Daily news summary
Prime minister suggests others more deserving of praise than finance minister for budget surplus
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka took aim at President Miloš Zeman in a political debate program on Sunday, charging the head of state had not been nearly critical enough of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. President Zeman ilast week n fact had praise for the finance minister regarding this year's budget surplus. The prime minister countered by saying that the Nobel prize which the president jokingly mentioned would have been better suited for civil servants and ministers who had seen to it that the country properly drew remaining European funds which led to the surplus. The prime minister and finance minister, head the Social Democrats and ANO parties, respectively. Rhetoric between the two politicians has grown increasingly heated in recent days and weeks; Czechs will go to the polls next year and surveys have routinely suggested ANO will win and the Social Democrats will come second, putting pressure on the prime minister to turn his party's fortunes around. The leadership of the party met this weekend to look for ways to attract new as well as former voters.
Mach steps down, aims to gain new mandate to head Free Citizens Party
Euro MO Petr Mach has stepped down as the leader of the extra-parliamentary party the Party of Free Citizens which he founded seven years ago. The chairman took the step with the intent of securing a new mandate; there has been division within the party over whether it should focus on a single issue, a British-style exit from the EU, or take a more nuanced approach. Mr Mach represents the latter wing.
Police arrest man who made bomb threats
Passengers and staff were evacuated from Prague's Main Station on Saturday night after an anonymous caller warned a bomb had been hidden at the site. The police have since arrested a 39-year-old suspect with a criminal record. In all, the suspect threatened seven sites, including hospitals. In the case of the station, several thousand commuters were affected. Trains ready to do so, departed, and further trains were turned away for more than one hour as the police searched the premises. Metro transport below the station continued uninterrupted but trains did not stop but only passed through.
Scouts bring modern-day symbol of Christmas to Brno
Boy and Girl Scouts brought a modern-day symbol of Christmas to the Czech Republic on Saturday in keeping with a tradition begun in the 1980s in neighbouring Austria, the Czech News Agency reported. The program was inaugurated in Austria in 1986 as part of a charitable relief mission for handicapped children and people in need. The light was transported to Brno using several lanterns and will again be spread throughout the Czech Republic over the course of the Christmas holidays, organisers confirmed. Members of the public brought their own lanterns to Brno's train station in order to light them from the flame.
Menzel receives lifetime achievement award
Jiří Menzel, the director of the 1966 Academy Award-winning film Closely Watched Trains and the key titles as part of the Czech New Wave, has received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to world cinema at the International Film Festival of Kerala in India. The 78-year-old was on hand to accept the award personally on Saturday. The festival's jury acknowledged Mr Menzel's humanistic view combined with sarcasm and provocation, as well as his ties to the Czech literary tradition.
NHL: Plekanec picks up points in 10-1 romp
Czech players Jakub Voráček and Tomáš Plekanec picked up points in their respective games on Saturday. Voráček, who plays for the Philadelphia Flyers scored once and had three assists against Dallas. The Flyers won the match 4-2 and now have an eight-game winning streak. The Montreal Canadiens' Plekanec got four assists against the Colorado Avalanche. The Habs declassed their opponents, winning 10-1.
Monday should be mostly cloudy. Daytime temperatures should reach highs of around 5 degrees Celsius.