President Vaclav Klaus has re-appointed Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek prime minister and asked him to make a fresh attempt at forming a new government. Mr Topolanek was first appointed prime minister in August after a general election that left the 200-seat lower house of parliament equally divided between right- and left-wing parties. But he failed to win a vote of confidence from parliament in October and was forced to resign after only 38 days in the job.
Meanwhile, the Civic Democratic Party has launched informal talks on forming a new government and expects Mirek Topolanek to report on their results to the President next week, party deputy head Petr Necas said on Wednesday.
The Social Democrats say they expect Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek to submit in writing his proposed solutions to the current political situation. Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek said at a news conference on Wednesday that a potential agreement between the Civic Democrats and his Social Democrats should be "public, transparent and crystal clear". On Tuesday the party expressed willingness to discuss support for a minority Civic Democrat cabinet with a limited two year mandate. On Wednesday, party chairman Jiri Paroubek admitted the possibility of a grand coalition of the Civic and Social Democrats.
President Vaclav Klaus has appointed Jaroslav Bures as deputy chairman of the Supreme Court. Mr Bures is now a deputy to Iva Brozova whom President Klaus unsuccessfully tried to dismiss earlier this year. Ms Brozova was injured in a car accident in May and is to be out of office until the end of the year. She said that Mr Bures's appointment was in breach of the Constitution as the Supreme Court should have only one deputy chairperson. During Ms Brozova's absence, the court has been headed by its deputy chairman Pavel Kucera.
The Czech Foreign Ministry says that the official approval of the operation of the Temelin nuclear plant by the South Bohemian regional authorities was in line with Czech legislation, dismissing protests coming from neighbouring Austria. According to Austrian MPs, the Czech Republic did not officially inform Austria of the step. Some Austrian officials say the move was in breach of the 2001 Czech-Austrian agreement of Melk concerning the security of the plant. The plant was officially approved last Friday, six years after construction was finished. The document became legally binding on Monday.
The plant, situated some 60 kilometres away from the Austrian border, has been widely criticised by certain Austrian politicians as well as Austrian and Czech environmentalists, who claim that it is dangerous.
The number of cases of tick-borne encephalitis has increased by 70 percent compared to last year, according to a report by the State Health Authority. 890 people got infected this year - the highest number in the last decade. Experts attribute this year's increase to a hot summer with many tropical days and also to a larger number of infected insects. Only ten percent of Czechs have been vaccinated against tick-borne encephalitis, a disease which can cause permanent neurological damage and - in some cases - death.
The following days are expected to be partly cloudy to overcast, with scattered showers and daytime temperatures between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius.
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