The Czech women’s number one Karolína Plíšková has knocked another
compatriot out of tennis’s French Open. After overcoming Barbora
Krejčíková in the first round in Paris, the 26-year-old beat Lucie
Šafářová in the second on Thursday.
However, Plíšková had to come from behind before winning 3-6 6-4 6-1 against Šafářová, who has hinted she may quit tennis this year.
President Miloš Zeman will appoint ANO leader Andrej Babiš prime minister
of the Czech Republic for the second time on Wednesday next week. A
previous ANO government named by the head of state failed to win the
necessary approval in the Czech lower house. Mr. Babiš told journalists
about Mr. Zeman’s intention following a meeting between the two men at
the president’s retreat near Prague. The ANO chief also said his
government could undergo a confidence vote in the week beginning July 10.
The president had previously said he would appoint Mr. Babiš PM again before the result of an internal Social Democratic Party ballot on whether to enter a minority coalition with ANO. That vote will end in mid-June.
Mr. Zeman favours an ANO-Social Democrats government supported by the Communist Party on key votes in the Chamber of Deputies.
The importance of the Pittsburgh Agreement was recalled in an event at the
Czech Senate on Wednesday evening. Senate deputy chairman Jaroslav Kubera,
Slovak ambassador Peter Weiss and US ambassador Stephen B. King were among
those who attended the ceremony, which came on the eve of the 100th
anniversary of the document’s signing.
The Pittsburgh Agreement was a memorandum of understanding between the Czech and Slovak communities in the US to create an independent Czechoslovakia. It was signed on May 31, 1918 and the new country came into existence in October of that year.
Two black-painted trams adorned with written excuses frequently proffered
by passengers without tickets have gone into service in Prague.
The Czech term for free riders is “black passenger” and the trams are part of a campaign entitled “Are you riding black?”
Also part of the drive is an offer of half-price fines for free riding if the offending passenger purchases a yearly pass.
The anti-corruption group Transparency International says the acting ANO
government has made more layoffs of senior civil servants than it
previously admitted. The government says that 23 top jobs were discontinued
in December due to reorganisation. But Transparency International says the
actual figure was 37.
The ANO prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, said at the time that the state administration was bloated and that reorganisation could save up to CZK 18 million.
A lower house debate on statements made about Novichok by Czech President
Miloš Zeman ended before it began on Thursday. Only 40 deputies declared
themselves present for the Christian Democrat-tabled discussion. As the
quorum for the lower house is 57 declared MPs, the speaker abandoned the
Other deputies were actually in the chamber but had declined to place their voting cards in their voting devices. The Mayors and Independents Vít Rakušan described the situation as a new level of obstruction.
Critics were angered after Mr. Zeman claimed that a small amount of Novichok had been produced and tested in this country. The nerve agent was in the news after the poisoning of two Russians led the UK and other states, including the Czech Republic, to expel Russian diplomats.
The number of non-smokers in the Czech Republic rose by 3.5 percent between
2016 and 2017, according to new data released on Thursday. Last year 24
percent of respondents in an annual survey conducted by the State Health
Institute said that they were smokers.
The latest figures were released on the first anniversary of the introduction of a ban on smoking in Czech bars and restaurants.
The acting health minister, Adam Vojtěch, said the prohibition was influencing the number of smokers in view of the fact that young people were the biggest smokers and many of them begin the habit in bars and nightclubs.
Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš will meet with head of state, president
Miloš Zeman, on Thursday at his country retreat to discuss progress in
forming a government. The search for a stable government has been ongoing
since elections last October gave ANO a clear win but short of a majority
in the 200-seat lower house.
ANO leader Babiš is expected to fil in details about the composition of a new government and when it might be named. President Zeman has already said that he will give Babiš a second chance at forming a government whatever the outcome of an internal party referendum within the Social Democrat party over whether they will enter a coalition with ANO.
The Russian embassy in Prague has denied that former WWII Red Army marshal
Ivan Konev took part in the planning of the 1968 Soviet Pact invasion of
Czechoslovakia to suppress the reformist communist movement in the country.
The embassy pointed out that Konev had already retired from an active role in the army in April 1963 and had been transferred to the army general inspectorate. It added that there was no archive proof of his participation in the 1968 preparations.
The denial comes as the Prague 6 district is reported to be preparing to put a plaque on a monumental statue of Marshal Konev describing his preparations in the 1968 invasion. The statue is a frequent target for attacks. Konev led the Red Army forces that entered Prague at the end of the Second World War.