Daily news summary Daily news summary

10-02-2018

Veronika Vítková wins first Olympic medal for Czechs in biathlon sprint

Czech biathlon competitor Veronika Vítková has won the first winter Olympic medal for the Czech Republic.

Vítková won a bronze medal in the sprint competition and was just 1.6 seconds behind the second placed Norwegian Marte Olsbu. The competition was won by Germany’s Laura Dahlmeir.

Separately, speed skater Martina Sáblíková was forth in the 3,000 metres completion with Dutch rivals winning all the medals.

Czechs take 2:0 lead in Fed Cup tie against Switzerland

In tennis, the Czech Republic took a 2:0 lead in the first round Fed Cup tie against Switzerland on the opening day on Saturday. Barbora Strýcová beat Belinda Bencic in straight sets 6:2, 6:4.

Earlier Petra Kvitová needed three sets to overcome Viktorija Golubic 6:2, 1:6, 6:3.

The reverse singles and doubles will be played at Prague’s O2 arena on Sunday.

Social Democrats say some decisions at key party meeting might be delayed till May

The leadership of the Social Democrat Party has suggested that parts of the special meeting to be convened on February 18 in Hradec Králové be closed to the public and journalists.

The meeting is expected to elect a new leadership after disastrous results in October’s parliamentary elections where they won just 15 seats. It should also discuss whether and on what terms to negotiate over joining a government lead by ANO leader Andrej Babiš. Saturday’s meeting of party leaders even suggested that parts of the agenda of the meeting be postponed until May.

Outgoing prime minister Babiš has stalled partnership talks with the Social Democrats until after the Hradec Králové meeting in the hope that the internal party situation becomes clearer.

Czech Army tasked with clarifying helicopter requirements

The Czech Army has tasked to clarify its needs for a new multi-purpose helicopter by Minister of Defence Karla Šlechtová.

The army has been seeking to purchase 12 new helicopters which would replace the ageing Russian Mi-24 models. In the past both Italian and US manufacturers have been sounded out in what is regarded as a very lucrative tender estimated to be worth around 15 billion crowns.

The minister complained earlier that the Czech Army seemed to have set out a series of requirements which no helicopter currently on the market could match.

Flu epidemic spreads across most of Czech Republic

A flu epidemic in the Czech Republic has worsened over the last week with around 10 percent more cases registered. There is now an average of 1882 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The epidemic has hit all of the country with the exceptions of the capital, Prague, and the South Moravia region.

So far 100 serious cases of infection have been notified and 16 deaths linked to the flu epidemic. Most of the deaths have been among elderly people.

Škoda Auto unions and management at loggerheads over new deal

Unions at the Czech Republic’s biggest car maker Škoda Auto have rejected a pay offer from management.

Unions said that management made an offer which did not even match the inflation rate in 2017. Czech inflation last year averaged at 2.5 percent.

Unions have been pressing for a pay increase of 18 percent with most of that made up in a wage rise and the rest resulting from workers’ individual assessments. Union negotiator Jaroslav Povšík told the Czech News Agency that company management were seeking a deal over 27 months but the unions regarded this timeframe as far too long.

A new deal over wages should take effect from April 1

Weather

The weather on Sunday is expected to be cloudy with sunny spells most likely in the south and east of the country. Snow could fall in the north and west. Top daytime temperatures will range between one and five degrees Celsius.

10-02-2018