Daily news summary News

20-02-2005

President Klaus and Prime Minister Gross to meet on Sunday evening to discuss 'coalition crisis'

President Vaclav Klaus was due to meet on Sunday evening with the embattled Prime Minister, Stanislav Gross, who is under pressure to resign his post from both opposition leaders and a junior party in the ruling government coalition. Mr Klaus, on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, told journalists on Sunday before his return to Prague that the two would discuss the latest developments in what he called the coalition crisis.

Gross refuses to resign, claims Christian Democrats 'violated' coalition agreement by asking him to do so

For his part, Stanislav Gross said on Sunday that he would not resign, and said that the Christian Democrats had violated the coalition agreement by calling on him to do so. Mr Gross said that he did not believe that the Christian Democrats could remain in his government if its leaders continued to question his trustworthiness. Party chairman Miroslav Kalousek, after meeting privately with Mr Gross the previous day, had told journalists that the prime minister should step down for having failed to provide clear answers over the questionable financing of his luxury Prague flat, and his wife's business dealings.

Skinheads from Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia attend concert near Opava

Some 150 skinheads from the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland attended a concert near the Moravian border town of Opava late on Saturday night. The mayor of Jamnice denied organisers permission to hold the concert in the town's cultural centre, but they found another venue some 25 kilometres away, in Suche Lazce. Police videotaped the gathering of far-right extremists, and are still reviewing the footage, but said that no related incidents of violence were reported as of Sunday.

Repairs on 'panelak' apartment blocs way behind schedule

The Czech state last year helped to repair over 17,000 flats in the modern apartment blocs known colloquially as "panelaky", about 3,700 flats more than in 2003. The general director of the Union of developers and builders said that to keep the apartment blocs in ideal condition, about 100,000 flats per year would need to be repaired. But cooperatives often fail to agree on scheduling repairs, and private owners are reluctant to pay for maintenance on building occupied primarily by people paying regulated rent.

Cermak and Friedl win second ATP Tour doubles title

And now to the sport: It was a big weekend for Czech tennis. In the doubles final at the Brazil Open on Saturday, Frantisek Cermak and Leos Friedl won their second consecutive ATP Tour title, beating Argentina's Jose Acasuso and Ignacio Gonzalez King 6-4, 6-4. On Monday, fourth seeded Andre Agassi of the United States faces off against the Czech Radek Stepanek in the first round pairings of the Dubai Open Tennis Championship. Stepanek, an up-and-comer now seeded 12th, marked an upset win last year against the defending champion, Roger Federer of Switzerland.

Weather

More light snow is expected throughout the weekend, with temperatures dropping to minus 8 degrees Celsius during the night.

20-02-2005