Talks on forming new government continue
The Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats, and the Green Party are holding another round of talks on forming a centre-right coalition government on Tuesday evening. The parties' representatives say that they have reached agreement on tax reform and are now seeking to find common ground on the mainstays of health and pension reform. Despite progress in negotiations, the future of a centre-right coalition is shaky since the three parties do not have a majority in the lower house. The Social Democrats have so far refused to support a centre-right coalition although talks continue behind closed doors.
Social Democrats courting Greens
The Social Democrats are courting the Green Party as a possible coalition partner, should talks on a centre right government fail. The leader of the Green Party Martin Bursik said tentative attempts had been made to convince him that the Civic Democrats were not a good partner and cared little for environmental protection. Although in terms of their policy programme the Greens are closer to the Social Democrats, the party has refused to consider being part of a government that would have to rely on support from the Communist Party.
Topolanek enjoys more public support than his rival
An opinion survey conducted by the Factum Invenio agency has indicated that the leader of the centre-right Civic Democrats Mirek Topolanek enjoys greater public support than his rival Social Democrat leader Jiri Paroubek. A third of respondents said they would prefer to see Mr. Topolanek as the country's next prime minister. The outgoing prime minister, Jiri Paroubek, was only supported by a quarter of those polled.
President Klaus to de-brief interior minister
President Vaclav Klaus is expecting to be de-briefed by Interior Minister Frantisek Bublan on progress on the so-called Kubice case at Prague Castle on Wednesday. Jan Kubice, who heads the country's elite organized crime squad, said in a report to the lower house just days before the June general elections that high placed government officials had tried to thwart criminal investigations on a number of cases in order to protect party colleagues. He indicated that organized crime had penetrated state administration. The president has called for a speedy and unbiased investigation into the claims. The outgoing Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek insists that the allegations were part of a smear campaign against his party on the eve of the elections.
Deputy head of Prague police force demoted over Jacques incident
Police president Vladislav Husak has punished the deputy head of the Prague police force Zdenek Bezouska in connection with the May-day incident in which a police officer attacked human rights government representative Katerina Jacques who was taking part in a protest against a neo-Nazi demonstration in Prague. Bezouska has been demoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel for a period of six months. The police officer who attacked Jacques has been suspended and faces criminal charges. Several other officers have been punished in connection with the assault. Ms Jacques said on Tuesday that she was happy with the way the matter had been handled.
Football World Cup: Koller could be out until quarter-finals
Czech striker Jan Koller has strained his hamstring and may not be fit until the quarter-final stage of the World Cup, the team's doctor said on Tuesday. "It could anything between 10 days and six weeks," doctor Jiri Foucek told reporters. Koller was carried off on a stretcher just before halftime in Monday's game against the United States, which the Czech Republic won 3:0, thanks in part to an early goal from Koller. There have been conflicting reports over the severity of the injury, with a number of media sites on Tuesday reporting that Koller would be ready to practice as early as this Friday.
The current warm and sunny weather is expected to continue throughout the first half of the week, with daytime highs reaching 27 degrees Celsius.