Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech saw three goals go past him in the 3:1 away defeat against Chelsea. Čech was largely help responsible for a soft third goal against the visitors by his old club. Arsenal pulled back a goal in the last seconds. The match had been billed as a must win for Arsenal to get their league title chances back on track. Chelsea now head the league by 12 points with Tottenham still to play.
Czech Christian Democrats have decided to push ahead with a coalition with the STAN party of mayors and independents looking ahead to upcoming parliamentary elections. The move was cleared after delegates from across the country met in Brno to discuss partnership and even integration possibilities with other centre parties. Some party leaders have voiced concern about losing their identity. The discussions were focused on the mayors and independents party, STAN. It’s leadership earlier in the week approved the leadership to launch talks with the Christian Democrats with a view to the upcoming parliamentary elections due in October. STAN leader Petr Gazdik attended the Brno meeting and said that an integrated centre party could be a viable alternative to the biggest Czech political parties. STAN was previously in partnership with the centre-right TOP 09 party. The Christian Democrats are the junior coalition government party. They won just short of 7 percent support and 14 seats in the previous lower house elections after making a comeback after earlier being eliminated from the lower house in the 2010 elections.
Police in the Western spa city of Karlovy Vary are investigations that hackers got into the account of a local businessmen and took out around 500,000 crowns. The businessmen says the attack probably occurred when he was on holiday in Africa and using a local wi-fi connection. He received warnings four times that attempts were made to hack his e-mail. Later he found cash from his own bank account had been transferred into a bit coin account. Police have been dealing with many similar attacks. Recently they were called to deal with the attempts by one gang to get pin codes and passes over social media sites. As a result they were able to steal around 8.0 million crowns.
Confidence in the Czech president slipped in January but that in the Czech government rose, according to the latest by the agency CVVM. Confidence in president Miloš Zeman dropped by three percentage points to 53 percent. That in the government rose on the other hand by three percentage points to 42 percent. Confidence in parliament climbed four percentage points to 31 percent. Czechs describing themselves as content with the political situation rose by five percentage points but still only reached 22 percent.
Czech foreign minister offers Serbian participation in 1918 centenary celebrations Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek has completed a trip to the Serbian capital Belgrade where he met with his counterpart Ivica Dačić. The Czech minister stressed the importance of Serbia for overall peace in the Balkans and in Central Europe and offered help to pave the way for Serbia joining the European Union. Lubomír Zaorálek proposed that Serbia take part in the Czech celebrations of the 100 years since the creation of Czechoslovakia in 1918. 1918 is also the anniversary of the creation of Yugoslavia, which was an early ally and partner of Czechoslovakia.
In tennis, the Czech team have gone down an irretrievable 3:0 in the first round Davis Cup tie against Australia in Melbourne. In the doubles, Jiří Vesely and Jan Šátral lost in straight sets to the Australian pairing of Sam Groth and John Peers 3:6, 2:6, and 2:6. The Czechs had already lost their opening singles ties. The Czech team will now face play-offs to remain in the top 16 group of countries in the World Group. The weakened Czech team was without Tomáš Berdych and Lukáš Rosol.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said that the European Union should in future work to secure the security of its citizens but not erect any barriers to the functioning of the single market. It should also attempt to bridge the gulf in the living standards of those in different countries, he added. Government leaders and heads of state at an EU summit in Malta discussed how a document reformulating and restating the EU’s future should look. Members of the Central European Visegrad group, including the Czech Republic, will work jointly on preparations. Leaders also dealt with the immigration issue and agreed that cooperation with Libya to boost its policing of its coastline and land borders is now more important than ever. While immigration flows through Turkey were down by a third in 2016, those through the so-called Central route targeting Italy still came to around 180,000 last year. Sobotka told journalists that the EU could not expect multilateral treaties from the new US president Donald Trump and should expect increased pressure from Washington to increase their defense spending.
Minister of Justice Robert Pelikan has said he will drop proposals focused on a reform of the state prosecution service. The reforms have been prepared after two years of discussions and consultations with attorneys. They included the intention to create a special team of prosecutors to deal with complicated corruption cases. Pelikan said his move follows what he claims are lower house moves to push in the opposite direction and weaken prosecutors’ powers by preventing their involvement in criminal investigations and having a say in choosing the police officers piloting them. The minister added that he feared the final result if the proposed reform was tabled now.
A war of words between Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and ANO leader and finance minister Andrej Babiš escalated on Friday when the prime minister used a vulgar term to describe Babiš’ use of an alleged tax dodge. Sobotka added that Babiš was guilty of hypocrisy by taking advantage of so-called one crown bonds from his agro-chemical company Agrofert to avoid paying taxes. The Social Democrat leader added that at the same time Babiš portrayed himself as leading the fight against tax evasion and threw Babiš’ own words back at him by describing it as a farce. Babiš’ argues that the financial instrument was perfectly legal when he took advantage of it. He added that Sobotka was showing a new style in his communication. Media reports say the financial instrument could save Babiš an estimated 150 million crowns in tax payments. Babiš later announced that he had moved his Agrofert assets to a sovereign fund which will be overseen by a three person committee including his partner. The move should comply with new conflict of interest rules for ministers.