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10-03-2017

Bohuslav Sobotka re-elected as head of Social Democratic Party

A two-day election conference of the ruling Social Democratic Party got underway in Brno on Friday morning. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, who ran for the top post unchallenged, was re-elected as party chairman, receiving support from 67 percent of the delegates. Interior Minister Milan Chovanec defended the post of the party's first deputy chairman. In his nomination speech, Mr Sobotka said he was willing to be part of the future government only if the Social Democrats would be able to implement their policy programme. Mr Sobotka warned against a right-wing government, which could be established if the ANO party joined forces with the Civic Democrats.

President Zeman confirms decision to run for second term

President Miloš Zeman officially announced his decision to run for a second five-year term in office at a press briefing on Friday. Mr Zeman said he would consider it cowardly to abandon the people who supported him, adding that he enjoyed being president. Mr Zeman announced his intention to seek a second term in office to a gathering of his supporters held at Prague Castle on Thursday, marking the anniversary of his inauguration. His rivals for the post so far are lyricist Michal Horáček, businessman Igor Sládek and physician and civic activist Marek Hilšer. Political parties have yet to decide on whether to nominate a candidate of their own. Observers say the 72-year-old Zeman will be a hot favourite in the race.

Average wage increases to 29,320 crowns

The average monthly wage increased by 4.4 percent year-on-year in the last quarter of 2016, the Czech Statistics Office reported on Friday. Adjusted for inflation, it is an increase by 2.8 percent. The national average for the monthly salary in the Czech Republic currently stands at 29,320 crowns, which is around one thousand euros.

Hundreds of town halls join Flag for Tibet initiative

Over 700 town halls and hundreds of schools and institutions around the Czech Republic have joined the Flag for Tibet initiative expressing support for Tibetan independence. The Flag for Tibet initiative traditionally takes place on March 10th marking the anniversary of the 1959 Tibetan uprising in Lhasa which was brutally suppressed by the Chinese regime. The event is traditionally accompanied by lectures, film screenings and exhibitions documenting Tibetan history and culture.

President Zeman vetoes bill on national parks

President Miloš Zeman has vetoed the bill on care for the country’s national parks. The lower house of parliament earlier this month approved the original version of the law, rejecting Senate proposals that would have watered down the rules for national parks and given local councils and inhabitants more room to push for development. The proposed upper house changes were backed by just 28 lawmakers with 109 opposed. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the original rules offered sustainable development for parks and increased the role of local authorities. Mr Zeman said earlier he would veto the original version of the law.

Škoda Auto to cooperate with India’s Tata Motors

Czech car-maker Škoda Auto is set to cooperate with India’s Tata Motors in developing vehicle concepts for the India and overseas market. After months of talks, representatives of Volkswagen, Škoda Auto and Tata Motors said on Friday they had signed a memorandum of understanding to explore a strategic partnership in India that would lead to the launch of new vehicles by Tata Motors. According to the press release, Škoda Auto will take the lead of the project on behalf of the Volkswagen Group.

Weather

Saturday is expected to be partly cloudy with daytime highs ranging between 6 to ten degrees Celsius.

10-03-2017