The make-up of the outgoing cabinet could change if the seventh attempt at electing a new lower house speaker fails, the acting chairman of the lower house of Parliament, Lubomir Zaoralek, said on Sunday. Two months after the parliamentary elections, the country has neither a new government nor a new lower house chairman. The outgoing cabinet contains ministers of the Freedom Union, which did not make it into parliament this June. With important decision-making ahead, such as next year's state budget, these ministers could be replaced Mr Zaoralek said.
The post-election deadlock has been complicated further with no new prime minister named, says Green Party leader Martin Bursik. In a televised debate on Sunday, Mr Bursik said party representatives might as well go off to their cottages as President Klaus has not entrusted anyone with the forming of a new government. Mr Bursik believes the President would like to see some kind of an alliance between the Civic Democrats and the Social Democrats in government to get him re-elected for a second term in 2008. A statement issued by the Presidential Office says Mr Klaus considers the allegations offensive.
Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda says the Czech Republic will not take part in an international military presence in Lebanon. He also said it is certain that the Czech Republic will be asked to take part in a US anti-missile defence programme, either by hosting an entire anti-missile base or with the approval of the presence of radars on Czech territory.
The number of unemployed university graduates in the Czech Republic has been on the decrease and is now the lowest in eight years. Michaela Klenhova from the Institute for Education Information attributes this development to three factors. One factor is that the country's economy is growing. The other is the demographic trend which has seen more people retire and open job opportunities for the younger generation. Thirdly, the new employment law that has been in effect since January 1 reduces unemployment benefits for fresh graduates, forcing them to look for jobs more intensely.
Long-distance swimmer Yvetta Hlavacova has set a new women's world record for swimming the English Channel. Hlavacova completed the 36 km swim in seven hours 25 minutes. The swimmer hoped to set a record both ways but gave up after some 14 hours, with only around 12 km to go, due to exhaustion. On Sunday morning, long-distance swimmer David Cech also set out to swim La Manche.
The next few days will remain cloudy with scattered showers. Meteorologists warn of heavy rain in some parts of the country that could raise water levels in smaller rivers and flood basements. Daytime temperatures will hover around the mid-teens and will not exceed 20 degrees Celsius.
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