Daily news summary
Funeral of Cardinal Miloslav Vlk to take place next Saturday
The funeral of the former head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Miloslav Vlk will take place at Prague’s St. Vitus Cathedral next Saturday, church officials have said. The funeral mass will be served by Archbishop Dominik Duka, who succeeded Cardinal Vlk following his retirement in 2010. Miloslav Vlk died in Prague on Saturday at the age of 84 after suffering from lung cancer. His remains will be interred in the Archbishop’s Chapel at St. Vitus Cathedral.
Czechs to pledge CZK 25 million to post-war reconstruction of Iraq
The Czech Republic is set to pledge CZK 25 million toward the post-war reconstruction of Iraq, the Czech News Agency reported. The country’s minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, will make the pledge at a meeting of the Global Coalition working to defeat ISIS in Washington on Wednesday. The Czech government is set to approve the figure in the coming days. Mr. Zaorálek says the money will go toward decontamination efforts, demining and the destruction of unexploded ordinance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wants the money to come from the reserves of the Ministry of Finance, which in turn wants the former to cover the amount.
Christian Democrats want coalition talks if Babiš fails to clear up financial transactions
The Christian Democrats say that if ANO finance minister Andrej Babiš does not explain questions surrounding his financial transactions they will expect the Social Democrat prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, to convene special coalition talks on the matter. The Christian Democrats’ deputy leader Jan Bartošek made the comment on a TV discussion show on Sunday. Mr. Bartošek did not specify what action the prime minister should take if Mr. Babiš fails to put forward proof that his finances are in order. Questions have been raised over how the billionaire finance minister managed to fund the purchase of bonds in his own company Agrofert.
Christian Democrats and Mayors approve creation of electoral coalition
The Christian Democrats and the Mayors and Independents group have both ratified a deal under which they will contest this autumn’s general elections together. After the Mayors’ leadership voted for the creation of an electoral coalition on Saturday it was approved by the Christian Democrats. The Christian Democrats will lead the joint ticket in eight regions, with the Mayors heading the campaign in the remaining six. The latter had previously cooperated with the right-wing party TOP 09.
New Zealand to extradite Czech wanted at home after drugs sentence
A Czech citizen wanted by police in the Czech Republic is facing deportation from New Zealand but only after serving a punishment for smuggling five kilogrammes of material used to produce the illegal drug ecstasy, the Czech News Agency reported, quoting the New Zealand Herald. Karel Šroubek is sought in connection with a murder in the Czech Republic in 2003. He says he fled to New Zealand, where he made us of the different name Jan Antolík, to escape from police pressure to provide false evidence over the murder. Šroubek will be deported once his five-year prison sentence on drugs charges, which was handed down last year, comes to an end.
Koukalová picks up small Crystal Globe in Oslo
The Czech Republic’s Gabriela Koukalová has won a small Crystal Globe in the Biathlon World Cup after coming second in the mass start event at a World Cup meeting in Oslo on Sunday. The overall World Cup title was won by Germany’s Laura Dahlmeier, who came ninth in Oslo. Koukalová, who is 27, is a two-time World Championship winner and won two silver medals at the last Winter Olympics.
It should be cloudy with some bright spells in the Czech Republic on Monday. Daytime highs are expected to reach up to 12 degrees Celsius.