News

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Klaus criticises failure to form government in New Year's address

In his traditional New Year's Day address, President Vaclav Klaus hit out at the failure of political parties to form a new government since elections in June. He said seven months without a government capable of surviving a vote of confidence was a record, and one of which the Czech Republic could not be proud.

The president compared the post-election stalemate, in which the lower house is evenly divided between left and right, to a "civil cold war". He said the Czech state had often paid the price in the past for lacking "internal unity".

Mr Klaus also warned against efforts to revive the European Union constitution under Germany's presidency. He said the EU offered new opportunities and removed unnecessary barriers, but also organised, regulated and controlled the lives of citizens; Czechs should do their best to ensure the first mentioned aspects prevail.

10,000 attend free New Year's Eve concert on Wenceslas Square

An estimated 10,000 people attended a free concert on Prague's Wenceslas Square on New Year's Eve. The show, which was broadcast live on TV Nova, featured almost 200 singers and musicians. Police said the event had passed off peacefully.

Elsewhere the city's rescue workers had their busiest New Year's Eve in five years; they were called out to investigate almost 300 cases of injury, mostly due to alcohol.

Inebriated man dies of hypothermia after being left outside by friends

Outside the capital, a middle-aged man died of hypothermia when friends at a party in Ostrava left him lying outside, after he had become extremely inebriated. Another man was found lying dead on the ground by passers-by in Brno. Meanwhile a student at Ostrava Technical University is fighting for his life after being brought to hospital with alcohol poisoning.

Man dies after being hit in face by firework

A 26-year-old man died after being struck in the head by a firework in Cheb, west Bohemia on Saturday. After setting off one firework outside a bar, the man went to check on why a second had not taken off. It hit him directly in the face. The man, who was Vietnamese, died of his injuries at a hospital in Plzen.

Czechs lose in first round of tennis's Hopman Cup

The Czech Republic were beaten 2:1 by India in the first round of tennis's Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia on Sunday. The Czech team of Tomas Berdych and Lucie Safarova - who are a couple - were seeded third in the mixed team's event, while India were making their debut.

Record New Year's Day temperature in Prague

Prague has seen a record temperature for New Year's Day: it was 12.5 degrees Celsius at the city's Clementinum weather station at 2 pm, a tenth of a degree higher than the previous record from 1921.

Weather

It should be partly sunny over the next few days with rain in places. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 7 degrees Celsius.