Daily news summary
Government to resign following failed confidence vote
The country’s minority government led by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš agreed in a meeting on Wednesday morning to resign after it failed to get backing a day earlier in a confidence vote. All 78 ANO party members voted in favour but the government did not attract a single vote from any other party in the Chamber of Deputies. 117 MPs voted against.
The prime minister will now request a meeting with the president who has promised to give him a second chance at forming a new government. The current one will hold power until its replacement is named.
Deputies to decide on Friday whether to lift PM Babiš’s immunity
The Chamber of Deputies is set to debate on Friday whether to allow the police to press criminal charges against the prime minister and his ANO senior party colleague Jaroslav Faltýnek for the abuse of EU funds in connection with the Stork’s Nest complex, the deputies decided on Wednesday.
The prime minister has consistently denied any wrongdoing and said the affair was intended to force him out of politics. The previous Chamber of Deputies had stripped the pair of their immunity, also on their request, but they regained it with re-election in October.
The parliament’s mandate and immunity committee on Tuesday recommended deputies remove the parliamentary immunity of Mr Babiš and Mr. Faltýnek.
ERÚ head Vitásková cleared of issuing fraudulent licences
The high court in Olomouc dropped charges against the former head of the Energy Regulatory Office (ERÚ) Alena Vitásková in the case of the fraudulent issuing of licenses for solar power plants. According to the judge, there was not enough evidence that would prove Vitásková’s guilt.
The regional court in Brno previously found Vitásková guilty of assisting in the fraudulent issuing of license, handing her an 8.5 year sentence. According to the verdict, she prevented investigation into the matter, enabling those involved to meet a deadline for substantially higher subsidy payments.
Main Czech highway reopened after being blocked for nearly 20 hours
The D1 motorway from Brno to Prague was reopened on Wednesday morning after being blocked for 19 hours due to multiple car crashes, caused by heavy snowfall.
The main route that links Prague with the east of the country was blocked in both directions on Tuesday following dozens of car crashes, including trucks. Ten people have been injured.
Police in the South Moravian region responded to nearly 200 car crashes until Tuesday midnight. Drifts have also blocked traffic on side roads.
‘Bába z ledu’ receives 15 nominations for Czech Lions Award
The film Bába z Ledu or Ice Mother by Bohdan Sláma has received 15 nominations for this year’s Czech Lion domestic movie awards. The romantic comedy describing relations between three generations in one family was shot in a Czech-Slovak-French coproduction.
Po strništi bos (Barefoot) by Jan Svěrák has 13 nominations, followed by David Mrnka’s Milada with ten nominations. The Czech Lion awards are voted on by the Czech Film and Television Academy. The event will take place at Prague’s Rudolfinum on March 10.
Czech Jaroslav Rudiš to receive prestigious German literary prize
Czech writer Jaroslav Rudiš is set to receive the prestigious German literary award Preis der Literaturhäuser. The organizers highlighted Rudiš’s ability to work with different literary genres.
The 45-year old writer, who lives both in the Czech Republic and Germany, will pick up the award, which comes with a cheque for 15,000 euros, in March at the Leipzig Book Fair.
Thursday is expected to partly cloudy with snowfall in higher altitudes and daytime highs ranging between 1 and 5 degrees Celsius.