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29-06-2019

Zeman expreses doubt that Social Democrat nominee will become Culture Minister

In an interview published in Mladá fronta Dnes, President Miloš Zeman expressed serious doubt about whether Michal Šmarda will replace the current Culture Minister Antonín Staněk. Mr. Šmarda was officially proposed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, but he is a nominee of the Social Democrats, who stress their coalition treaty right to have five ministers in the cabinet. They have threatened to resign from government if the change does not go ahead. President Zeman, went on to say that even if the party were to exit the coalition, he does not expect Andrej Babiš’s government to fall. Instead he said it would only lead to a cabinet reshuffle, with the government being supported by the Freedom and Direct Democracy party.

The president’s plan is now to reconcile the current culture minister with Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček by hosting a meeting between them in his Lány country residence on July 12.

Year-on-year decrease in drug overdoses registered in Czech Republic

The amount of drug overdoses in the Czech Republic has experienced a year-on-year decrease, according to the country's Institute of Health Information and Statistics. The Czech Republic is also the EU member state with the lowest rate of overdoses resulting in death. Statisticans registered 89 deaths, around a quarter of which were the results of suicides caused by pill overdose. Other major causes of overdose deaths in the country are through the use of methamphetamine and opioid drugs.

Agrofert's consolidated profits down by nearly two-thirds in 2018

The consolidated profit of the country's third largest company, Agrofert, sank by 63.5 percent to CZK 1.67 billion in 2018, the holding's press spokesman Karel Hanzelka told the Czech News Agency on Friday. He said the main reason behind the decrease in profits are losses in Agrofert's chemical and food production segments, this mainly due to reduced performance of the affiliated German bakery group Lienken.

The holding was founded and majority owned by current Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš until 2017, when he agreed to put his shares into a trust fund following the passing of a law that seeked to prevent a possible conflict of interest known as 'Lex Babiš'. However, a recently leaked European Commission preliminary audit found that he still has influence on the company and warned of a possible conflict of interest.

Julianne Moore awarded Crystal Globe at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

American filmstar Julianne Moore was awarded the Crystal Globe at this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Friday. The screening of After the Wedding, the new film which features her in one of the leading roles, kicked off the festival. KVIFF President Jiří Bartoška, as well as its artistic director Eva Zaoralová, were also honoured in the opening ceremony. On Sunday, attendees can look forward to catching a glimpse of another Oscar holder, Casey Affleck, who will personally present his directorial debut Light of My Life.

Annual Prague Pride march to take place on 10 August

Prague's gay pride march, Prague Pride, will take place on 10 August, the Czech News Agency Reports. The march, which has been taking place annually since 2011, will be the closing event of the week long LGBT Festival that starts on 5 August. At least 30,000 people are expected to take part this year.

Organisers Prague Pride are advocates for the legalisation of gay marriage, which is currently being debated in the Chamber of Deputies.

Weather

Sunny skies are expected across the country this weekend. Temperatures could reach up to 37 degrees Celsius on Sunday. Meteorologist's have advised locals remain hydrated and refrain from carrying heavy loads. Rain and storms are expected to arrive on Monday, although temperatures will remain high.

29-06-2019