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Poll puts ANO on 33%, Freedom and Direct Democracy on 5.5%

Government leaders ANO would have come first in elections at the turn of February and March with 33 percent support, suggests a poll carried out by the Kantar CZ agency for Czech Television. The Czech Pirate Party would have come second on 19 percent, ahead of the Civic Democrats on 13.5 percent, the survey indicates.

The poll puts the Social Democrats, the junior partner in the governing coalition, on 6.5 percent, half a percentage point ahead of the Communists.

Some 5.5 percent of respondents said they would have cast their ballots from Freedom and Direct Democracy, while 5 percent would have done so for the Christian Democrats.

Neither TOP 09 or the Mayors and Independents would make the 5 percent threshold, the survey indicates.

Man arrested after refugees found in van on Czech motorway

The police on Thursday arrested a Latvian man who was found to have 13 refugees from Iraq in the back of a van he was driving, Czech Television reported on Sunday. The driver, who is 35, has been remanded in custody in Brno after being picked up on the D1 motorway in the Vysočina region.

The group of refugees included children. Some of the migrants were handed over to the Slovak authorities on Saturday while the rest are being held at a detention centre in the Czech Republic. The police said they had been picked up in Romania and were bound for the UK.

Warm winter means consumers can expect rebates on heating payments

A relatively warm winter meant most Czech heating plants produced less heat year on year, according to the Association for District Heating. In consequence many consumers will have made savings on their heating bills. A number of heating plants have described the winter just ended as the worst in some years, the Czech News Agency said.

The head of the Association for District Heating said many households could expect rebates on heating payments once yearly consumption was calculated.

Czech News Agency: CR to play major role in transport of gas via Nord Stream 2

The Czech Republic will play a major role in the transport of Russian natural gas via the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the Czech News Agency said on Sunday. The great majority of the gas it will carry from the Baltic Sea in Russia to Germany will pass through Czech territory, it said.

A deputy minister of industry and trade, René Neděla, said that the EUR 3 billion project would have a positive impact on the Czech gas industry.

There is some political opposition to Nord 2, which is seen as boosting Russia’s influence, with European Council President Donald Tusk describing it as a mistake that will not best serve European interests.

New law to bar healers with criminal records

New legislation will bar healers and alternative medicine practitioners who do not have clean criminal records, Novinky.cz reported on Sunday. The condition already applies to regular doctors. A law on healing services drafted by the Ministry of Health is now set to go through the legislative process.

Healers who are already working will be required to register again in order to get a license. This will be denied to those who have been sentenced to a year in prison or have been found guilty of crimes injurious to life or health. A national register of healers will also be created.

No third title in row for Kometa Brno after semi-finals defeat

Kometa Brno will not be able to lift the Czech ice hockey Extraliga title for the third time in succession after being knocked out in the playoff semi-finals. They lost 3:1 to Liberec on Saturday to give their opponents a 4:2 victory in the best-of-seven series.

The other semi-final will conclude on Monday evening after a victory for Plzeň made it 3:3 on games between them and Třinec.

Weather forecast

Monday should be overcast with bright spells in the Czech Republic. Temperatures will reach up to 10 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs will climb through the week to reach around 20 degrees Celsius on the Easter weekend.