Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has expressed the conviction that the Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman, is dividing Czech society as a means to create an ideal environment for re-election in the next presidential elections. The prime minister suggested as much in an interview for the Czech weekly Respekt. He likened a recent statement the president made about the Kalashnikov as being a non-democratic means of 'ridding' the country of the prime minister to rhetoric used by fascists and white supremacists. In the same article, Mr Sobotka suggested that Mr Zeman may have shifted from the left to conservative opinions as a result of older age.
An accident on the D10 highway on Sunday morning,which left four people with injuries, saw the section of highway closed off for three hours before traffic resumed. The accident took place at the 64th kilometre in the direction of Turnov. One of those injured, the driver of a small truck, was taken to hospital by helicopter, an emergency services spokeswoman confirmed.
Director and screenwriter Ladislav Helge, who was part of the generation that formed the Czech New Wave in the 1960s, died on Sunday at the age of 88. He passed away at an unnamed Prague hospital following a long illness. The news was released by film producer Jaromír Kallista. After the Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and during much the Normalisation period, Mr Helge was banned from working in film. In 1977, he began work as a director and scriptwriter at Laterna Magika, where he remained for 15 years. In the mid-1990s he headed FAMU's film directing department for a time following the death of fellow director Zdeněk Sirový.
Montreal Canadiens' defenceman P.K. Subban won the NHL's breakaway challenge in the NHL's All-Stars skills competition on Saturday while channeling Czech legend Jaromír Jágr. On his second attempt, Subban donned a Florida Panthers jersey with the number 68, a wig emulating Jágr's famous mullet haircut, and a Jofa helmet; after taking the shot on Pekka Rinne, he even saluted Jágr-style. Speaking afterwards, Subban said he only got the idea around 25 minutes earlier but that it was a sign of respect to a player he had grown up watching. Jágr, also on the All-Star team, got a clear kick out of the joke and joined Subban on the ice in appreciation.
Speed skater Martina Sablíková clinched her 41st career triumph on Saturday, winning the 1500m race at the Speedskating World Cup competition in Stavanger, Norway. It is the first time she has won the 1500m in the World Cup, ČTK reported. Sablíková won the bronze in the discipline at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Her time on Saturday was 1:55:44.
Czech midfielder Tomáš Rosický came on in the 71st minute to replace Alex Iwobi in Arsenal's FA Cup fourth round match-up against Burnely. It is the first time this season that Rosický has played for his team; he was out of action for some eight months and underwent knee surgery last August. In the 84th minute, Rosický helped create an opportunity for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but the latter shot high. Goalkeeper Petr Čech did not play; David Ospina had goalkeeping duties on Saturday. Arsenal won the match 2:1
Costs of introducing the euro in the Czech Republic would reach some 0.5 percent of GDP and payments to the European Stability Mechanism would reach 34 billion crowns, the State Secretary for European Affairs Tomáš Prouza said at a conference on euro adoption on Friday. The state secretary stressed that the Czech Republic was economically prepared for the euro´s introduction and fulfilled euro-zone entry criteria much better than 11 years ago. A day earlier, the European Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis also said that the Czech Republic was prepared from an economic standpoint to adopt the euro, suggesting the country's entry to the euro zone was now mainly an issue of political will. One of the government´s priorities this year will be to intensify the public debate on euro adoption.
Experts at the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute have warned that current mild temperatures will continue well into February, putting off the 'return of winter'. The beginning of February should see also higher than average precipitation. Temperatures are expected to drop in the third week of the month but even then, not below zero degrees Celsius during the day.
President Miloš Zeman has rejected criticism by the prime minister, who had questioned his dedication to leftist politics, by drawing on his past record as chairman of the Social Democrats. In an interview for the daily Deník, posted by Prague Castle, the president pointed to his own track record, saying he had led the Social Democrats from just seven to 32 percent in the national election in the past, while in his view, the current party chairman, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, was "hurting the party". Mr Zeman pointed to the party's last election result, far lower than the 30 percent or more its chairman had sought. In the interview, by contrast, Mr Zeman had praise for ANO and the party's plans to field deputy ministers (as experts) in upcoming regional elections.
Czech tennis player Radek Štepánek and Canadian doubles partner Daniel Nestor have lost in the men's doubles final at the Australian Open. The duo started well against opponents Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, dominating in the first set. But the Brit and Brazilian came back and forced a third and final set which went down the wire. The final score was 6:2, 4:6, 5:7.
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