The freshly departed UK ambassador to Prague, Jan Thompson, is auctioning
off her classic Czech car for charity. The proceeds from the sale of her
1960s Škoda Embéčko (1000 MB), which was Prague’s only vintage car
with diplomatic license plates, will go to the Czech branch of the
UK-founded charity the Sue Ryder Home.
Jan Thompson was Great Britain’s representative in the Czech Republic for four and a half years. She will be replaced next week by Nick Archer.
Ivan Bartoš has been reelected chairman of the Czech Pirate Party at a
congress in Brno. Mr. Bartoš, who is 37, stood unopposed for the position
and received the votes of 276 out of 293 delegates.
Prior to Saturday’s vote the Pirates leader said the party would be a constructive opposition in the Chamber of Deputies and could play an active role in the formation of a coalition in the next electoral period.
The Czech Pirate Party are the third biggest grouping in the lower house after passing the five-percent threshold for entry for the first time in general elections in October.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says that if he makes a second attempt to form
a government it too will be a minority one featuring only his ANO party. In
an interview in the newspaper Právo on Saturday, Mr. Babiš said that said
a minority government was the best and most practical option and that he
had found being in a coalition in the previous government a “horror”.
The ANO government are expected on Wednesday to lose a first attempt to win the vote of confidence they need in the Chamber of Deputies. President Miloš Zeman has already said he will then allow Mr. Babiš’s party another attempt to find backing in the lower house.
Local authorities in the Czech Republic have reported a lot of interest in
voter IDs that people can use to cast ballots in locations other than where
they live in next weekend’s first round of voting in presidential
elections, Czech Television reported.
Some municipal offices took the unusual step of opening their doors to the public on Friday. While it was the last day voters could apply in writing for such IDs they can be picked up in person until Wednesday.
The first round of the elections takes place on Friday and Saturday next week. If none of the candidates gets more than half the vote, the front two will go through to a run-off two weeks later.
A record number of Czechs are taking part in this year’s edition of the
Dakar Rally. The 40th edition of the famous 14-stage race begins in Lima,
Peru on Saturday. Thirty-six Czech competitors have entered, including
eight motorcyclists, four quad riders, three car crews and six truck crews.
The Czechs considered to have the best chance of doing well include car driver Martin Prokop, motorcyclist Ondřej Klymčiw and the truck team of Aleš Loprais, Martin Kolomý and Martin Macík Jr.
The Czech Republic is likely to be hit by a flu epidemic in the course of
January, Novinky.cz reported. Experts say the epidemic could arrive in the
middle of the month, the news site said.
Martina Havlíčková, the head of the National Reference Laboratory for Influenza, said the situation was currently calm but that this could change in a short period as children have now returned to schools, where such an epidemic can spread quickly, after the holidays.
Epidemiologist Rastislav Maďar from the medical faculty in Ostrava said it was still not too late to be inoculated against the flu. Last year around 15 percent of the Czech population contracted the illness.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his ANO party colleague Jaroslav Faltýnek
have asked to be excused from a meeting of the lower house’s immunity
committee on Tuesday that will consider allowing the police to charge them
with abuse of EU subsidies. The pair say they need more time to read a
report by the European Anti-Fraud Office on the matter.
MPs previously voted to lift the ANO politicians’ immunity so they could stand trial for alleged misuse of EU subsidies amounting to CZK 50 million in connection to the Stork’s Nest complex. However they reacquired it when they were reelected in October. Both deny any wrongdoing.
The immunity committee can reach a decision on whether to recommend the lifting of the pair’s immunity even if they do not speak before it.
Last year saw the lowest number of road fatalities in the Czech Republic
since 1961, when the police began tracking the statistic.
The head of the Traffic Police Tomáš Lerch confirmed on Friday that last year saw 502 fatal road accidents, 43 fewer than the previous year. 2017 saw more traffic accidents in total: 103,821 – up by 4,957.
Slovak actor Marián Labuda, well-known to Czech moviegoers, has died at
the age of 73. The news was confirmed by members of his family on Friday.
As a young man, Labuda studied acting at the academy of performing arts in
Bratislava and later acted at the Slovak National Theater.
Czech viewers knew him from a number of movies including the Jiří Menzel films My Sweet Little Village and I Served the King of England.