Hey, did you see that football last night? 3:0! What are they feeding Milan BaroÅ¡, anyway? Whatever it is, I hope they have enough for Thursday’s match against Greece.

Oh, and by the way, VladimírÅ pidlaresignedasPrimeMinister. The translation from today’s MF Dnes is mine.

The end of Å pidla’s government

PRAGUE – The government of Vladimíra Å pidla is finished. The Prime Minister will resign on Wednesday, deciding to do so after losing a duel inside his party with Stanislav Gross.

Starting Wednesday, the president will meet with politicians about who to entrust with the formation of a new government. Gross has the best chance. The central executive committee of the Social Democrats (ČSSD) on Saturday decided the fate of Å pidla and his government.

The prime minister first survived a vote in which the party decided not to hold a vote of no confidence following their poor showing [in European Parliament elections]. But at the same time the Social Democrats decided to refuse his government’s continuation. Å pidla immediately decided to step down from his positions as prime minister and party chairman.

The Social Democrats will be led at least until spring by Stanislav Gross. The Social Democrats want him for the position of Prime Minister. Gross would prefer to form a minority government with the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), and according to his vision the [former coalition members] Freedom Union would also support such a government, even though it would have no ministers. Pavel Němec, the new chairman of the Freedom Union, did not rule out such a possibility.

Gross says that he will try to form a government that would not rely on support from the Communists (KSČM), but did not completely rule it out. The KSČM is aware of the opportunity and has already offering Gross its support and is setting the terms [for such support].

President Václav Klaus will begin meetings on forming a government on Wednesday, after returning from the NATO summit in Istanbul. He wants to meet with Gross, Civic Democrats (ODS) chairman Mirek Topolánek and Christian Democrats chief Miroslav Kalousek.

According to MF DNES’ information, Gross is considering offering Å pidla the position of chairman of the Chamber of Deputies.

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