Daily news summary


Czech PM for Die Presse: President Zeman will not get reelected

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said he hopes for a change-of-guard at Prague Castle following next year’s presidential elections.

In an interview for the Austrian daily Die Presse Mr. Sobotka said he believed President Zeman would not get re-elected for a second term in office because voters were now familiar with his style of leadership and had seen him in action.

A new president would vastly improve the political culture at Prague Castle, Mr. Sobotka told the daily. The Czech prime minister and president have a strained relationship and the president has on numerous occasions insulted and tried to publicly degrade the head of government.

Central bank not to get more power over mortgage market

The Czech central bank will not get the power over the country's mortgage market it wanted to deflate a bubble it sees developing in the housing market, the Reuters news agency reported on Friday.

Lawmakers dropped a bill that would have extended the authority of the Czech National Bank in view of the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The central bank has said repeatedly that Czech property prices seem overvalued and recommended banks adjust lending policies accordingly.

Since April, the bank has recommended that mortgages should not exceed 90 percent of property values and that no more than 15 percent of customers should be given loans worth more than 80 percent of a property's value.

Trade Ministry civil servants charged with abuse of office

The anti-corruption police have filed charges against three civil servants at the Trade and Industry Ministry in connection with suspected abuse of office, the ctk news agency reported on Friday.

The case reportedly concerns waiving public tenders and irregularities in an agreement between the Industry Ministry and the Czech-Moravian Development Bank on the setting up of a guarantee fund within the Enterprises and Innovations operational programme 2007-2013.

The three have been charged with breach of trust and harming the financial interests of the EU.

Czech nationals abroad can vote in over 100 polling stations

Czech nationals abroad who want to vote in October’s parliamentary elections will be able to cast their ballot at 109 polling stations the world over, according to information released by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

People living abroad can register to vote at their respective embassy and should do so no later than September 10th.

Czechs who will be abroad at the time of the vote will need to get an election pass before leaving the country. The elections are scheduled for Friday, October 20th and Saturday October 21st.

Four companies enter tender for Czech road toll system

Four companies are competing in a tender to operate the road toll on Czech motorways after the present contract with the Austrian firm Kapsch expires in 2019.

The firms in the running are Kapsch which is currently operating a microwave-based truck tolling system which has come under fire for excessive costs and disappointing returns to state coffers, Skytoll, which is operating a tolling system in neighbouring Slovakia,the German T-Systems International and National Toll Payment Services.

Špotáková, 36, eyes next Olympics in three years’ time

The fresh world javelin champion Barbora Špotáková says the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020 are a major motivation for her to continue her career at the age of 36. The Czech athlete, who triumphed at the Beijing and London Olympics, said on Friday that she was also looking forward to the Continental Cup in Ostrava next year.

At an end-of-season meeting with journalists on Friday Špotáková said she had planned to bring all 10 or her major international trophies but had lost the key to the cabinet in which they were stored.

Weather forecast

The weekend should bring a tropical heatwave with day temperatures reaching 34 degrees Celsius in places.