President criticises government in Pravo interview

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has come out with strong words against the current coalition government: in an interview for the daily Pravo, published Saturday, the president criticised the cabinet as being, in his view, "incapable of dealing with long-term problems" or presenting a "clear conceptual approach". The Czech president also criticised government ministers for being invisible to the public. The latest interview is hardly the first time Mr Klaus has criticised the government: the president also had strong words following a government crisis earlier in the year that led to the resignation of former prime minister Vladimir Spidla, replaced by Stanislav Gross.

Reaction to the president's criticism

Members from two of the three government parties have - for the most part - rejected the president's view. On Saturday Social Democrat deputy chairman Zdenek Skromach said he believed the government of Prime Minister Stanislav Gross would manage to govern until the next election in 2006, and ruled out a shift to minority rule. Freedom Union deputy chairman Frantisek Pelc, also commented, largely rejecting the president's words. At the same time he did concede he felt there was some truth to the president's criticism of the government's health care reform, which the president had said lacked "strategic focus".

Police investigate self-immolation in Liberec

Police in the town of Liberec are investigating an incident on Friday evening in which an unidentified man publicly doused himself in gasoline before setting himself alight. The incident took place in an area between the town's courthouse and local prison. Rescue workers who arrived at the scene were unable to save the man who died shortly after, having suffering burns on 100 percent of his body. The case of self-immolation is the 2nd in Liberec this year.

Businessman found strangled in Pilsen

Police are searching for the killer of a Czech businessman, found strangled in Pilsen on Friday. The 45-year-old, who was in the construction business, was found dead at a homes developing site in the town. His wife contacted police after he failed to return home.

Czech ski jumper comes 4th at World Cup in Harrachov

Czech ski jumper Jakub Janda has placed fourth at the ski jumping World Cup in Harrachov, north-east Bohemia. The sportsman landed jumps at 136.5 and 137 metres. First place in the event was clinched by Adam Malysz of Poland, who set a new local record at 143 metres.


Cloudy weather is expected to continue over the next few days with daytime temperatures resting below zero, at around -2 degrees Celsius.