The Czech national football squad has drawn Uruguay in its opening match at
the China Cup. The tournament, being held for the second time, kicks off in
Nanning, China, in March 2018.
Three days later, Karel Jarolím’s men will face either the home side or
Wales, depending on their results.
The Czech Republic played against Uruguay twice in the FIFA Confederations
Cup in 1997, finishing third.
The South American team includes star forwards such as Luis Suárez, who plays for Barcelona and Edinson Cavani who plays for Paris St. Germain. Uruguay is treating the tournament as a warm-up for this summer’s World Cup.
Prague city councillors have decided to end property rental contracts with
Akroterion, a company which had hoped to open a Ritz-Carlton Hotel on
Prague’s Old Town Square.
The Czech News Agency reported that the company, which owns four buildings and had rented an additional four from the city for a number of years, did not meet rental conditions. The complex of buildings was to have been opened by mid-September of this year and the rent was to have been agreed until 2081. City councillors nixed the plans on the grounds that investors had not been able to get the complex up and running over 15 years.
Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová has suggested the city could have the property renovated as flats which could leased to diplomats.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received an invitation from
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to visit along with a ministerial delegation
which would hold a joint session with Czech cabinet ministers in May. In a
phone call on Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu reportedly gave assurances he would try
and attend. Czech and Israeli ministers held such meetings under the former
Social Democrat-led government per a tradition founded in 2012. The Czech
Republic is one of Israel’s closest allies in Europe.
Mr Babiš described Israel as a long-term strategic partner; the Czech government has a similar relationship with Slovakia and Poland.
The May visit would also be part of celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia.
The Civic Democrats, the second-largest party in the lower house, have
repeated they will not back the minority government led by prime minister
and ANO leader Andrej Babiš. Their chairman, Petr Fiala, said his party
would prefer instead if the prime minister intensified efforts to form a
He also reacted to the government’s proposed policy program by saying the Civic Democrats favoured lowering taxes more. The party is also opposed to the electronic cash registers system, put in place by Babiš as former finance minister, arguing the system had driven some entrepreneurs or firms out of business.
On Tuesday, the Christian Democrats, after meeting with the prime minister, said they would not support the government as they could not accept a member of the government, in this case Mr Babiš himself, who was being sought by the police to face criminal charges. In the previous lower house Mr Babiš’ immunity was waived so that he could face charges in a subsidy fraud case.
The prime minister is meeting with the heads of all parties in the lower house, seeking backing for his government ahead of a vote in January.
He has received assurances from the president he will get a second attempt to form a government should the current one fail.
Prime Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš has begun talks on possible
support for his minority government with representatives of the other
parties in the Chamber of Deputies, following the publication of the new
cabinet’s draft policy programme on Monday.
Mr Babiš and his negotiating team met with the Civic Democrats and later with Christian Democrat leader Pavel Bělobrádek. Talks are also scheduled with the Social Democrats, the Mayors and Independents, Freedom and Direct Democracy, the Communists and the Czech Pirate Party.
ANO have 78 deputies in the 200-seat lower house and will need to find either coalition partners or other parties ready to tolerate their minority government if they are to win the necessary confidence vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
Carmaker Škoda Auto has again been named Czech Exporter of the Year after
achieving exports of CZK 310 billion in 2016. That figure amounts to almost
9 percent of the country’s total exports in 2016.
Second in the annual awards, which were announced for the 23rd time in a ceremony in Prague on Monday evening, was Foxconn CZ, which finished ahead of Agrofert.
The Association of Exporters expects Czech exports to reach a record CZK 4.15 trillion this year.
The new Czech government say they aim to simplify the country’s tax
system as well as turning it electronic. In a 32-page draft policy
programme rubber-stamped on Monday by the ANO government headed by Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš, they also say they will create rules intended to
produce predictable growth in the minimum wage.
Mr. Babiš’s cabinet also say they will work to reduce the risk of terrorism and pursue a clear foreign policy aimed at promoting the Czech national interests.
The prime minister told reporters that his party had sent the document to the heads of the other parties in the Chamber of Deputies ahead of a round of talks in which ANO hope to acquire backing for their government.
Czech bookmakers have shortened their odds on the incumbent Miloš Zeman
winning presidential elections in January. While two weeks ago the odds on
a victory for the current head of state were 1.8 to 1, they have now fallen
to 1.62 to 1.
By contrast, the odds have lengthened slightly on scientist Jiří Drahoš, who polls suggest has the second highest support after Mr. Zeman. Whereas the bookies were giving a price of 2.8 to 1 on Mr. Drahoš they are now offering 2.9 to 1.
A total of CZK 50 million had been staked on the outcome at the start of December, which is the same amount that was bet on the entire 2013 presidential election.
All of the ministers in Andrej Babiš’s ANO minority government have now
taken the reigns at their departments. On Monday morning Mr. Babiš did the
rounds, accompanying Robert Plaga to the Ministry of Education, Ilja Šmíd
to the Ministry of Culture, Jiří Milek to the Ministry of Agriculture and
Klára Dostálová to the Ministry of Regional Development.
Once Mr. Babiš’s ministers have approved their own policy programme they will begin fresh efforts to win support for their minority government. On Tuesday ANO will speak to Christian Democrats’ chairman Pavel Bělobrádek.
The Social Democrats, the Mayors and Independents and the Czech Pirate Party have also confirmed that they will hold talks with representatives of the Babiš government in the coming days.
A 71-year-old woman who was shot dead in Jihlava on Friday was evidently
killed by her former husband, the Czech News Agency reported. The police
said the husband had then killed himself. They said the shooting was
apparently connected to a business dispute between the pair.
The woman was shot four times after stopping her car at a crossroads by the male driver of another vehicle that pulled up beside her. The man, who was 64, is believed to have then used his gun to take his own life; his body was found near Chrudim in East Bohemia on Saturday. Police are still investigating the case.