Daily news summary


Babiš government preparing changes in procedural rules

The new government of Andrej Babiš, which is making far reaching changes in the administration of individual ministries, wants to radically change the procedural working order of the government and strengthen the position of the prime minister in decision-making.

According to the changes proposed by Justice Minister and head of the government’s Legislative Council Robert Pelikán fewer people would be allowed to sit in on government meetings and changes of a non-legislative character would be consulted with fewer institutions. Press releases, now issued after every cabinet meeting, would no longer be the rule.

According to Justice Minister Pelikán the new regulations should boost the speed and efficiency of government decision-making.

Social Democrats may back Babiš in second effort to form government

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš who has failed to secure support for his minority government in the lower house, may be able to rely on backing from the Social Democrats and Communists in a second attempt to form a government, the news site Novinky.cz reported.

According to the news site the Social Democratic Party is increasingly divided on whether to support a Babiš cabinet and members in favour are pushing for a party referendum on the issue. With support from the two parties Babiš’ cabinet would have 108 votes in the lower house. He told the server he was ready to negotiate with the Social Democrats on the conditions for their backing.

The Communists have already indicated they would be ready to back a Babiš government under certain conditions. A vote of confidence in the present government is due to be held on January 10th.

Church of St. Václav one of top ten architectural projects of 2017

The Church of St. Václav in Sázovice, in the Zlín region, has been listed as one of the top ten architectural projects of 2017 by Azure Magazine. The circular building inspired by Roman architecture was designed by Štěpán Atelier in Brno. It is a unique construction in the region. Among the other top ten architectural projects listed this year are the Louvre in Abu Dhabi and Apple Store in Chicago.

New Year fireworks display to celebrate centenary of Czechoslovakia

The traditional New Year fireworks display in Prague will take place at 6pm on January 1st, kicking off a year packed with anniversary events in the Czech Republic. The display be a celebration of the centenary since the birth of independent Czechoslovakia and 25 years since the birth of the Czech Republic.

It will be dominated by the national red, white and blue colours. People should get a good view of it from the Dvorak embankment and the Mánes, Čechov and Štefánik bridges. The show was moved from midnight to the first day of the year so that it can be enjoyed by families with children.

Public events planned to celebrate arrival of New Year

A wide variety of events have been planned in celebration of the New Year. Amateurs and professional runners will be able to take part in the traditional midnight race starting ten minutes to midnight on December 31st in Lužiny’s Central Park and ending in the New Year. The track is four kilometres long along an asphalt track. All runners who finish the race get a remembrance medal.

Meanwhile the Club of Hardy Men and Women will welcome the New Year with a Polar Bear dip in Svitava River. Public events in South Bohemia include bread baking and a ride on a steam-powered train.

Half of Czechs against law forcing shops to close on selected public holidays

Close to half of Czechs would like to see the law forcing shops to close on selected holidays scrapped. According to a poll conducted for Czech Radio by the Median agency 48 percent of respondents find the legislation unnecessarily restrictive and would like to see it scrapped. 49 percent say they are not inconvenienced by it.

In line with the law shops of over 200 square metres must close their doors over the Christmas holidays. They must close by midday on December 31st and remain closed on January 1st.

Weather forecast

The last day of the year should bring a warming with partly cloudy to overcast skies and day temperatures between 7 and 11 degrees Celsius.