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03-07-2004

Gross to meet with the Communist Party leader to discuss support for new government

The acting leader of the Social Democratic Party, Stanislav Gross, has said he aims to discuss support for a new government with all parliamentary factions, including the Communist Party. Following talks within the Social Democrat leadership on Saturday Mr Gross said he would address the head of the Communist Party, Mr Grebenicek, over the long weekend; Monday and Tuesday are Czech holidays.

34-year-old Mr Gross, who was asked on Friday by the president to begin talks, still says, however, he will give priority to forming a new government along outgoing coalition lines - with the exception of the Freedom Union not sitting in the cabinet but tacitly supporting a minority government from the opposition.

Talks are continuing; negotiations, however, will not be easy.

Already it is clear Mr Gross cannot expect support from the Czech Republic's largest opposition party, the Civic Democrats, following a statement by their party leader Miroslav Topolanek on Friday.

Kalousek: Christian Democrats will not sit in a government tacitly supported by the Communist Party

The head of the Christian Democratic Party, Miroslav Kalousek, meanwhile, reacted to Mr Gross' announcement on Saturday by saying the Christian Democrats would not sit in any cabinet relying on tacit Communist Party support. However, he did say Mr Gross' intention to meet with Communist leader Miroslav Grebenicek was legitimate. He added he had not registered any signs Mr Gross was truly aiming for a solution with the Communist Party. It is apparent the Christian Democrats will tolerate not even so much as one communist MP vote.

Deliberations on forming a new government are expected to take some days and weeks, though Mr Kalousek refused to speculate on a final date. He said the quality of the new government took precedence.

Czech mountain biker Michal Prokop world champion in 4-cross event

Mountain biker Michal Prokop has secured enough points to crown him this year's world champion in the 4-cross event. He becomes to first Czech to do so. On Friday the rider, who races for the Czech team "Author", won the 4-cross in Calgary, Canada, following a recent first-place finish at Mont Ste-Anne, Quebec,. Mr Prokop now has 170 pts in the world cup tour, putting him miles ahead - indeed now out reach - of his nearest opponents Tschugg of Germany with 96 pts, and Bootes of France with 95.

The 4-cross event involves head-to-head racing against three other opponents on a course full of jumps and so-called "berms". The final race comes in September.

Former striker Jurgen Klinsmann includes two Czechs in all-star list

Retired legendary German football striker Jurgen Klinsmann has named two Czechs, midfielder Pavel Nedved and striker Milan Baros, to a list of all-stars from this year's Euro Championship in Portugal. The Czech team, one of the most scintillating in the tournament, went down to Greece in shock-defeat in the semi-finals. Czech striker Milan Baros appears set to clinch the title of tournament goal-scorer with 5 successful strikes. Two players on the Portugal and Greece teams would need to score a hat-trick in the final just to tie.

The regular-season Liverpool player has indicated that if he does get the prize it will hardly be consolation for his team not making the final. However, he said he may feel better about the award in a few days time.

Weather

Sunday is expected to see some sunny intervals and a chance of showers. Daytime temperatures should reach around 21 degrees Celsius.

03-07-2004