Daily news summary


Footbridge across Vltava collapses, injuring four

A concrete footbridge across the Vltava River near Troja collapsed on Saturday injuring four people. Two of the injured are in serious condition, one of them in an induced coma.

The cause of the accident is being investigated. It is believed that the footbridge was damaged by corrosion. Emergency crews are clearing the debris.

Babiš wants to keep firm hand on Czech foreign policy

ANO leader Andrej Babiš, who is forming the country’s next government, told the news site novinky.cz he himself would be primarily responsible for moulding the country’s foreign policy. Babiš confirmed that Martin Stropnický, the outgoing minister of defense, and a former career diplomat would head the ministry of foreign affairs, but indicated that he wanted to keep a firm hand on the country’s foreign policy.

He said he had asked President Zeman to appoint his minority government to office on December 13th, so that he could travel to Brussels for the next EU summit of heads of government. The Czech Republic must be more active within the EU and come up with solutions, Babiš said.

Hundreds attend Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Hundreds of people gathered on Prague’s Old Town Square on Saturday afternoon for the traditional Christmas tree lighting ceremony, marking the start of Advent and the opening of the city’s biggest Christmas market.

The lighting ceremony of the 22-metre tall spruce felled near Křivoklát, South Bohemia, was enhanced by a selection from Bedrich Smetana’s cycle of symphonic poems My Country. Visitors will find 99 stalls on Old Town Square and three Nativity scenes, one of which is live.

The Christmas market offers visitors a rich cultural program with some 700 performers appearing on stage in the course of the next three weeks.

Not all doctors ready to start issuing electronic prescriptions

Around 4,500 doctors will not be able to start issuing electronic prescriptions as of January 1st, according to a law that has made them compulsory as of next year, the ctk news agency reports. The State Institute for Drugs Control says it will be unable to process applications filed after November 24th in time.

The law introducing electronic prescriptions went into effect in 2007 but up till now doctors could use them on a voluntary basis. Doctors in small towns and villages have complained that the new measure will place a big administrative burden on them. The measure will affect over 43,000 Czech physicians.

Prime Minster Sobotka to attend climate change conference in Paris

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka will represent the Czech Republic at the Paris Summit on Climate Change on December 12th, the Office of the Government said in a press release. It will be Mr. Sobotka’s last foreign trip as head of government.

On December 13th President Zeman will appoint a new government. The Sobotka government has already handed in its resignation, but remains in office until the new cabinet takes over.

Re-enactment of Battle of Austerlitz

Thousands of people attended the annual re-enactment of the historic Battle of Austerlitz in South Moravia on Saturday afternoon. Around 1,000 military buffs staged the re-enactment of the operation in which Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the armies of Russian Tzar Alexander I and Austrian Emperor Franz I.

The Battle of Three Emperors took place on December 2, 1805 near the town of Slavkov (or Austerlitz in German), south of Brno. 20,000 men were killed in action. The battle’s re-enactment is a popular event accompanied by craft and food fairs.

Weather forecast

Sunday should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies around the country with day temperatures between -2 and 2 degrees Celsius.