Foreign ministers of the Visegrad Four regional grouping and the Benelux threesome of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, met together on Monday in Prague. The ministers focused on immigration and the possible British exit from the EU. Discussions also covered the Eastern Partnership, Russia, security, and NATO. Luxembourg minister Jean Asselborn said Benelux countries still had a different point of view over immigration but all seven countries were part of the same union. The Visegrad Four is composed of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary. The Czech Republic currently holds the rotating presidency.
ANO would win elections with 25.5 percent of preferences ahead of the Social Democrats with 22 percent according to a poll released on Monday by the Median agency. The communist KSČM would get 14 percent with centre right parties the Civic Democrats and Top 09 each on 8.5 percent. The Christian Democrats had support at 7.0 percent and would also get into parliament. In April, ANO had support at 25 percent with the Social Democrats at 22 percent.
In football, the Czech Republic lost 1:O to Spain in the opening match of the Euro 2016 competition. The goal was scored by Pique in the 87th minute after intense pressure. The Czechs had a chance to equalize in the closing minutes with a shot from Vladimír Darida. Czech manager Pavel Vrba had named the Czech team he is seeking to field against Spain in the Euro 2016 group match on Monday afternoon. The names contain few surprises apart from the fact that Tomáš Necid is preferred as striker to start the game in preference to David Lafata. Necid performed well in the second half of the pre-tournament warm up game against Russia, setting up one goal for Tomáš Rosický and scoring himself in the closing minutes.
The Capuchin order has received a setback in its claims to reclaim a monastery at Opočno, The Supreme Court has instructed the local court to deal again with the case about the building in Eastern Bohemia. The court also quashed an earlier ruling transferring ownership from the region to the state. That move opened the way for the religious order to claim back the property under the restitution agreement between churches and the state. The Hradec Králové region has described the latest decision as a breakthrough saying that it could pave the way for the region to remain the owner.
In tennis, Czech player Adam Pavlásek has made into the top worldwide 100 for the first time. The talented youngster, he’s 21, jumped from his previous 114 place on the ATP ladder to 99 thanks to winning the Prague Challenge tournament. Top Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych remains in an unchanged eighth position in the rankings.
In ice hockey, Czech players Tomáš Hertl and Roman Polák have definitely missed on a change of winning the Stanley Cup. The San Jose Sharks went down 3:1 in the sixth match of the Stanley Cup finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday night. That means Pittsburgh clinch the series and the cup 4:2. Forward Hertl started the finals series but has missed out on the last games through injury.
The number of people living in the Czech Republic in the first quarter of the year has climbed by 4,700 with the total population now standing at 10.558 million. The rise was due to the number of immigrants, at 10,500, being more than double the around 5,000 quitting the country. The number of deaths exceeded births over the first three months of the year. Most of those moving into the Czech Republic are from Ukraine, Slovakia, and Romania.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has sent a telegram to the vice-president of the US, Joe Biden, expressing his shock at the Orlando shootings in which 50 people were killed. Sobotka condemned the shootings at a night club on Sunday night as brutal and cowardly. Czech president Miloš Zeman also sent his condolences to Barack Obama. He described it as a terrorist attack by a gunman who apparently aligned himself with Islamic State. Zeman said the fight against terrorism was only successful when all civilized countries took part.
President Miloš Zeman is set to meet with Interior Minister Milan Chovanec and Finance Minister Andrej Babiš at the Lány Chateau on Monday over a dispute concerning the plan to merge two of the country’s main crime fighting units, the Unit for Uncovering Organised Crime and the anti-corruption unit, into one large body. On Friday, the head of the organised crime unit, Robert Šlachta, resigned in protest at the merger. Mr Babiš said he would demand the resignation of the Interior Minister if the reform was approved. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has called a meeting of the National Security Council for Tuesday to deal with the situation.
Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has clinched her first title of the season. after beating Alison Riske of the United States 7:6, 7:5 in the final of the WTA tournament in Nottingham on Sunday. Another Czech, Andrea Hlaváčková, won the women’s doubles at the same tournament. Along with her partner, Shuai Peng of China they defeated the Canadian-Chinese pairing of Gabriela Dabrowski and Zhaoxuan Yang 7:5, 3:6,10:7.
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