The head of the Public Affairs party Radek John said on Sunday that an internet referendum of party members on the three-way coalition agreement was proceeding without hitches. Voting on the programme for a centre-right government together with the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 was postponed on Friday following a technical problem with the server. It was resumed on Saturday. Mr. John said that a flash survey of the membership indicated that more than 10 percent had voted. That was the threshold set for the referendum to be valid. The referendum, in which around 17,000 members can take part, should end at 10 am on Monday with the results known the same day. All three parties should give their final verdict on the coalition agreement by the end of Monday.
The 18th four day music festival at Boskovice, between Olomouc and Brno, drew to a close on Sunday. Organiser, Unijazz, estimates around 4,000 people attended the mix of musical and cultural events and exhibitions. The festival was originally held to help draw attention and restore the old Jewish quarter of the town, a task which has now been largely completed. This year’s festival featured the reading by writer Radka Denemarková of her book “Money From Hitler, ” which recounts the attempt by a woman who returns from a Nazi concentration camp to get justice.
This year’s Karlovy Vary festival attracted fewer visitors and fewer films were screened than in 2009. The total number of visitors was just under 127,000, that is a drop of around 5,000 compared with a year ago. The number of films screened was 207. This compares with the 232 full length films and documentaries screened in 2009. Organisers said the drop in the number of new films screened had allowed them to repeat some favourites.
Incoming interior minister Radek John said on Sunday that he could sack the country’s top policeman. Mr. John, the head of the Public Affairs party, said that the president of the police presidium, Oldřich Martinů, could be dismissed, adding this would be a logical step. He has said that one of the problems he had with the police was its inability to save money. He added that there were more police per head of population in the Czech Republic than anywhere else in Europe but they were not visible on the street. Mr. John said he would prepare a thorough reform once he arrived in office and this would include changes in personnel. Mr. Martinů has been in the top post for the last three years.
Two people drowned on Saturday as many people sought relief in pools, lakes and rivers from record temperatures. A 22-year-old man drowned in a lake near the central Bohemian town of Brandýs nad Labem. He is thought to have to have got into difficulties when trying to rescue a child who fell from their inflatable. His body has still not been recovered. A woman was found drowned at the family pool at the town of Zadní Třeban in central Bohemia.
Interpol has given up searching for the deputy chairman of the Czech and Moravian Football Association and businessman Miroslav Kříž according to Czech media reports which point out he not on the list of Czechs being sought. Czech police have refused to confirm the reports but say their search is continuing. Mr. Kříž was last seen in Prague on May 22. The latest turnaround in events has raised speculation that Mr. Kříž might be a key police witness or that police know of his whereabouts abroad but cannot take any action to get him back.
The 45th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will culminate on the evening of July 10 with the award of the main prizes. The top Grand Prix with the award of the festival Crystal Globe will be made for the best feature film. Juries will also announce the best documentary films and the East of the West award for films made in Eastern Europe. The audience’s selection of best film will also be announced. The festival in the West Bohemian spa town ran from July 2.
TOP 09 leader and incoming Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg will be the first deputy prime minister in the new centre-right coalition. The news was reported by the Czech News Agency which said it had obtained a copy of an appendix to the three-way agreement. Public Affairs’ leader Radek John will be a deputy prime minister, it added. Prime Minister Petr Nečas has said the agreement should be signed on Monday following approval by the three parties. President Václav Klaus is scheduled to appoint the new government on July 13.
The Czech Republic has taken a shock 2: 0 lead in the Davis Cup quarterfinals against Chile following the opening singles. Ivo Minář beat Nicolas Massu 6:0, 6:2, 6:3. That was followed by a straight sets win by Jan Hájek against Paul Capdeville 6:0, 6:2, 6:1. The Czechs have a chance to clinch the tie in the doubles game on Saturday which pits Lukáš Dlouhý and Hájek against Jorge Aguilar and Capdeville. The Czech squad was dubbed a ‘B’ team given the absence of top singles players Tomáš Berdych and Radek Štěpánek.
Former Social Democrat prime minister and European Commissioner Vladimír Špidla is set to make a comeback in the party’s shadow cabinet, according to the news server Aktualně.cz. Citing top party sources, it said that Špidla would be given responsibility for European Union questions. Acting party boss, Bohuslav Sobotka refused to comment on the report. The Social Democrats are expected to unveil their opposition team soon after the new government has been appointed.
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