Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has congratulated the winner of parliamentary elections in Slovakia, outgoing premier Robert Fico. Sobotka added though that forming a new government would not be easy for what he described as “our closest friends.” Fico’s SMER party won the elections with around 29 percent of the vote but has lost its overall majority in parliament and has been reduced to around a third of the 150 seats. Eight parties claimed a place in parliament, including the far right.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has indicated that he is prepared to stand for a second term as head of state in 2018 according to media reports of celebrations marking his third year in the post. Around 900 people were invited to Prague Castle on Saturday night to celebrate Zeman’s third year in office, a number much higher than previous years. Zeman took office on March 8, 2013 after winning the first national elections to the post with almost 55 percent of votes cast.
Chinese companies are interested in the project of Czech president Miloš Zeman to join the three rivers Danube, Elbe, and Oder in the Czech Republic making a navigable route across a large part of central Europe, according to the head of the president’s foreign department, Hynek Kmoníček. He said one of the Chinese firms interested was the same firm as took the lead in the Three Sisters dam complex, the biggest in the world. Kmoníček said the project did not appear so daunting to such companies. The Czech Republic and China are making preparations for the first visit by a Chinese head of state, expected at the end of March.
Increased production and use of the drug pervitin (methamphetamine) is the biggest single factor on the Czech criminal scene in 2015, according to the ČTK agency citing a report by the Ministry of Interior. The report is due to be discussed by the government in the following weeks. The report describes a shift away from the production of marihuana to pervitin because less space and electricity are needed for production and cooking labs can be easily moved. The profit margins are also higher. The report said the pervitin trade is dominated by Vietnamese, Kosova Albanian, Nigerian, and Turkish gangs with Czechs participating mainly in production and distribution.
The film Kobry a Užovky (The Snake Brothers) was the overwhelming winner of the main Czech film awards Český Lev (Czech Lion) on Saturday night. The film won six awards, including best film and direction, as well as best camera work, best music, best actor (Matěj Hádek) and best joint male and female performances. Going into the awards, the comedy film Zraceni ve Mnichově (Lost in Munich) had been tipped to take most of the prizes but only came away with two awards, including best script, on the night.
Czech speed skater Martina Sábliková has won her fourth combined world championship title. The Czech came first in the final 5000 metre event on Sunday in Berlin. She beat her nearest rival Ireen Wüst into second place by around nine seconds to secure the combined title.
In tennis, the Czech Republic beat Germany 3:2 in the Davis Cup. The decisive fifth match was won by Lukáš Rosol who beat Alexander Zverev 6:2, 6:3,6:1 Earlier Czech number one Tomáš Berdych retired with a muscle injury with the match being won by Philipp Kohlschreiber 6:3, 7:5. The Czech Republic will face France in the next round.
Snowboarder Ester Ledecká has for the first time in her career won a large crystal globe in the World Cup series. The prize was assured after a seventh place in the qualifiers in the final parallel snowboard event at Winterberg, Germany. Her nearest rival in the points table can no longer amass the points needed to overtake the 20-year-old reigning world champion. Ledecká can still improve on her best placing this season, a third place in Moscow last month.
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Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott