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Babiš wants resolution of situation at head of Foreign Ministry within two months

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO says he hopes Jan Hamáček of coalition partners the Social Democrats resolves the situation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs within two months at the latest. He made the comment in an interview for Právo. At present Mr. Hamáček, who is minister of the interior, is also serving as foreign minister in a temporary capacity. The situation came about after President Miloš Zeman refused the Social Democrats’ candidate for foreign policy chief, Miroslav Poche.

Mr. Babiš said he expected the Social Democrats to put forward a different nominee. The prime minister said the current situation had to end as the Czech Republic would be celebrating the centenary of Czechoslovakia at the UN General Assembly, which begins in the last week of September.

News site: Social Democrats would be glad of 7 percent in autumn elections

The Social Democrats say they are aiming to at least equal the 7-percent showing the party achieved in the last general elections in upcoming municipal elections, Novinky.cz reported. Previously one of the country’s dominant parties, the Social Democrats are now aiming to hold on to one or two of the 13 Senate seats they will also be trying to defend this October, the news site said. After the last Senate elections that grouping had 25 seats.

Chairman Jan Hamáček said the Social Democrats had to take cognisance of the fact the party did not have 20 or 30 percent support but hovered around the 10 percent mark. He said a marked change could not be expected in the autumn.

Pope to be driven in Škoda car during Irish Catholic gathering

Pope Francis will be driven in a Škoda car at the World Meeting of Families 2018 in Ireland next week, the Czech News Agency reported. The Czech-based automaker is an official partner of the major Roman Catholic gathering and the pontiff is due to travel to the Irish president’s residence in a Škoda Rapid next Saturday.

A number of Rapids have been specially fitted out for the World Meeting of Families, including with chrome poles to hold Vatican flags.

Prague aims to curb air pollution with help of new beer

The authorities in Prague have helped create a new beer brand aimed at encouraging people to combat pollution by making more use of public transport, iDnes.cz reported on Saturday. The city has teamed up with brewers Lobkowicz to produce the lager Pražský chodec (Prague Pedestrian), advertising for which includes the slogan Beer Against Smog. Car usage is a major cause of the city’s air pollution problems, which more people using public transport would help alleviate.

Mayor Adriana Krnáčová said city hall had been looking for just such an unusual means of highlighting the need to improve Prague’s air quality.

Advertisements for Prague Pedestrian have appeared bearing the city’s logo and that of Lobkowitz. The city has also funded a website for the brew.

Pioneer youth organisation has over 14,000 members

The youth and children’s organisation Pioneer (Pionýr in Czech) has 14,200 members today, the Czech News Agency reported, citing a spokesperson. It is the successor to a communist-era association known as Pioneer Organization of the Socialist Youth Union that had 100,000 members in 1990, the year after the fall of communism in the country.

The scouts are more popular today, with just over 60,500 members in the Czech Republic.

Kvitová reaches semi-finals in Cincinnati

Petra Kvitová has reached the semi-finals at tennis’s Cincinnati Masters. The Czech overcame Elise Mertens of Belgium in an almost three-hour encounter that ended 7-5 5-7 6-3 to equal her best result to date in the competition, where she previously made it into the last four in 2012.

Kvitová’s next opponent will be Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands. The Czech is currently ranked sixth in the world.

Weather forecast

Sunday should be mainly sunny in the Czech Republic, with temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius. Similar daytime highs are forecast for most of the following week.