Daily news summary

Babiš to hold talks with Hamáček on Wednesday

The ANO prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, is due to hold talks with the newly elected leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, on Wednesday. Mr. Babiš told iDnes.cz about the meeting, which comes as he makes a second attempt to form a government after winning elections in October. He is also due to speak to Civic Democrats chief Petr Fiala on Wednesday.

Mr. Babiš says his preference is for an ANO minority government tolerated by other parties, while President Miloš Zeman has called on the Social Democrats to only demand deputy minister positions. However, the party are seeking direct participation in government.

At the same time, the Social Democrats say it would be a fundamental problem for them to accept somebody facing criminal charges in government. Mr. Babiš is accused of the abuse of EU subsidies.

Tomio Okamura of Freedom and Direct Democracy and the Communists’ Vojtěch Filip – who have already made clear their conditions for supporting an ANO minority government – will meet President Zeman on Wednesday.

Ex-Zemanites want to join forces with Social Democrats

The Party of Civic Rights are interested in joining forces for elections later this year with the Social Democrats, iDnes.cz reported on Tuesday. The leader of the grouping, Jan Veleba, is planning to make a proposal to that effect at an upcoming congress, the news site said. However, the freshly elected chairman of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, has already ruled out the idea of cooperation at national level.

The Party of Civic Rights were formerly also known as the Zemanites after founder Miloš Zeman, who is now Czech president. The group have no seats in the lower house.

Military intelligence to get major new satellite centre

The Czech Republic is to get a major new satellite centre to be used by the country’s military intelligence service and NATO. It will be able to retrieve images from satellites shortly after they have been taken and will provide intelligence experts with a detailed picture of reality on the ground. It can also be put to civilian use in the case of floods or other natural disasters.

The minister of defence, Karla Šlechtová, told Tuesday’s edition of Právo that it was not just an extraordinary system that could quickly deliver information but also proved that Czech specialists were keeping step with their international counterparts.

The centre will be financed by hundreds of millions of crowns from the budget of the Ministry of Defence and will go into full operation in 2020.

Famous Slovak Arrow train set for restoration

A famous interwar express train known as the Slovak Arrow is to be restored to its original glory by Tatra Trucks, representatives of the company have announced. Once the work has been completed at a cost of almost CZK 120 million the 1936 train will be placed in a new museum of automobiles built in a former Tatra foundry by the Moravian Silesian Region.

The Slovak Arrow was first introduced in 1936 and ran on the line between Bratislava and Prague as the flagship train of Czechoslovak Railways.

Kbely to celebrate centenary with special air show

Prague’s Kbely airfield is to host a special air show in early June marking the centenary of its foundation. The Czech Army will present its aircraft and other technology to the public both on the ground and in the air at the event, which will be free of charge.

Officials say they are planning for June 9 but date is not yet confirmed.

Kbely airfield was the venue for the first radio transmission in Czechoslovakia, when operator Radiojurnal, the precursor to today’s Czech Radio, broadcast from a tent there in May 1923.

No repeat Olympic glory for mixed biathlon team in Pyeongchang

The Czech Republic’s mixed biathlon team come eighth at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang on Tuesday, failing to repeat their silver medal-winning success of four years ago.

The first two competitors, Veronika Vítková and Markéta Davidová, performed poorly in shooting. That left the team with a deficit of over a minute on the leaders that Ondřej Moravec and Michal Krčmář were unable to make up.

The Czech team have six medals so far from Pyeongchang, including gold for Ester Ledecká in super-G.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with some bright spells in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 1 degree Celsius. Daytime highs will be mainly below zero for the rest of the week, forecasters say.