The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka of the Social Democrats, has discussed his plans for a cabinet reshuffle with President Miloš Zeman. There had been speculation that Mr. Sobotka would inform the head of state that two or three members of his own party would be leaving the coalition government. However, after talks at the president’s retreat at Lány, the PM said that he would speak to Mr. Zeman again about concrete cabinet changes, including announcing the names of new ministers. The president’s spokesman said Mr. Zeman was insisting on the departure of Christian Democrat arts minister Daniel Herman, who recently received the Dalai Lama, contravening official Czech policy.
Prague councillors have approved plans to speed up the city’s public transport system, novinky.cz reported. The CZK 600-million scheme involves trams and buses being given increased right of way at traffic lights and special lanes being created. Ten sections of bus and tram routes will be affected. At present there are around 38 km of bus lanes and 12 kilometres of tram tracks in Prague, while there are almost 200 crossroads where public transport has priority.
In September the Czech National Bank carried out its third biggest intervention on the currency markets since launching a policy to keep the Czech crown weak against the euro in November 2013. The central bank put some CZK 99.5 billion into ensuring the crown remained at around 27 to the common European currency, officials revealed on Tuesday. The Czech National Bank board has signalled that it will abandon the policy, which benefits exporters, in the first half of next year.
A group of coalition MPs have put forward an amendment to the Czech constitution under which the government alone would have the power to send Czech soldiers abroad. At present such moves require the approval of both houses of Parliament. Its drafters say the amendment would make it easier for the state to react to crisis situations; in view of great changes in the security sphere in recent years, such crises may arrive most unexpectedly, they said. The amendment enjoys cross-party backing.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell to 5.0 percent in October, down from 5.2 percent in September. Just over 366,000 people were out of work last month, the lowest figure since December 2008. Meanwhile, the number of jobs available was at its highest level for October in nine years. The positive unemployment trend is being attributed to economic growth that has led to employers taking on large numbers of new workers.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is set to visit Prague on Friday for talks with his Czech counterpart, Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek. Mr. Johnson will be the first British minister to come to the Czech Republic since the UK’s vote in June to leave the European Union and the two men are expected to discuss the situation stemming from that decision. The Czech Republic is pushing for its citizens to be allowed the same right to work in the UK as at present once Brexit happens.
The Czech power giant CEZ recorded a net profit of CZK 14.7 billion in the first three quarters of this year, according to data it released on Tuesday. That figure represented an 11-percent fall in profits compared to the same period in 2015. CEZ’s revenues dropped by 5 percent year-on-year in the January to October period. The declines have been blamed on shutdowns at the firm’s nuclear power stations. CEZ, which is majority owned by the Czech state, is the country’s largest energy producer.
Czech broadcasters are promising live and continued coverage of the US election, reacting to results as they come in. Among those preparing special coverage are Czech Television, Czech Radio and commercial broadcaster TV Nova. The US election will see either the Democratic Party nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, or the Republican nominee, businessman Donald J. Trump, emerge as the 45th president of the United States. Czech TV’s ČT24 will begin its live coverage at 12:30 am, local time, continuing through Wednesday morning until noon. Special documentaries on the election will also air on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.
In the National Hockey League on Monday, Czech forwards David Krejčí and David Pastrňák each notched up goals in the Boston Bruins’ win over the Buffalo Sabres. Elsewhere, Czech star forward Jaromír Jágr returned to the ice after exiting a game early at the weekend because of a slight lower body injury. The 44-year-old veteran ended up not having to miss a single match. His team, the Florida Panthers, downed the Tampa Bay Lightning 3:1. The lone goal for the Lightning was scored by Ondřej Palát.
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