Neither the Social Democrat presidium nor the ruling coalition partners will hold formal meetings this weekend to discuss the future of the government. The governing coalition has been threatening to break up following calls from the junior Christian Democrats for the prime minister to resign from office. Prime Minister Stanislav Gross and his wife have been under heavy criticism for failing to clear up open questions regarding their personal finances. On Friday, the Czech President Vaclav Klaus said it would be wise to hold early elections, should the coalition partners, who have a slim majority of one seat in Parliament, fail to come to an agreement soon.
The leader of the centre-right opposition Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, has said his party would only support a solution to the political crisis that leads to early elections. The party called onto cabinet to ask for a vote of confidence in parliament, if the crisis ends in anything other than early elections. Should it fail to do so, then the Civic Democrats would initiate a vote of no-confidence. Public opinion polls suggest the opposition Civic Democrats would win if parliamentary elections were held today.
A twenty-year old Czech snowboarder died in an avalanche in the High Tatra Mountains in Slovakia on Saturday. Another Czech snowboarder survived the avalanche, the Tatra Rescue Service reported. Although it snowed heavily in previous days, the area the two Czechs went snowboarding in is usually safe from life-threatening avalanches.
The Czech Republic is finding ways to cover some of the damage caused by a wildfire in the Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia, Chile. The fire, which burned down some 14,000 hectares of land, was ignited by a Czech tourist, who accidentally overturned his camping stove.
The Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has sent a letter of apology to the Chilean Foreign Ministry. The Czech government has offered to pay for some of the restoration work and some Czech charity organisations have been asked to collect donations. The Czech tourist responsible for the fire left the country after paying a fine of 200 US dollars.
Meteorologists are forecasting heavy snowfall over the next few days with day-time temperatures ranging from -3 to -7 degrees Celsius.
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