Tributes have been paid to Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the former head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, who died on Saturday. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka described the cardinal as a respected man who was not afraid to follow his conscience. The chairman of the Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, said that he had had a difficult task in helping the church come to terms with the results of Communist dictatorship and find a place in democratic society after 1989. Culture Minister Daniel Herman, who had been Cardinal Vlk’s secretary in the 1990s, said he was among the greatest figures he had had the honour to know.
The Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecká has once again won the big Crystal Globe in the Snowboard World Cup. Ledecká’s second place in the parallel slalom in the alpine section of the competition at the German resort of Winterberg on Saturday – the final event of the season – gave her an overall victory on points.
The former head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, has died at the age of 84. His successor in that post, Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka, announced the news on his Twitter account on Saturday. Cardinal Vlk had been suffering from lung cancer. He was ordained in June 1968 during the Prague Spring but had his license to minister revoked in the late 1970s and worked as a window cleaner in Prague while also conducting underground services. Pope John Paul II appointed him Archbishop of Prague in 1991 and made him a cardinal three years later. Miloslav Vlk stepped down as head of the Czech Roman Catholic church in 2010.
Regional development minister Karla Šlechtová has evidently become the first senior Czech female politician to come out as a lesbian, Blesk.cz reported. The ANO representative told the crowd at the Queer Ball event in Prague on Friday night that the lesbian and gay community was her community. Ms. Šlechtová recently supported a campaign calling for homosexual couples with children to have equal parenthood rights, saying children required parents: “ideally two, responsible and loving”.
The top Czech women’s tennis player Karolína Plíšková has been knocked out in the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in the US. The world number three lost 6-7 6-7 to Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia in Friday’s match. Plíšková, who is 24, reached the same stage of the competition last season.
The governor of the Czech National Bank says the Czech Republic may not consider adopting the common European currency for another five years. In an interview for the news site Denik.cz, Jiří Rusnok said there would be no ideal moment for politicians to decide on joining the euro. However, the central bank head said he would first like to see Czech price levels become closer to EU averages and for the Eurozone to resolve its own problems stemming from the financial crisis, including the Greek question and unsound banks.
Czech biathlete Gabriela Koukalová finished fourth in the women's 7.5km at the World Cup in Oslo on Friday, enough for her to clinch the sprint Crystal Globe with a total of 377 points. Germany's Laura Dahlmeier had been on track to take the globe, but a 31st-place finish on Friday – her worst result of the season – erased her advantage. She finished on 373 points - four short of the Czech.
A new poll by the STEM agency suggests that if the parliamentary election were held today, ANO would finish comfortably ahead of other parties to make it into the lower house. According to STEM, ANO would receive 27 percent of the vote and the Social Democrats, who head the current government, just 15 percent. The Communists would come third, with just under 14 percent. The survey projects that centre-right parties such as the Christian Democrats, the Civic Democrats and TOP 09 would finish in the single digits, within striking distance of each other, but pass the five percent threshold needed to make it into the lower house. The Pirate Party would win seats, with 5.5 percent. STAN, considering running together with the Christian Democrats, would pick up just 2.5 percent.
Meteorologists have warned that most of the Czech Republic, with the exception of southern and southeast Moravia, will be hit by up to 70 km/h strong winds. A low-level warning has been issued for most regions and will remain in place from 9 am to 10 pm. Residents have been advised, for example, to secure garden furniture, garden tools and scaffolding as well as to protect greenhouses.