Daily news summary
Social Democrat leader says referendum will decide on coalition government
Czech Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček said Saturday that membership of the party should decide in a referendum whether it takes part in a coalition government with the ANO party.
Hamáček, taking part in a meeting of the party’s central executive committee, said the vote would take place when negotiations with ANO and the communist party, which has said it is prepared to support a minority government, are completed. The leadership’s recommendation on how to vote would depend on the shape of the eventual deal, the leader added.
The committee decided that a vote should take place within two months and would be valid if at least a quarter of the party membership took part.
The Social Democrats have been deeply divided about forming a government with ANO leader Andrej Babiš, who is facing criminal charges for alleged EU subsidy fraud. Most party senators and some regional governors have opposed being part of a government.
Czech lose to Finland in ice hockey’s Euro Hockey Tour
In ice hockey, the Czech Republic lost 2: 5 against Finland in the latest game of the Euro Hockey Tour being played in Sweden.
The loss leaves the Czechs without any points so far in the final competition ahead of the World Championships taking place in Denmark. The Czech team take on Russia on Sunday in a bid to secure third place.
The Finns took a two goal lead in the first quarter. Adam Musil narrowed the lead with his first goal for his country but the Finns followed up in the last period with three more goals to put the game beyond the Czechs.
ANO support falls back slightly in April: poll
The ANO party of prime minister Andrej Babiš still tops political preferences according to a survey conducted by the CVVM agency, albeit with a reduced lead.
April’s poll shows ANO with support from 29 percent, down from March’s 30.5 percent. The Civic Democrats improved to 13.5 percent and the Pirate party unchanged at 12.5 percent. The Social Democrats advanced to 11.5 percent from the previous month’s 11 percent. The communist party fell back to 10 percent from March’s 11 percent.
The poll suggests around 58 percent of eligible voters would take part in elections.
Czech Republic stood out against ban on bee threatening pesticides
The Czech Republic stood out against a ban on a series of pesticides which was pushed through by other EU states on the grounds that they seriously endangered bees.
The Czech Republic was one of four countries which stood out against the ban of so-called neonicotinoids, alongside Denmark, Romania, and Hungary. Sixteen EU countries voted for the ban on outdoor use of the pesticides with eight abstaining.
The Czech Ministry of Agriculture had specifically been seeking an exception allowing for the use of the pesticide on the sugar beet crop warning that without it production costs and the profitability of the crop would be threatened.
From January next year the pesticide will only be allowed for use in closed greenhouses.
Czech KKCG to make bid for Innogy energy assets in country
The Czech investment group of Karel Komárek, focused on energy and betting, is preparing to make a bid for the assets of Germany company Innogy in the Czech Republic according to the group’s spokesman.
Innogy’s assets cover gas distribution, gas storage, electricity distribution and heat and power production. The company has around 1.7 million customers in the Czech Republic.
Komárek’s KKCG group says it is likely to lodge its bid within the next days. An offer from the Macquarie investment group, already present in the Czech Republic with ownership of energy assets, is also expected.
Tomáš Rosický testimonial sold out within minutes
The testimonial match for former Arsenal and Czech midfielder Tomáš Rosický due on June 9 has already been sold out more than five weeks ahead of the event.
Tickets went on sale at midday on Friday and were snapped up within several minutes.
The match at Sparta Prague’s stadium is due to feature foreign players from the teams the midfield star played for against those from the national Czech squad.
Rosický played for Sparta Prague, Borussia Dortmund, and Arsenal before returning to the Czech club. He announced his retirement as a player earlier this year.
Sunday will be cloudy with sunny intervals. Showers are likely across the centre of the country. Top daytime temperatures will range between 25 and 29 degrees Celsius.