Daily news summary
ANO and Social Democrats agree to form coalition government
Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček said on Friday that an internal party-wide referendum had approved forming a coalition government with Prime Minister-designate Andrej Babiš's ANO movement. Just under 60 per cent of Social Democrats voted in favour of the move.
Babiš told reporters that he will meet Hamáček on Sunday and hand over a list of proposed ministers cabinet to President Miloš Zeman. But his government will still need the support of the Communists.
Communist Party leaders earlier agreed to consider tolerating the new minority coalition government – but only if it agrees to include seven of the Communists’ own basic points in its programme. They also want Babiš to guarantee that a law enforcing these priorities would be discussed by the lower house of Parliament at least six months before the end of the term.
The Central Committee of the Communist Party is due to take a final decision on the matter at their meeting in two weeks.
Second body found in Vltava River that of missing geocacher
The body of a man discovered on Friday afternoon in the Vltava River in central Prague has been confirmed to be that of a 28-year-old geocaching enthusiast who had been missing since Saturday.
The grim discovery near Slovanský Island came less than a week after the body of another geocacher – a woman, also 28, who had taken part in the same GPS treasure hunt as the missing man – was found a bit farther downstream, near the Jirásek Bridge.
There had been a torrential downpour on the day the two went missing. The woman had become trapped while in a sewer system looking for hidden GPS treasure, unaware of the dangerously fast-rising water level. Two others in their group survived.
Prague to convert ‘troublesome’ Opatov workers’ hostel into affordable housing
Prague City Hall will contribute 200 million crowns to the Opatov district to aid its effort to renovate a workers’ hostel and convert it into affordable housing.
City Councillors also agreed on Thursday to distribute 122 million crowns among seven other Prague districts for similar projects, as part of an initiative introduced in 2015.
The Opatov workers’ hostel, called Hotel Sandra, is a priority because it is seen as a hotbed for criminality and vandalism, and “troublesome” for many years, district councillor Jan Říčař (ANO) said.
30 Czechs a year travel to North or South Pole
Ahead of the anniversary of the death of Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen – the first person to reach the South Pole, in December 1911 – Czech travel agency Sen said that some 10 Czechs a year follow in his footsteps. The North Pole is more popular, attracting some 20 Czechs adventurers annually.
The numbers don’t take into account individuals who make arrangements outside of travel agencies. But with estimated costs of travelling to either pole exceeding twice the average Czech annual salary, their numbers likely could be counted on one hand, CTK reported.
Firemen capture escaped pet kangaroo "Bennett" near Ostrava
An escaped pet kangaroo who goes by the name of Bennett has been captured following the combined efforts of some 15 firemen and several police officers.
The metre-tall marsupial was found in an abandoned mining area in Paskov, in the northeast of the Czech Republic. The owner of the red-breasted kangaroo, a professional breeder, had apparently underestimated how high a fence he needed.
Swiss tightrope walker opens Arena festival in Prague
A second edition of the open air Arena festival, founded by the Forman brothers, got underway at Prague’s Smíchov embankment on Thursday evening.
The event started with a solo performance by the world-known Swiss tightrope walker David Dimitri. Over the course of ten days, the festival will offer several theatre performances, concerts, a dance hall as well as workshops for children.
Saturday should be mostly sunny with highs of 26 degrees Celcius. Rain - and possibly thunderstorms - is expected on Sunday.