Daily news summary
Interior Minister: Czech Republic should negotiate over Brexit on its own
The Czech Republic should start negotiating with Great Britain over Brexit on its own, without waiting for the European Union, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec said on Sunday in a political debate programme on Czech television, adding that it might take too long for the European Union to adopt a single stand on the issue. Mr Chovanec said the country’s priority was to protect the rights of Czechs working in Great Britain. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has already announced he wanted to meet with leaders of the parliamentary parties in February to coordinate a “national position” on the UK’s exit from the EU.
PM Bohuslav Sobotka supported by Social Democrats` regional branches
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has won the support of twelve regional branches of the Social Democratic Party for defending his post at the party`s national election congress in spring. On Saturday, he was nominated by the delegates at regional conferences in Olomouc and South Moravia. Most of the regional branches, with the exception of South Moravia, have nominated Interior Minister Milan Chovanec to defend the post of first deputy chairman. Mr Chovanec is also supported by the Prime Minister. The Social Democrats' biggest rival in the upcoming general elections in late 2017 will be the ANO Party of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, which has been consistently ahead in opinion polls.
Two Czechs killed by avalanche in Austria
Two Czechs were killed in an avalanche accident in the Austrian Alps on Sunday. Four tourists from the Czech Republic were caught by the avalanche that struck the Wildgerlostal mountain resort near Salzburg, the Austrian mountain service informed. Two of them managed to dig themselves out of the snow on time. None of the men had proper avalanche rescue equipment with them, the rescuers reported.
Profits of Lesy ČR drop by over 20 percent
The net profits of the state-run forestry company Lesy ČR between January and November 2016 dropped by 21 percent year on year to 4.75 billion crowns, the company has informed on its website. During that period, Lesy ČR felled 7.42 million cubic meters of timber, which is an increase by 1.8 percent. The company blames the steep drop on lower timber prices. They also say they have been forced to fell poor quality trees because of the ever present danger of bark beetle infestation. The state company owns around half the forests in the country. In 2015 it announced net profit of 5.4 billion crowns.
Fire breaks out in industrial zone near Most
Fourteen firefighter units had to attend to a fire in an industrial zone near Havraň in the Most region on Sunday. The fire broke out in a factory producing plastic car interior components. Dozens of people had to be evacuated from the premises, but no chemicals were released outside the affected area, police spokeswoman Veronika Hypšlerová told the Czech News Agency. The cause of the fire is being investigated. Damage has been estimated at more than 100 million crowns.
Samková wins snowboard cross event in Utah
Czech Eva Samková has won the gold medal in the women’s snowboard cross event at Solitude Mountain Resort in Utah. The 23-year-old Olympic champion has clinched her first victory since last February and currently leads the overall World Cup standings. Michaela Moioli of Italy took silver, while the bronze went to Lindsey Jacobelis of the US.The start of the finals had to be postponed several times due to heavy snow fall and challenging wind conditions.
Monday is expected to be mostly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between -5 and 0 degrees Celsius.