Daily news summary

President slams prime minister, recalling own success as party chairman

President Miloš Zeman has rejected criticism by the prime minister, who had questioned his dedication to leftist politics, by drawing on his past record as chairman of the Social Democrats. In an interview for the daily Deník, posted by Prague Castle, the president pointed to his own track record, saying he had led the Social Democrats from just seven to 32 percent in the national election in the past, while in his view, the current party chairman, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, was "hurting the party". Mr Zeman pointed to the party's last election result, far lower than the 30 percent or more its chairman had sought. In the interview, by contrast, Mr Zeman had praise for ANO and the party's plans to field deputy ministers (as experts) in upcoming regional elections.

Prouza: Euro adoption costs would equal to 0.5 pct of GDP

Costs of introducing the euro in the Czech Republic would reach some 0.5 percent of GDP and payments to the European Stability Mechanism would reach 34 billion crowns, the State Secretary for European Affairs Tomáš Prouza said at a conference on euro adoption on Friday. The state secretary stressed that the Czech Republic was economically prepared for the euro´s introduction and fulfilled euro-zone entry criteria much better than 11 years ago. A day earlier, the European Commissioner for the Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis also said that the Czech Republic was prepared from an economic standpoint to adopt the euro, suggesting the country's entry to the euro zone was now mainly an issue of political will. One of the government´s priorities this year will be to intensify the public debate on euro adoption.

Meteorologists say mild weather will continue

Experts at the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute have warned that current mild temperatures will continue well into February, putting off the 'return of winter'. The beginning of February should see also higher than average precipitation. Temperatures are expected to drop in the third week of the month but even then, not below zero degrees Celsius during the day.

Two die in car crash in Příbram area

Two people, aged 23 and 20, were killed in a car accident in the area of Příbram at around midnight on Friday, after their vehicle veered off the road and struck a tree. Police spokesman Pavel Truxa confirmed both died at the scene. The police are investigating the cause of the accident, includng whether alcohol played a role.

Štepánek & Nestor defeated in men's doubles final at Australian Open

Czech tennis player Radek Štepánek and Canadian doubles partner Daniel Nestor have lost in the men's doubles final at the Australian Open. The duo started well against opponents Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, dominating in the first set. But the Brit and Brazilian came back and forced a third and final set which went down the wire. The final score was 6:2, 4:6, 5:7.

Sablíková wins 1500m in Stavanger Norway

Speed skater Martina Sablíková clinched her 41st career triumph on Saturday, winning the 1500m race at the Speedskating World Cup competition in Stavanger, Norway. It is the first time she has won the 1500m in the World Cup, ČTK reported. Sablíková won the bronze in the discipline at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. Her time on Saturday was 1:55:44.

Football: Rosický comes on for Arsenal for first time this season

Czech midfielder Tomáš Rosický came on in the 71st minute to replace Alex Iwobi in Arsenal's FA Cup fourth round match-up against Burnely. It is the first time this season that Rosický has played for his team; he was out of action for some eight months and underwent knee surgery last August. In the 84th minute, Rosický helped create an opportunity for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain but the latter shot high. Goalkeeper Petr Čech did not play; David Ospina had goalkeeping duties on Saturday. Arsenal won the match 2:1