The Czech Republic’s men’s tennis team have reached the playoffs for
the elite World Group in the Davis Cup. The Czechs made it 3:1 against
Israel with a doubles win in Ostrava on Saturday for an unassailable lead
on games in the best of five series.
The draw for the playoffs takes place next Wednesday. The Czech Republic won the Davis Cup in 2012 and 2013.
The acting minister of justice, Robert Pelikán of ANO, will not be in the
next government and is set to quit politics. Mr. Pelikán made the
announcement in an interview for the news site aktuálně.cz. He said he
planned to leave the Chamber of Deputies but did not specify when.
Mr. Pelikán said he had made the decision due to differences of outlook with ANO. However, he said he would remain a member of the party.
The minister said he had been weighing up the move for some time. He said his decision to extradite alleged hacker Yevgeny Nikulin to the US was also a factor; the response from some political quarters was hostile and he did not wish this to make forming a new government harder, Mr. Pelikán said.
ANO chief Andrej Babiš has come out against early elections as a possible
solution to the ongoing political impasse in the Czech Republic. Speaking
on Saturday, the prime minister in resignation said nobody wanted snap
elections. He said another solution must be sought as everybody was now
tired of the situation
Mr. Babiš said he had come under fire but parties such as the Civic Democrats and had ruled out forming a coalition with ANO soon after elections in October, in which his party received almost 30 percent.
The Civic Democrats and other groupings refuse to work with a government headed by a prime minister facing criminal charges. Mr. Babiš is accused of abusing EU subsidies.
His indictment was also a point of contention during coalition talks with the Social Democrats, which collapsed this week.
Workers at carmakers Škoda Auto look set to get a pay rise amounting to 20
percent, the Czech News Agency reported. Individual unions at the
country’s biggest exporter have approved a management pay offer that
would see basic salaries rise by 12 percent, valid from April 1. A union
umbrella group must still rubberstamp the offer.
Counting overtime, Škoda employees should see their pay packets expand by over 20 percent. Last year workers at the company got an average of CZK 40,557 a month. The new pay deal should be in place for a one-year period.
The Social Democrats are on Saturday marking the 140th anniversary of the
party’s establishment. The grouping was founded at the still extant pub U
Kaštanu in the Prague 6 district on 7 April 1878 under the name Social
Democratic Czechoslavonic Party in Austria.
It was the second biggest party in the period following the establishment of Czechoslovakia. After 1948 it was swallowed into the Communist Party.
During the 1990s the Social Demcorats became a major electoral force under the leadership of current president Miloš Zeman. In the last elections the party suffered a major setback, coming sixth with just over 7 percent of the vote after heading the previous government.
The acting Czech prime minister, ANO’s Andrej Babiš, says the position
of President Miloš Zeman will be key as regards further steps to form a
new government. Mr. Babiš is due to consult with the head of state on
Talks between ANO and the Social Democrats on forming a minority government that would be backed by the Communists broke down on Thursday night.
The sticking point in the negotiations was the Social Democrats’ demand that the party head the Ministry of the Interior. Mr. Babiš told Czech Television he could only imagine that was so they could “cover something up”.
The acting PM also said that the Social Democrats had not expressed interest in the labour and social affairs portfolio, which was close to their manifesto.
There should be no more than 12 apartments in social housing units planned
by the Ministry for Regional Development, the Czech News Agency has learned
following meetings between ministry representatives, the Platform for
Social Housing and MPs from the Pirate Party. Under the plan, the state and
not municipalities would pay for social housing facilities’ construction.
In the past the Platform as well as the Pirates took issue with plans for new social housing facilities over the worry that the plan to lead to the creation of more generic shelters than genuine “anonymous” apartments. The concentration of families on the brink of poverty or social exclusion could lead to ghettoization and additional problems. The Pirate Party has cited studies showing the importance of proper housing for peoples’ well-being and general overall success.
A majority of Czechs say they wouldn’t want to have drug addicts,
alcoholics, or individuals with criminal pasts as their neighbours,
according to a new poll by the CVVM agency conducted in the month of March.
Eighty-seven percent said they would not tolerate having drug addicts next
door, 73 percent said they couldn’t live next to an alcoholic, and 72
percent, next to someone with a criminal record.
Sixty-one percent said they would have an issue with living next to someone
with mental illness (a drop of nine percent compared to the previous
Thirty-one percent of those polled said they wouldn’t like to live next to a foreigner or someone with a different skin colour. More than 1,000 people took part in the survey.
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