and 13 percent for lyricist Michal Horáček.
Energy producers in the Czech Republic have tabulated that damage from
hurricane-force winds two Sundays ago, reached almost 100 million crowns.
The storm, which began at around 12 AM on October 29, and lasted throughout
the night and into the next day, brought down trees and power lines; four
people were killed by falling trees. On the country’s highest peak,
Snežka, winds reached the speed of 180 km/h. The head of energy giant
ČEZ, Daniel Beneš, said that ČEZ had seen damage worth more than 70
million crowns but said it would have no impact on company results as the
firm was insured against natural calamities of this kind.
Energy company E.ON posted damage at around 20 million crowns.
Czech director Jiří Strach has begun filming a third seven-part
instalment of the crime series Labyrinth, following an investigator played
by Jiří Langmajer. The show’s creative producer, Jiřina Budíková,
told journalists that Czech TV was hoping the new episodes would be the
strongest of the series.
Shooting began on location in Tišnov and will continue in Brno, Adamov, Deblín, Hardegg in Austria, and forest areas near Lipnice nad Sazavou in the Czech-Moravian highlands.
Andrej Babiš, the head of ANO tasked with forming the new government, has
said he has found a candidate for the post of Minister of Industry and
Trade. However, he has not divulged the person’s name as yet. Mr Babiš
is looking to form a minority government capable of finding broader
political backing in the lower house, after his party won almost 30 percent
of the vote in the election in October.
On Monday, ANO representatives met with representatives of the Civic Democratic party to discuss posts in the new Chamber of Deputies; ANO is pushing for Radek Vondráček to become the new house speaker. Facing opposition to the idea, Babiš pointed out the last election winners, the Social Democrats, had also secured the post.
Czech singer, screenwriter and actor Karel Štedrý, famous for I have a
Small Tent, a duet with Waldemar Matuška, and songs like Letters and
Magdaléna, has died at the age of 80.
In the 1960s, the entertainer was connected to famous Prague theatres and
clubs such as Reduta and Rokoko, as well as the renowned Semafor Theatre,
which he co-founded and where he worked from 1959 to 1962.
As an actor, he appeared in the films If a Thousand Clarinets and That Czech Song of Ours.
Culture Minister Daniel Herman will sign a new agreement on film
co-production during a five-day visit to Israel beginning Tuesday. The
agreement will outline specific conditions for co-producers and classify
joint-projects as 'national' films within their territory,
opening the door to additional financial support from public funds. The
agreement is to be signed in Israel’s Parliament on Wednesday.
During his visit, Minister Herman will meet with his counterpart Miri Regev and also tour a watchtower in Jerusalem by famous Czech architect Martin Rajniš. The tower was built for Jerusalem Design Week in June.
The Czech finance minister, Ivan Pilny, on Tuesday attended a meeting of
the Eurozone focusing on the fiscal rules governing the Eurozone and on the
future of the banking union.
The presence of the Czech finance minister was in response to a request from the Czech government for the Czech Republic to be granted observer status at Eurozone meetings despite the fact that it has not yet adopted the single currency. According to Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka being involved in the debate would help prepare the country for Eurozone membership in due time.
The Czech Republic and Croatia have also been invited to attend the December Euro Summit as observers.