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Social Democrats set conditions for voting against no-confidence motion

The Social Democrats say all of the party’s MPs will vote against an opposition motion of no confidence in their coalition government with ANO next Wednesday, Czech Television reported. However, the coalition’s junior partner have set conditions for remaining in power with ANO.

The Social Democrats want the 2020 state budget to allow for the fulfillment of their programme targets, guaranteed independence of the judiciary and the resolution of the situation surrounding the minister of culture. The party’s occupant of that post had his resignation rejected by the president, who is due to hold talks with their nominee to replace next week.

The opposition has called the no-confidence vote over a European Commission preliminary audit that found Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in conflict of interest.

Zeman and Babiš to discuss arts minister situation

President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are due to discuss the situation surrounding the minister of culture in a meeting at the president’s Lány residence on Saturday evening.

Antonín Staněk of junior coalition partners the Social Democrats said he would step down as arts chief by the end of May. However, Mr. Zeman refused to accept his resignation and the Social Democrats later called on ANO leader Babiš to dismiss him and resolve the situation by the end of June.

The president has said he will hold talks with the Social Democrats’ new choice for the post, Michal Šmarda, next week.

Minister: Motorway stamps not to increase in price until D1 completion

The minister of transport, Vladimír Kremlík, says annual stamps allowing motorists to use the country’s motorways will not increase in price until the main D1 motorway is completed. The ANO appointee made the comment on Twitter. Under current plans road works on the D1 should be completed by 2021. Motorway stamps currently cost CZK 1,500.

Earlier this week ANO MP Martin Kolovratník proposed increasing the price to CZK 2,000. This would be unfair toward drivers, Mr. Kremlík said.

Anti-Communist A Few Sentences manifesto published 30 years ago Saturday

Saturday is the 30th anniversary of the publication of the dissident A Few Sentences manifesto in the then illegal newspaper Lidové noviny, on June 22, 1989. The document demanded the end of criminalisation of Czechoslovakia’s opposition, the release of political prisoners and the lifting of a ban on public gatherings.

A Few Sentences is considered to have been officially declared on June 27, when its text was broadcast on Radio Free Europe. Over the coming months it was signed by around 40,000 people, making it the biggest action of its kind. Communism fell in Czechoslovakia five months later.

Křetínský makes EUR 5.8 billion bid for Germany’s Metro group

The EPGC investment group owned by Czech Daniel Křetínský and Slovak Patrik Tkáč, has submitted a public offer for the German business group Metro. Reuters reported that EPGC had said in a press release that it was offering amounts for shares that valued Metro at EUR 5.8 billion.

The bid is contingent on EPCG reaching sufficient shares to take control of Metro, a spokesperson for the former said.

Reuters said the investment was part of Mr. Křetínský’s strategy of diversifying his holding into the food and retail sectors. He already owns the tabloid Blesk and Sparta football club.

Čech becomes technical and performance adviser at Cheslea

The former Czech football goalkeeper Petr Čech has been appointed technical and performance adviser at English club Chelsea, where he enjoyed the greatest successes of his playing career. Čech, who retired at the end of last season, won 13 trophies with Chelsea, including the Champions League and four Premier League titles.

The 37-year-old said he was very privileged to have the chance to rejoin the London club and help continue the success it has had in the last 15 years.

Weather forecast

It should be quite sunny with the chance of storms in the Czech Republic on Sunday, with temperatures reaching up to around 24 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs are expected to climb to around 32 degrees Celsius by the middle of the week.