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25-10-2017

Zeman to speak to leaders of biggest parties in lower house next week

President Miloš Zeman is set to hold talks with representatives of ANO, the Civic Democrats and the Czech Pirate Party, who came first, second and third in last weekend’s general elections, at his Lány residence next week. In the following fortnight the head of state plans to speak to leaders of the other six parties that made it into the Chamber of Deputies.

Mr. Zeman’s spokesman said he would officially charge the leader of election winners ANO, Andrej Babiš, with forming a new government at their meeting on Tuesday. The president has said he would like to assist in the formation of a stable new government. He plans to convene the first meeting of the new lower house at the latest possible date, 30 days after the election.

ANO and various other parties that reached the five-percent threshold to get into Parliament have been holding a series of meetings on the composition of the new Chamber of Deputies and sounding one another out with regard to possible coalitions.

ANO determined to fill top post in lower house

The ANO party is entitled to the post of speaker of the lower house in view of its resounding victory in the general elections, Andrej Babiš told journalists following a meeting with representatives of the centre-right Civic Democratic Party on Tuesday.

The Civic Democrats, who have said they are not interested into entering into a coalition with ANO, made an unsuccessful bid for the post of speaker of the lower house during the talks.

The head of the Civic Democrats Petr Fiala argued that in the interest of maintaining the system of checks and balances the post of speaker should go to the second strongest party on the Czech political scene.

Kubera of Civic Democrats drops idea of running for president

The deputy chairman of the Senate, Jaroslav Kubera, says he will not stand for the post of president. The veteran Civic Democrat politician had gathered the signatures needed to run in the upper house. His party leader, Petr Fiala, said on Wednesday that Mr. Kubera’s family had been opposed to his candidature.

Speaking to the E15.cz news site, Mr. Kubera said that Miloš Zeman would win January’s vote. However, he said doubted whether the incumbent would see out a full five-year second term.

Car industry eyes record production of 1.4 million vehicles in 2017

Czech auto makers are on course to produce a record 1.4 million vehicles this year, the president of the Automotive Industry Association, Bohdan Wojnar, said on Wednesday. In 2016 1.344 million cars, also a record, were produced in the country and that the growth trend is set to continue, Mr. Wojnar said.

Speaking at a conference in Brno on the future of the auto industry in the Czech Republic and Central Europe, Mr. Wojnar attributed this success to domestic economic growth and foreign demand. However, he said the industry, which is producing at close to full capacity, was struggling to find workers on a labour market marked by an unusually high number of vacancies.

Harvey Keitel signs on for Painted Bird adaption by Czech director Marhoul

The US film star Harvey Keitel has signed on to appear in a film by Czech director Václav Marhoul. Keitel will appear alongside the Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard in an adaptation of the WWII novel The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski.

The director said that Harvey Keitel would come to the Czech Republic in November for five days of shooting in Český Krumlov and another location in South Bohemia. The movie is due for release in early 2019.

Plíšková reaches first semi-finals in WTA finals

The Czech tennis player Karolína Plíšková has reached the semi-finals at the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore for the first time. Plíšková easily overcame Garbine Muguruza of Spain 6-2 6-2 in Tuesday’s match.

The Czech had previously swept past Venus Williams of the US in her first outing in Singapore and has now come first in the White Group. The prestigious WTA Finals brings together the top eight players in women’s tennis.

This year Plíšková became world number one for the first time and currently stands at third in the rankings.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with temperatures of up to around 15 degrees Celsius in the Czech Republic on Thursday. Subsequent days are expected to see rain with temperatures falling to around 7 degrees Celsius by Sunday.

25-10-2017