The three-party governing coalition has ceased to exist, says the leader of the second largest coalition party, the Christian Democrats. Miroslav Kalousek told Czech Television that the largest party, the Social Democrats, were counting on co-operating with the Communists after elections in June. But Social Democrat chief Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek,said his party had never considered, were not considering and would not consider any such a scenario.
One Czech is officially known to have been among the 66 people who died
when a hotel roof collapsed in the Polish city of Katowice on Saturday
night. Meanwhile, a second Czech is believed to have been among the dead
and yet another is unaccounted for.
The Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, sent his condolences to his Polish counterpart, Lech Kaczynski. Mr Kaczynski had been due to visit Prague on Monday but cancelled the trip after announcing a day of mourning in Poland.
A group of Czech rescue workers have been helping look through the rubble of Saturday's disaster in Katowice, which is near the Czech-Polish border.
The Czech Republic says it will probably not veto a European Union-wide sales tax, raising chances that a row between some new member states and the older members could be resolved. The Czech Republic, Poland and Cyprus had come out against an agreement that would allow value added tax on some services in several member states to be kept below EU norms. They said the plan, put forward by Austria, discriminated against newcomers, which have cut-off dates to abolish tax breaks and meet higher rates in line with EU requirements.
The Social Democrat prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, has again ruled out post-election co-operation with the Communist Party. Speaking at a party policy conference on Saturday, Mr Paroubek said a minority Social Democrat government was the most likely outcome of general elections in June. He said a third of the cabinet in such a scenario would be made up of non-party "experts".
The Civic Democrats have launched an advertising campaign linking the Communist Party with the Social Democrats, under the combined acronym KSCSSD. However an advertising company has refused to put the poster up on billboards outside the Social Democrats conference in Prague. The firm Euro AWK said such a campaign harmed the advertising profession.
President Vaclav Klaus has indicated that he may not sign into law a bill allowing for registered partnerships for homosexuals. The president has expressed opposition to the law in the past, and told journalists they could expect his decision to follow "quite clear indices". The bill was passed by the Senate on Thursday after previously being approved by the lower house.
The only Czech condom maker has halted manufacturing. Vulkan Intim Brands, based in north Bohemia, has decided to import and package German-made condoms under the company's traditional Primeros brand name. A spokesperson told Mlada fronta Dnes that German-made condoms were cheaper and of a higher quality.
If the Dutch company LG Philips Displays pulls out of the Czech Republic it should return investment incentives it received from the Czech state, says the head of CzechInvest, Tomas Hruda. The company's factory in south Moravia shut down on Friday as it filed for bankruptcy protection. It employs 1,300 people.
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