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14-06-2018 14:39 | Ruth Fraňková

Czechs have fifth fastest growing economy in EU

The Czech Republic had the fifth fastest growing economy within the EU in the first quarter of 2018, according to preliminary data released by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday. Internal consumption and investments were among the main factors behind the strong growth figures.

The Czech economy, which slowed from 5.5 to 4.4 percent over the last quarter, was outpaced by Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Hungary. The head of the Czech Statistics Office, Marek Rojíček, noted that the available figures don’t include data about the Irish economy, which also belongs among the fastest growing in Europe.

Social Democrats complete party referendum on coalition with ANO

More than 1100 Social Democrat regional organizations have taken part in a referendum on whether the party should enter into a coalition with ANO. The results of the poll will be officially announced on Friday but according to unofficial data, the votes so far are in favour of the coalition agreement.

If a positive result is confirmed the two sides will meet to finalize the government line-up. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he would like to speed up the process so that his second government can ask the lower house for a confidence vote on July 11.

ANO leader Andrej Babiš most trusted party chairman, poll shows

Just over one-third of Czechs have confidence in prime minister-designate Andrej Babiš, the leader of the centrist ANO party, according to a poll conducted in mid-May. That makes him the most trusted chairman of a political party now in parliament.

Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartoš and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura tied for third place in the poll by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM). Each enjoyed the trust of 28 per cent of respondents.

However, Okamura is also the least-trusted party chairman, with 62 per cent of those polled expressing no confidence in him. The Czech interior ministry in a draft report leaked to the press characterised Okamura’s right-wing party as “extremist”.

Babiš, who faces charges of fraud regarding the drawing down of EU subsidies a decade ago, ranked second in terms of distrust, at 58 per cent.

Transtech to provide ten trams to Helsinki

Finnish Transtech Oy, a subsidiary of the Czech company Škoda Transportation, will deliver ten Artic trams to the city of Helsinki. The price of the contract amounts to 750 million crowns.

There are currently 48 trams of the same type operating in the Finnish capital. As of 2021, they will also operate on a newly built track in the city of Tampere. The Plzeň-based transport company Škoda Transportation acquired a controlling stake in Finland’s sole manufacturer of rail vehicles abd trams in August 2015.

Latin pop star Ricky Martin set to perform in Prague in September

Latin pop star Ricky Martin is set to perform in Prague’s O2 Arena in early September, the organizers announced on Thursday.

The Puerto-Rican singer shot to international fame in 1999 after releasing his single ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ which has sold over eight million copies and is one of the best-selling singles of all time. The Prague concert will be Martin’s first appearance in the Czech Republic.

Veteran car ride marks centenary of Czechoslovakia

Nearly a hundred veteran cars embarked from Prague on Thursday morning on a three-day journey to the Slovak capital Bratislava and back.

The ‘1000 Czechoslovak Miles’ tour is organised by the Veteran Car Club in Prague in cooperation with the National Technical Museum on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia. Most of the vintage cars taking part in the race were made in the 1930s.

Weather

Friday is expected to be mostly sunny with scattered showers and daytime highs ranging between 22 and 26 degrees Celsius.