Daily news summary
Meeting renewing coalition talks between ANO and Social Democrats set
A meeting between ANO and the Social Democrats renewing the possibility of cooperation in a future minority government has been scheduled for Monday evening, following a working trip to Karlovy Vary by the prime minister. Prime Minister in resignation Andrej Babiš confirmed the news, adding he hoped that a solution would be found quickly. Last week, talks between party representatives collapsed after ANO refused to give up either the Finance Ministry or Interior Ministry portfolio.
The Social Democrats had sought the Interior Ministry, it was reported, as a counterbalance to Mr Babiš remaining prime minister, as he faces charges for alleged EU subsidy fraud.
The prime minister did not say on Friday whether the Interior Ministry portfolio would be offered.
President to meet with PM to discuss progress in coalition talks
President Miloš Zeman will receive the prime minister in resignation Andrej Babiš on Sunday to be updated on the state of coalition government negotiations. Mr Babiš, tasked with a second attempt at forming a viable government, so far has not been successful in reaching an agreement with possible coalition partners.
The head of state previously urged the prime minister to negotiate with the Communists and the anti-Islam and anti-migrant Freedom and Direct Democracy. Following talks on Thursday, however, ANO did an about-face with the intention of reopening talks with the Social Democrats. Last week negotiations with the Social Democrats over a possible minority government fell apart over demands for certain portfolios.
The head of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, has also asked to meet with the head of state.
Petr Čech and Arsenal secure last four Europa League place
Arsenal’s Czech goalkeeper Petr Čech helped his team secure a last four place in the Europa League on Thursday night against CSKA Moscow.
Arsenal took a comfortable 4:1 first leg lead into the second leg away tie. But the Gunners were given a shock after conceding two goals on either side of the half time break.
Late goals by Welbeck and Ramsey calmed their nerves ahead of the eventual 2:2 draw.
Czech town offered million hours of free porn in promotional move
Horní police, a town of 700 in the district of Česka Lípa, has made a Pornhub list of towns offered premium access to its site because of its suggestive place name. The site offered residents a million hours of free pornography in what is being viewed as a savvy but also provocative marketing move.
The story was reported by the Czech news site iDnes reported Friday.
The town apparently qualified because the name can be read as “horny police” in English.
In Czech it literally means top or upper shelf.
The site, tongue-in-cheek, has listed numerous towns and municipalities around the world as worthy of “compensation for embarrassing place names”, including Horneytown, North Carolina, and Threeway, Virginia, in the United States.
ANO leadership calls for fresh government talks with Social Democrats
The leadership of the ANO party have decided to try and renew negotiations over a government with the Social Democrats.
Members of the party’s leadership said late Thursday they wanted fresh talks and that ANO leader and prime minister Andrej Babiš would quickly get in contact with his counterpart Jan Hamáček.
Talks between the two sides collapsed a week earlier over the Cabinet seats wanted by the Social Democrats to curb possible conflicts of interest by billionaire businessman Babiš. The Social Democrats targeted top posts in the ministries of finance and interior saying that these could help them keep check on Babiš if he remained prime minister.
Babiiš said after meeting head of state Miloš Zeman this week that he would approach the anti-EU, anti-Islamic, Freedom and Direct Democracy Party of Tomio Okamura to create a government.
Ski season to wrap up at weekend
The ski season continues this weekend at a number of ski hills in the Czech Republic including Harrachov and Špindlerův Mlýn. Despite the warm weather, resorts such as Špindlerův Mlýn still have some 40 centimetres of snow, the Czech News Agency reported.
Some 4.7 kilometres of trails remain open at Špindlerův Mlýn on Saturday and Sunday but the resort will wrap up the season after this weekend.
This year’s ski season was one of the most successful in years, according to operators.
Sunny conditions are expected on Saturday. Daytime highs should reach around 20 degrees Celsius.