More than 1100 Social Democrat regional organizations have taken part in a
referendum on whether the party should enter into a coalition with ANO. The
results of the poll will be officially announced on Friday but according to
unofficial data, the votes so far are in favour of the coalition agreement.
If a positive result is confirmed the two sides will meet to finalize the government line-up. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he would like to speed up the process so that his second government can ask the lower house for a confidence vote on July 11.
The Czech Republic had the fifth fastest growing economy within the EU in
the first quarter of 2018, according to preliminary data released by the
Czech Statistics Office on Thursday. Internal consumption and investments
were among the main factors behind the strong growth figures.
The Czech economy, which slowed from 5.5 to 4.4 percent over the last quarter, was outpaced by Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Hungary. The head of the Czech Statistics Office, Marek Rojíček, noted that the available figures don’t include data about the Irish economy, which also belongs among the fastest growing in Europe.
Just over one-third of Czechs have confidence in prime minister-designate
Andrej Babiš, the leader of the centrist ANO party, according to a poll
conducted in mid-May. That makes him the most trusted chairman of a
political party now in parliament.
Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartoš and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura tied for third place in the poll by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM). Each enjoyed the trust of 28 per cent of respondents.
However, Okamura is also the least-trusted party chairman, with 62 per cent of those polled expressing no confidence in him. The Czech interior ministry in a draft report leaked to the press characterised Okamura’s right-wing party as “extremist”.
Babiš, who faces charges of fraud regarding the drawing down of EU subsidies a decade ago, ranked second in terms of distrust, at 58 per cent.
Czech football club Dukla Prague has sacked Jaroslav Hynek, the team’s manager since September 2016, following a disappointing season. He had guided Dukla to a respectable 7th-place finish in the 2016–17 season, and in May 2017 was signed to a new two-year contract. But this year the club slid to an 11th-place finish in the Czech First League, and his contract was cut short. Hynek took over as Dukla manager when Jaroslav Šilhavý left for Slavia Prague, last year's champions.
Czech police seized more marihuana last year than ever before. According to
the annual report of the Anti-Drug Centre released on Wednesday,
authorities confiscated 1.1 tonnes of the plant and uncovered 305
plantations, both of which are historical records.
The police also seized more than 93 kilos of pervitin and closed 264 make-shift labs where the methamphetamine was being cooked. After marihuana, pervitin is the most widespread drug in the Czech Republic. It is regularly smuggled into neighbouring Germany and Austria, but also as far as Scandinavia.
Heavy metal legend Ozzy Osbourne of Black Sabbath fame will perform in
Prague on Wednesday evening. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and
Grammy-winning singer and songwriter is currently on the Europe leg of his
“Farewell World Tour”, which began in May and wraps up in 2020.
Osbourne is celebrating more than five decades as a stage performer. His special guests include The Hollywood Vampires, an American rock supergroup formed in 2015 by Alice Cooper, the actor Johnny Depp, and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry to honour the music of rock stars who died from excess in the 1970s.
Black Sabbath bid farewell to its fans with their own trek, “The End”, which ended in February 2017 in Birmingham, England.
One in five young adults in the Czech Republic is at risk of falling below
the poverty line, according to the local branch of Caritas, an
international Catholic relief and development charity. Some 300,000 people
between the ages of 18 and 30 are essentially living from pay packet to pay
packet, according to a survey conducted by the Median Agency released on
According to the Median Agency findings, 22 per cent of young adults are at risk. Women are at greater risk than men of both falling below the poverty line and remaining there for longer, the survey found. This is partly due to the gender pay gap, and partly because women are far more likely to be rearing children alone than are men. Broken down by gender, 18 per cent of men over the age of 25 are at risk compared to 27 per cent of women.
The Prague Municipal Council has rejected a proposed discount on public
transport for students aged 15-26. The author of the proposal, Deputy Mayor
Petr Dolínek, suggested students be offered annual passes for 365 crowns,
roughly equivalent to 1.2 euros a month, to encourage them to use trams,
buses and the metro more often.
Other city councillors argued that Prague could ill afford losing an estimated 300 million crowns in annual revenue. As a compromise, students will be allowed to pay for annual passes, which as of January will cost 1,200 crowns, in monthly instalments.
Former political prisoner František Suchý has died at the age of 91. As a
teenager Mr. Suchý helped his cremator father keep clandestine records of
the names of people executed by the Nazis and the Communists. The pair also
hid the ashes of many victims of those regimes.
In later years Mr. Suchý was sentenced to 25 years in a communist jail for aiding a people smuggler working with the US intelligence services. Last year he received a Memory of Nations award recognising his resistance to totalitarianism.
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