The Prime Minister and acting head of the Social Democrats Stanislav Gross has been nominated for the post of party chairman by the Central Bohemian branch of the party. So far Mr Gross has received eleven nominations from regional branches while his challenger Labour and Social Affairs Minister, Zdenek Skromach, has received only one. The Social Democrat Party will elect its new chairman at a national congress in March.
Prime Minister Stanislav Gross has said he won't comment further on how he financed the purchase of his luxury apartment in Prague. Recently the daily Mlada Fronta Dnes found out Mr Gross's flat cost more than he had officially earned. The controversy surrounding the purchase took a new turn on Friday when former journalist Rostislav Rod said he had lent money to Mr Gross's uncle, who in turn lent some of it to the prime minister. The daily Mlada Fronta Dnes says this is a third explanation the public have been given by Mr Gross's family since the controversy broke out.
Czech officials have refused to reveal details about the companies that had submitted preliminary offers for the state's 51.1 percent stake in the telecommunications company Cesky Telecom. The deadline for submitting non-binding offers passed on Thursday. Six European telecommunications companies - France Telecom, Belgacom, Swisscom, Telefonica, TDC and Vodafone - as well as four financial groups had shown interest in taking control of Cesky Telecom. Denmark's TDC, however, announced that it had decided to pull out of the tender.
Unusually good skiing conditions have attracted thousands of skiers to Bohemian and Moravian mountains, causing traffic jams on the narrow mountain roads. The Mountain Rescue Service recommends to skiers to leave their cars in special car parks in lower altitudes and use trains or shuttle buses instead. Some towns have even stopped allowing cars in. Most mountain resorts report between 60 and 220 centimetres of snow, clear skies and daytime temperatures slightly above zero degrees Celsius.
The Czech men's tennis number one, Jiri Novak, has reached the semi-finals of the Millennium International Championships at Delray Beach, Florida, after beating seventh-seeded Kenneth Carlsen of Denmark 6:3 7:5 on Friday. Second-seeded Novak will play South African Wesley Moody on Saturday. It is Novak's first tournament of the season; the 29-year-old took January off to spend time with his family.
The weather should continue to be sunny to partly cloudy with daytime temperatures hovering around zero degrees Celsius.
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