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16-04-2018 14:28 | Jan Velinger

ANO and Social Democrats to meet over renewing coalition talks

Negotiation teams of ANO and the Social Democrats are scheduled to meet on Monday to hold talks about the possibility of cooperation in a future minority government supported by the Communist Party.

Previous talks between the two parties had collapsed after ANO refused to give up either the Finance Ministry or Interior Ministry portfolio. Last week, the leadership of ANO decided to renew the talks, since some ANO were opposed to entering a government involving the anti-migrant Freedom and Direct Democracy.

The Social Democrats said last week they would wait for the offer from the ANO party before they decided to renew the government negotiations.

ANO won 78 mandates in the 200-member Chamber of Deputies in elections in October but have so far failed to create a majority administration.

Prime minister criticised for “shifting stance” on Syria

Leading members of the right-wing opposition have criticised prime minister in resignation Andrej Babiš, alleging he was flip-flopping or backpedalling on the strike against Syria by US, British and French forces.

On Saturday, the prime minister said the strike had been inevitable but a day later, after a meeting with the president, he suggested that the strike had resolved nothing.

During a work visit to the region of Karlovy Vary on Monday, he then called the threat of additional strikes a deterrent against the use of chemical weapons.

The apparent changes in his stance drew fire from long-time political rival Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09, who suggested he could respect someone with a differing but firm position but not a politician who - in his view - changed his mind one day to the next.

Renovation of popular Prague’s embankment gets underway

The restoration of Prague’s Rašínovo nábřeží embankment along the Vltava River gets underway on Monday. The project will mainly concern the renovation of 12 rooms set into the stone embankment walls, which will be turned into cafes, galleries and public toilets.

The renovation work will also include placing new benches and waste containers along the riverside walk and new infrastructure that will enable the facilities to operate.

Prague City Hall plans to renovate all of the city’s embankments by the year 2020. The whole project is expected to cost around 225 million crowns. The renovation works at the Rašínovo nábřeží embankment should end by November at the latest.

Metropolitan Plan outlines vision of Prague for decades, says mayor

The Prague Institute of Planning and Development has submitted the strategic urban or municipal plan for the Czech capital, to come effect in 2023, Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová confirmed on Monday.

The plan in use now was adopted in 1999.

The new strategic plan will introduce the regulation of building height limits; unlike the current plan, the new one will take into account not only the function or use of different sites but also their character and their location within specific city districts, architect Roman Koucký, who headed the team which put together the document, said.

The mayor highlighted the Metropolitan Plan’s importance for the city’s development, saying it expressed a vision for the city for decades to come.

It will be possible to suggest additions or tweaks to the plan for a period of 30 days beginning on June 27.

Central Bohemia region at centre of row over massive fixed rate loan

The Central Bohemia region is at the centre of a row over a massive loan taken out at a high interest rate.

A 6.0 percent interest rate was attached to the 1.8 billion crown loan taken out in 2008. Under the terms of the loan, the interest rate cannot be changed over its 20 year term.

The loan was taken out to pay for three new hospitals and was signed at the time by the then regional governor Petr Bendl of the Civic Democrats. The current regional governor, Jaroslava Jermanová, of ANO, was deputy of the financial committee that cleared the loan.

The loan, judged by experts to be far above the normal commercial rate, has been justified as hedging against interest rate increases. Bendl said the move was advantageous.

Imagine Dragons to perform in Prague

American rock band Imagine Dragons will perform at Prague’s O2 Arena on Monday as part of their Evolve world tour. The Grammy winners, who have several platinum records, are coming back to Prague after two years; last year they performed at the Colours of Ostrava festival in the east of the country.

The band’s single Believer was number 1 on the Alternative radio list for 12 weeks and built on the success of the earlier hit Thunder.

Weather

Mostly cloudy conditions are expected on Tuesday. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 18 degrees Celsius.