News

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Coalition candidate to run for post of lower house speaker

The coalition of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens will put forward a candidate to run for the post of speaker of the lower house of Parliament on Friday. According to the leader of the right of centre Civic Democrats, Mirek Topolanek, the name of their candidate will be revealed on Wednesday. Ever since the Civic Democrats won the parliamentary elections early last month the three-party coalition has been trying to form a new government. But this is proving to be difficult as the coalition is one vote short of a majority in Parliament and enjoys no support from the left parties.

Social Democrat to run for speaker of lower house only if he is the sole candidate

Meanwhile, the Social Democrats, who won the second most votes during the general elections, say a party member will only stand for lower house speaker if he or she is the sole candidate for the post. Party leader and outgoing prime minister Jiri Paroubek also said on Tuesday that the Social Democrat candidate should have unconditional support in Parliament.

Mr Paroubek was referring to last week's offer by the opposition to support a Social Democrat under the condition that he or she pledges to consult all five parliamentary parties before appointing a prime minister, should two attempts at forming a government fail.

Senate to step in and call for early elections if political deadlock continues

Should the lower house fail to elect a speaker in the near future, the Senate, which is the upper house of the Czech Parliament, will step in and call for early elections, its chairman warned on Tuesday. Speaking to journalists, Civic Democrat Premysl Sobotka said his party's Senators proposed to hold a meeting next month at which the dissolution of the lower house deputies will be discussed.

Israeli-Lebanese conflict could have economic effect on Czech Republic

If the conflict between Israel and Lebanon persists for much longer the Czech Republic could suffer economic setbacks, deputy trade and industry minister Martin Tlapa said on Tuesday. The attacks could lead to the closing off of the ports in Haifa, making it difficult for Czech goods to reach the Israeli market. The Israeli government could also decide to put off plans to launch certain projects involving Czech companies, Mr Tlapa says. These include the public tender for the supply of government limousines or steam turbines. Rising oil prices will also affect the Czech market.

Ruzyne to hold off expansion plans

Plans to build a third runway at Prague's Ruyzne airport will have to be put on ice as the Supreme Court ruled against changes to the city plan on Tuesday. Despite objections from some 170 land owners, Prague City Hall approved changes to the city plan that are necessary for the airport's expansion. The seven billion crown project was to be launched next year.

US experts inspect potential sites for anti-missile base

US military experts have arrived in the Czech Republic to find suitable localities for an anti-missile base. Following negotiations at the Defence Ministry in Prague, they travelled to a military base in Libava, north Moravian - one of the three possible sites. The other two are in Brdy, Central Bohemia, and Boletice, South Bohemia. The US experts will base their decision on the types of infrastructure, hydrology, geology and population density in the areas. According to the head of the military facility in Libava, Vladimir Kubisa, some local officials have been critical of the prospect of housing a US anti-missile base in the region.

Weather

The next few days will be partly cloudy and very warm with daytime temperatures reaching tropical highs of 34 degrees Celsius.