Daily news summary
Milan Chovanec to stand for Social Democrat leadership
The acting leader of the Social Democrat Party, Milan Chovanec, announced Sunday he would stand to be leader at the party’s February congress.
Chovancec, a former minister of interior, announced his decision at a party meeting in his Plzeň region where he was backed for the post.
The party congress takes place at Hradec Králové on February 18 and should select a new leadership following October’s disastrous parliamentary elections where the party gained just 15 seats. It had previously been the biggest party in the 200-seat chamber.
One of Chovanec’s main rivals for the post is likely to be Jan Hamácík who also received regional backing on Sunday for his candidature.
Miloš Zeman to attend Social Democrat party conference
Re-elected Czech president Miloš Zeman plans to attend the Social Democrat party conference in mid-February when a new leadership is elected, according to acting party leader Milan Chovanec.
Chovanec was one of the guests at Zeman’s headquarters on Saturday when the president’s reelection was announced. The party meeting takes place in Hradec Králové on February 18. It follows the Social Democrats’ disastrous results in October’s parliamentary elections.
Zeman, a former Social Democrat leader and prime minister, did not attend the last party meeting when it was still headed by Bohuslav Sobotka. Zeman’s relations with some members of the party have been tense and hostile though he was backed by some in the presidential campaign, such as Chovanec.
Newly re-elected Czech president to head for Slovakia
President Miloš Zeman’s first foreign trip will be to neighbouring Slovakia where he intends to spend two days in the Tatra mountains, his spokesman announced.
Zeman spoke with his Slovak counterpart Andrej Kiska after his election victory was announced on Saturday. Traditionally newly elected Czech politicians and heads of state head for Slovakia on their first trips abroad.
Kiska’s campaign to win the Slovak presidency had been taken as a model by Zeman’s opponent in the elections, Jiří Drahoš, of how a newcomer could overcome an established political figure.
Zeman congratulated by Russian and Chinese counterparts
Congratulations for his re-election were received by Czech president Miloš Zeman from the presidents of Russia and China.
Vladimir Putin sent his congratulations along with wishes that 73-year-old Zeman enjoyed good health. He added that he was hoped for continued cooperation on issues of bilateral and multinational importance in the future.
China’s Xi Jinping the development of closer bilateral relations as well as the readiness to raise them to the highest level of strategic partnership.
Zeman’s cultivation of close ties with Russia and China were one of the themes of the election campaign.
Czech insurance claims and damages rise in 2017
Insurance claims in the Czech Republic climbed top around 284,000 in 2017, an increase of around 31 percent, on the previous year, the Czech Insurance Association has announced.
One of the biggest factors in the rise were the number of claims lodged due to wind damage caused by October’s Herwart hurricane. It was the 11th most damaging event since 2002.
Ester Ledecká’s winning run ends
Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecká ended her winning series in the giant parallel slalom in Bulgaria’s Bansko on Sunday.
Ledecká, a Czech favourite for medals at the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea, ended in the quarter finals of the World Cup event.
She had previously won seven previous world cup competitions and has been on the winning podium in competitions since February 2015.
Ledecká was placed fifth in the competition but still heads the series on points.
Monday will be cloudy with sunny intervals. Top temperatures will range between 10 and 13 Celsius.