Forecasters have warned of severe frosts in eastern Bohemia and north-east Moravia and Silesia overnight on Sunday. Temperatures in some areas of Moravia could fall to minus 16 degrees Celsius. The sharp frost is good news for some vineyards specialising in so-called ice wine, where grapes are left to freeze before collection. A second frost of at least minus seven degrees is required before harvesting and that is now guaranteed in southern Moravia. Such wine is reputed to have a higher sugar content.
Former Czech president and founder of the Civic Democrat party Václav Klaus has said the migration crisis is a means for the Brussels based elite to push for a united Europe. Klaus said on commercial broadcaster Prima that the Brussels elite wanted to use the crisis to diminish national powers and was acting in a coldly calculated fashion. The ambitions were not so different from the plans of Hitler and Stalin for re-shaping the continent, he added. Klaus has recently said he wants to be at the head of a cross party movement which would bolster opposition to immigration. Klaus added the Czech government had been too passive in its opposition.
Czech tennis player Jiří Veselý has got off to a winning start in the Hopman Cup. Veselý beat former world number one, Australian Lleyton Hewitt 6:3, 6:7, 6:4. The Czech took a 3:0 in the third set but failed to serve out at 5:2. Veselý is teamed up with Karolína Plíšková for the combination of internal team singles and doubles events being played at Perth, Australia.
Lawmakers in the lower house of parliament have called for an examination in the operation of the State Institute for Drug Control amid failures of its IT system and reports that it cannot perform its functions properly. The institute has been in a long-term dispute with the provider of its IT systems. This has led to the loss of some databases. The system was reported to have collapsed altogether before Christmas resulting in patients being unable to claim medicaments with electronic receipts. The institute, tasked with controlling the availability and price of drugs, says reports of the problems are exaggerated.
Organisers have been forced to curtail the famous cross country Jizerská 50 event next weekend because of the lack of snow. The circuit will be limited to between four and six kilometres with the event now spaced out over three days. Conditions have now allowed the creation of artificial snow but a natural snowfall of around 30 centimetres would be necessary for the event to return to its usual format. Forecasters say that is very unlikely in the next days. Around 4,000 contestants have already signed up for the event.
In the Under 20 Ice Hockey world championships, the Czech team have been knocked out in the quarterfinals by the US. The Czechs were defeated by a wide 7:0 by a much more clinical opponent in front of goal. The Czech coach admitted the plan to try to hold the US to zero and hit them on the break failed. US player Austin Matthews racked up a hat-trick. The Czech team finishes fifth overall. The US go on to face Russia in the semi-final. The other tie matches Sweden and Finland.
Czech Dakar Rally debutant driver Martin Prokop made a great start to the competition with a 14th position after the first race in Buenos Aires. Prokop trailed first placed Dutchman Bernhard Ten Brink by just 13 seconds. In the motorcycle section, David Pabiška was the best placed Czech with a 37th place, trailing the leader by 38 seconds. The trucks part of the competition did not take place after accidents in which bystanders were hurt.
Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka and president Miloš Zeman met for the traditional get together of head of government and state at Lány on Saturday. Sobotka and Zeman have clashed in recent months over the government’s stand on immigrants, with the president notably sharing the podium with the leader of the Anti Islamic bloc on the national holiday of November 17. The president did however give credit to the government’s economic achievements in his Christmas speech. Even Saturday’s traditional meeting was the subject of acrimony with an argument over whether wives would be invited along as well.
After an abnormally hot December, the Czech weather office is predicting temperatures in January will be well above the average as well. Daytime temperatures for the first three weeks of the month are expected to stay above zero, ranging between 1 and 3 degrees Celsius. At night they will fall to between minus 2 and minus five Celsius. Rain is expected to be higher than usual but will only turn to snow on the mountains.
The Czech town of Havlíčkuv Brod is gearing up for the 80th international singing competition for Harz canaries next week. Around 30 breeders from the Czech Republic, a dozen from neighbouring Slovakia, and half a dozen from Austria are expected to participate this year in an event which has been held without interruption since 1936. Czech breeders of the canary have dwindled from the 1960s, when there were around 3,000. The female canaries sing best after Christmas and in January with the males reaching a peak performance a few months later.