Czech number one women’s tennis player and double Wimbledon champion, Petra Kvitová, has announced that she has split with her long time coach, David Kotyza. Kotyza has been her coach for the last seven years. Kvitová said her career needed a new impulse. A replacement coach would be found in February, she added. The 25 year old player recently crashed out of the Australian Open in the second round.
Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jan Mládek and finance minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš have clashed over a 225 million crown package of incentives for a car parts and components company to expand in the country. The Social Democrat industry minister said on Monday that the aid for the INA Lanškroun firm which would help create around 900 jobs but is being blocked by Babiš. The finance minister has rebutted the claim but accused Mládek of trying to gain extra cash not cleared in his 2016 spending. The aid is focused a package of 2.5 billion crowns in spending on a new plant in Svitavy, which has one of the highest jobless rates in Eastern Bohemia.
Deputy head of the Czech upper house, the Senate, Zdeněk Škromach, has said he is preparing an amendment which would allow cyclists to legally drink more alcohol and face lower fines if they are over the limit. Škromach says the change would set a 0.8 milligram limit for alcohol and a 500 crown top fine if cyclists exceed it on cycle paths or third class roads. One of the reasons for the more relaxed rules is to encourage cyclists to go on guided routes through wine growing districts of Moravia, the lawmaker says. The maximum fine is now 50,000 crowns. Škromach failed in an attempt to introduce a similar law last year.
Long term Czech political opinion poll leaders ANO have pulled further away from their nearest rivals, the Social Democrats according to the latest survey by the STEM agency. The January results put ANO on 26.8 percent of preferences, up from December’s 24.2 percent. The Social Democrats climbed more cautiously to 21.7 percent from 20.7 percent. The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia was unchanged at 14.1 percent, TOP 09 slipped back to 6.6 percent, the Civic Democrats inched higher to 8.7 percent, and the Christian Democrats dropped almost half a percentage point to 6.2 percent.
The Czech government on Monday agreed to send more help in the form of arms to Iraq and Jordan to help their fight against Islamic State. The announcement of the new aid came in a Twitter message from prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka. Specifically, 6,500 new and used machine guns will be sent to Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Iraq together with 7 million rounds of ammunition. The same quantity of munitions will also be sent to Jordan, seen as a relative oasis of stability and opposition to IS in the region.
The Czech Republic is on the verge of a flu epidemic, the National Reference Laboratory for Flu warned on Monday. It said cases of patients with acute breathing difficulties rose by 80 percent compared with the previous seven days in the third week of the month. Around 22 serious cases of flu have already been registered and four deaths already occurred, the office said.
Around 500 people, including pupils at a secondary school, were evacuated from the centre of the country’s second city Brno on Monday after a gas explosion. Eight fire engines rushed to the scene of the explosion, where one car was damaged but no-one suffered serious injuries. The street where the explosion occurred has been closed off with expectations that it might be reopened in the afternoon.
Confidence in the overall performance of the Czech economy has risen to its highest level since the peak of the last boom in June 2008, the Czech Statistical Office announced on Monday. The office’s composite confidence index advanced by 1.9 percent points in January compared with the previous month. The rise was largely due to more optimism among consumers but producers’ sentiment is also at its strongest level for the last five years, the office said.
Women’s tennis player Barbora Strýcová has been knocked out of the Australian Open, after being beaten 2:6, 4:6 by two-time champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus on Sunday for the third time in a row. The last Czech player to remain in the singles tournament is top Czech men’s player Tomáš Berdych, who will face Roger Federer in Tuesday’s quarter-finals.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has announced he has prepared a draft treaty according to which children with Czech citizenship living in Norway should be handed to their parents, he said in a Sunday debate on Prima TV. The head of state added that the treaty is to help in cases where children with Czech citizenship are taken away from their parents by the Norwegian social service Barnevernet. In January, social services in Norway in January removed a seriously ill nine-month-old baby from the care of its Czech mother and Norwegian father and last year a Norwegian court ruled that two Czech boys were to be put up for adoption. Mr Zeman has previously accused the Norwegian welfare service of kidnapping children.