Heavy show hit most part of the Czech Republic on Saturday, causing disruption in traffic and electricity supplies. Ice has formed on roads in the most affected regions of Krknonoše and Krušné Hory in the north and north-west of the country while several railway lines including a major Prague-Ústí nad Labem route – were blocked by fallen trees. The authorities have also warned of snow-related delays on some of the country’s highways including the D1 motorway between Prague and Brno. Dozens of homes, mainly in eastern Bohemia, have been cut from electricity supplies.
The governments of the Czech Republic and Slovakia are to meet at a joint session on Monday, for the first time since the breakup of Czechoslovakia. The session will be held in the Czech town of Uherské Hradiště before moving on to Trenčín, in Slovakia. Czech and Slovak ministers will discuss cooperation of the two countries in the areas of security, energy, transportation and justice. The event will take place a day after the Czech national holiday marking the foundation of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918.
A week before the senior coalition Civic Democrat party’s election congress, Prime Minister and party chair Petr Nečas has warned against the fall of his government, the news website parlamentnilisty.cz reported. In a letter to members of his party, Mr Nečas said the cabinet would fall if agreement is not reached among Civic Democrat MPs on some of the government’s planned steps such as raising the VAT rates. The prime minister also analyzed his party’s overwhelming defeat in the recent Senate and regional elections which he blamed on the government’s failure to convince voters the country was moving in the right direction.
A Czech communist politician, Jaroslav Petelík, has denied having issued a comment on his Facebook profile suggesting the “hanging of right-wingers”, which, along with the “expropriation of entrepreneurs and their families” would improve the situation of most Czechs. Mr Petelík, who serves council member in one of Prague districts and also as an assistant to a communist MP, said it was an attack against him and his party, and accused his political opponents of posting the comment, adding he was going to file a criminal complaint over the issue.
Another two candidates – Vladimír Dlouhý and Vladimír Franz – are
planning to register next week for the direct presidential elections, the
news agency ČTK reported on Saturday. Both candidates have collected
50,000 signatures needed to enter the race. The deadline for registering
will expire on Tuesday, November 5. Mr Dlouhý, a Goldman Sachs consultant
and former government minister, will present his programme in Prague on
Wednesday, his campaign said. Theatre and opera composer Vladimír Franz
will stage a march through the capital on Monday.
Some 25 people have expressed intentions to run for the office of Czech president; polls mostly favour former PM Jan Fischer ahead of another former PM Miloš Zeman. The
People in the Zlín region, in the east of the country, took the highest number of sick days in the country in the first nine month of the year, according to figures released by the Czech Social Security Administration on Saturday. People there took on average 57 days off due to sickness, compared to the national average of over 47 days. However, the Zlín region registered an annual decrease in both the number of sick days and the cases of sick leaves. The lowest number of sick days – 37 – was registered in Prague.
The Czech Republic’s sole participant in the Kontinental Hockey League, Lev Praha, fired their head coach Josef Jandač on Saturday after a series of seven defeats, most recently 2:3 to CSKA Moscow in Prague on Thursday. The club’s general manager Normunds Sejejs, said Josef Jandač had played an important role in the build-up to Lev’s first season in the KHL but the club’s recent results were too disappointing. Lev Praha will be managed by Mr Jandač’s assistants until the international break. The club has also signed St Petersburg, and Czech international goalie Petr Štěpánek, to improve its performance.
The clocks go back one hour at 3 AM on Sunday as daylight saving time ends in the Czech Republic this year and the country switches to Central European Time (CET). The change will affect about 10 international trains which will wait at stations for one hour before moving on, a spokesman for Czech Railways said. The only exception is the Prague-bound Euronight express from Košice, in Slovakia, which not make any stops in the early hours of Sunday and will therefore reach its destination an hour early..
Defense Minister Alexander Vondra on Friday handed out awards for bravery and merit ahead of the country’s public holiday on Sunday marking the 96th anniversary of the birth of Czechoslovakia. Among those honored were SWW army veteran Karel Serak, pilot Milan Zahorsky who has served on nine foreign missions since 1992, benefactress and art collector Meda Mladkova, brain surgeon Vladimir Benes and kayaker and two-fold Olympic medal winner Stepanka Hilgertova.
There will be a re-enforced police presence in the Czech capital on Sunday since several parties and groupings have registered planned marches on the state holiday. The pro-monarchy party Ceska Koruna is expecting a turnout of several hundred people as are a number of right and leftwing groupings. Police have appealed to drivers to avoid the city centre if at all possible in view of planned traffic restrictions.