Daily news summary


Opposition should oversee security services committee, parties agree

All parties in the lower house should be represented on important committees and commissions, while the opposition ought to head the committee overseeing the security services, a number of groupings agreed on Wednesday. Representatives of the Civic Democrats, TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents and the Czech Pirate Party said they had reached accord on those demands following a meeting convened by Pirates’ leader Ivan Bartoš.

However, Jaroslav Faltýnek of election winners ANO said the division of places on Chamber of Deputies committees was based on the rules of the lower house.

Meanwhile other post-election talks continued on Wednesday. The Czech News Agency reported that ANO want to appoint Tomáš Hüner as minister of industry and trade in a minority government being assembled by party leader Andrej Babiš.

Zeman: Second party will join Communists in backing ANO minority govt.

President Miloš Zeman says election winners ANO could form a government with the help of two other parties, the website Denik.cz reported on Wednesday. Speaking on a visit to the Liberec Region, the head of state said he believed Andrej Babiš’s party would not need to make three attempts to win approval in the lower house as a second grouping would join the Communists in allowing the formation of a minority government. However, Mr. Zeman did not name the second party.

The Communists have issued a number of demands to ANO in exchange for tolerating their planned minority cabinet, including a law on referendums.

President’s office plans legal action over cancer claim

The Office of the President says it is planning to take legal action against a Brno local politician who claimed that President Miloš Zeman was suffering from cancer and only had months left to live. Svatopluk Bartík of the group Žít Brno made the claim on social media.

However, Mr. Zeman’s spokesman described the allegation as a disgusting lie and referred to Mr. Bartík as human garbage. He said the Office of the President would file a complaint and criminal charges against the Brno politician.

On Wednesday the president’s doctor, Miloslav Kalaš, described the claim as completely fabricated and baseless. Mr Zeman, who has been head of state since 2013, this week registered to run for a second term in office.

Unemployment lowest in almost 20 years

Unemployment in the Czech Republic dropped to its lowest point in almost 20 years in October to just 3.6 percent. The result was confirmed in data released by the Czech Labor Office. In December 1997, the number of people without work was around 269,000. The amount of those without work in October this year numbered around 271,000. Meanwhile, the number of vacancies grew by some 4,000 to 210,000.

The drop in unemployment and rise of vacant positions is particularly significant year-on-year: last October, unemployment stood at five percent and the amount of vacancies was 70,000 fewer.

Tourist numbers up in third quarter

The number of visitors who stayed in Czech hotels and other forms of accommodation increased by 5.9 percent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2017 to reach seven million. There was an increase in the number of both international and domestic tourists, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Czech Statistics Office.

The total number of nights booked in Czech accommodation facilities between July and October was 19.9 million, a rise of 4.2 percent on the same period in 2016.

Czechs set for football’s China Cup in March

The Czech Republic’s footballers will take part in the China Cup next year, it was announced on Wednesday. They will face the hosts, Wales and Uruguay in the four-team international competition, which will be held in the last week of March in the city of Nanning.

The Czechs missed out on qualification for next year’s World Cup in Russia and may use the China Cup as preparation for their qualifying campaign for Euro 2020, which will begin in September.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with temperatures of up to 8 degrees Celsius in the Czech Republic on Thursday. The following days are likely to see rain while snow is due in some parts of the country at the start of next week.