The coalition agreement between the Social Democrats, ANO and the Christian Democrats will be signed on January 6, Social Democrat leader Bohuslav Sobotka said on Sunday. Speaking after a meeting with representatives of the other two parties, Mr Sobotka said the new government would have eight Social Democrat ministers, six nominated by the ANO party, and three by the Christian Democrats. While Mr Sobotka will be the prime minister of the coalition cabinet, ANO leader Andrej Babiš said he would become the finance minister; the Christian Democrats suggested earlier that their leader, Pavel Bělobrádek, would serve as the new minister of agriculture.
President Miloš Zeman on Sunday signed next year’s state budget into law. The budget projects a deficit of 112 billion crowns, 12 billion more than this year. Lawmakers however believe the deficit will not exceed 3 percent of the Czech GDP. The budget, put forth by the outgoing interim government, won backing of 119 MPs of the emerging coalition earlier this week. The centre-right Civic Democrat and TOP 09 parties, meanwhile, said it was neither an austerity nor pro-growth budget.
Former High State Attorney in Prague, Vlastimil Rampula, former deputy
interior minister Michal Moroz and current MP for the Dawn party Radim
Fiala are among those implicated in a high-profile corruption case which
led to the fall of PM Petr Nečas’ government in June, the news agency
ČTK reported on Sunday citing Monday’s edition of the weekly Euro. The
magazine quotes a report by an supervising state attorney for the
Constitutional Court. The report says the former officials took part in
manipulating the selection process for positions within the police and
state prosecution. The weekly alleges that the former officials worked in
the pay of Ivo Ritting, a Prague entrepreneur who is in the centre of the
The case also implicated former PM Petr Nečas’ chief-of-staff, Jana Nagyová, who allegedly ordered officers of the country’s military intelligence to spy on Mr Nečas’ then wife. The scandal led to the fall of Petr Nečas’ government in June.
In related news, the police on Sunday released video footage of the arrest of Jana Nagyová, the former chief of staff of then prime minister Petr Nečas, and how his wife. The head of the organized crime unit of the police, Robert Šlachta said the footage was released to defend the unit against accusations that its members used excessive force against Ms Nagyová, and that the police intervention was inadequate. The video shows police officers knocking on the door of Ms Nagyová’s apartment; as no one answers, they are getting ready to open the door by force. Ms Nagyová however eventually does open the door and is seen talking with the officers.
Fog, snow drifts and icy roads are causing traffic problems in parts of the Czech Republic, mainly in the central Vysočina region and north Moravia. The area around Jihlava and Třebíč is particularly affected, with frost-covered trees falling onto roads. The major D1 motorway between Prague and Brno is kept clear but dense fog limits visibility. Drivers have been asked to exercise extra caution.
The police in Prague have arrested a man who was transporting some 500 marihuana plants in the trunk of a stolen car. The man was pulled over in the central Wilsonova street but said he only borrowed the car from a friend. However, the officers noted cannabis odour emanating from the trunk where they found hundreds of young cannabis plants, a spokeswoman for the force said. The man is facing five in prison.
West Bromwhich striker Matěj Vydra scored his first Premier League. In Saturday’s match against Hull City, the 21-year-old Czech tied the game in the 86th minute, setting the final score at 1:1. Vydra, who is on loan from the Italian side Udinese, had been on the pitch for less than 20 minutes when he got his first premiership strike.
The New Jersey Devils’ Jaromír Jágr scored his 694th goal in the NHL on Saturday night, tying Marc Messier for seventh place in the league’s all-time goal list. The 41-year-old Czech player added two assists in the game, contributing to his team’s 5:4 overtime win against the Washington Capitals. Another Czech in the Devils’ line-up, Marek Židlický, scored two goals in the game while Patrik Eliáš had two assists.
The Czech national hockey team beat Russia 2:1 on Sunday to finish first at the Channel One Cup, a pre-Olympic tournament in Sochi. The Czechs were one goal down when the hosts converted a penalty just after the start of the second period but scored two goals within the next four minutes; the hits came from Tomáš Naosek and Jiří Novotný. The Czech team previously beat Finland and Sweden at the event.
The Christian Democrats on Saturday accepted the latest proposal for the distribution of government seats, paving the way for a coalition with the Social Democrat and ANO parties. The Christian Democrats agreed to take over the agriculture and culture ministries and to have deputy prime minister without portfolio. The three parties that have been in coalition talks for weeks have cleared all policy issues; however, the distribution of ministerial position remained unresolved until the Social Democrats on Friday agreed to the Christian Democrats taking over the Ministry of Agriculture.