News

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Civic Democrat offer presence in government to Social Democrats

The centre-right coalition of the Civic Democratic Party, the Christian Democrats, and the Greens has offered to the Social Democrats to become members of the coalition cabinet, Civic Democrat leader Mirek Topolanek told journalists on Monday. The coalition also said that on Friday, it was ready to support the election of a Social Democrat as the speaker of the lower house of parliament. In response to the offer, the outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said that he believed a coalition of his Social Democrats with the three parties was unlikely but he said a party leadership meeting would discuss the matter on Tuesday. The next round of talks about the creation of a new government is scheduled for Wednesday.

President not sure if stalemate can be solved by inviting Social Democrats to join coalition

President Vaclav Klaus, who is on an official visit to Romania, has said that it is necessary to seek a solution to the current election stalemate and involve the Social Democratic Party in the process. But Mr Klaus said he could not predict whether Mr Topolanek's offer to the Social Democrats to join the emerging coalition was a way out of the situation.

Czech Civic Democrats postpone work on EU "euroskeptic" grouping

The right-of-centre Civic Democratic Party, which topped the polls in elections last month, has postponed plans to take part in the launch of a "euroskeptic" right-wing grouping within the European Parliament, the head of the party's group of MEPs Jan Zahradil said on Monday. The move represents a rebuff to British Conservative leader David Cameron, the main driving force behind the creation of such a grouping opposed to further moves for a more integrated European Union. Last month, Mr Cameron visited Prague to try to convince Civic Democrat chairman Mirek Topolanek to commit to such a grouping. The party had come under heavy pressure from German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, not to quit the European Peoples' Party grouping, which favours further steps towards European integration.

Outgoing PM complains abroad about Civic Democrat preelection actions

Social Democrat chairman Jiri Paroubek has written an official letter to his colleagues from the Party of European Socialists in which he complained about the actions of the Civic Democrats before the elections in early June, the daily Hospodarske noviny writes. Mr Paroubek is reported as saying that the election victory of the Civic Democrats had been achieved through unfair methods and contempt of principles of decency and European political traditions. Elite detective Jan Kubice submitted a report in late May that hinted at links between organised crime and the Social Democrat-led civil service sector. The report also included allegations concerning Mr Paroubek's personal life. The Social Democrats believe that the Civic Democrats, their main rival, were behind the scandal. The Civic Democrats say Mr Paroubek's letter casts the Czech Republic in a bad light.

Number of weekend traffic accidents down compared to same time last year

The Czech traffic police say that the number of road accidents over the weekend was around half the number compared to the same time last year. While there were 1450 accidents on the second weekend of the summer holidays in 2005, this year the number was 860. The decrease has been attributed to the new and stricter transport law introducing a new points system for driving offences which came into force earlier this month.

Czech public debt rises to 32.88 billion dollars

Czech public debt climbed to 728.9 billion crowns (32.88 billion dollars) at the end of June, the finance ministry said on Monday in a quarterly statement. That represents a rise of 30.7 billion crowns from 698.2 billion at the end of March, the ministry added. The debt is climbing slower than Czech economic growth, which came to 6.0 percent in 2005.

Weather

The current hot and sunny weather is expected to continue in the coming days with daytime temperatures reaching highs of 32 degrees Celsius.