The Czech centre on International PEN club criticized the statements of the billionaire and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš who said his situation was similar to that in the 1950s communist Czechoslovakia. The former finance minister spoke in reaction to the police request to lift his parliamentary immunity over the so-called Stork’s Nest affair, where a company belonging to Babiš‘ large agro-chemical group Agrofert applied for a 50 million crown European grant for work on a recreation and hotel complex. The funding was supposed to be directed towards small and medium sized companies. Representatives of the PEN club said in a statement that Mr Babiš`s statement was an insult to the victims of the Communist regime in the 1950s. They sais Mr. Babiš either disregarded historical facts or he was ignorant.
A record 20,000 people visited the annual Brutal Assault heavy metal festival, which takes place at an old army fortress known as Josefov, some 130 kilometres east of Prague. The 21st edition of the festival, one of the biggest events of its kinds in Europe, got underway on Thursday and featured around 110 acts including Czech black metal band Master’s Hammer.
The Day of Jewish Monuments is held around the Czech Republic on Sunday. Over 50 heritage sites, including synagogues, Jewish cemeteries and other buildings, will be open to visitors for free or for a reduced fee. Among them is the Jubilee Synagogue in Prague or one of the country’s oldest Jewish cemeteries in Kolín. The event is organised by Jewish communities in Prague, Brno and Teplice along with the Federation of Jewish Communities and Matana, the administrative body for Jewish buildings and cemeteries. Some 200 synagogues and 370 Jewish cemeteries have been preserved to this day in the Czech Republic.
A growing number of Czechs are buying real estate abroad, the Czech News Agency reported on Sunday, citing a study by the real estate company Rellox. Czech clients are buying property mostly in Austria (47 percent), Croatia (20 percent), Italy and Spain. According to the study, they usually invest in studios, but they also buy houses and villas. Most clients, around 65 percent, use their foreign property as a holiday home and rent it out during their absence. Last year, Rellox recorded an 11-percent increase in foreign property investments compared to the previous year.
A Czech mountaineer fell to his death at Mont Blanc in France on Saturday. The accident happened while he and his two fellow climbers were descending the Goûter Couloir, a popular access route to Europe's highest mountain. The 42-year-old Czech plummeted several hundred metres down the corridor and was killed instantly. According to the french daily Le Dauphiné Libéré, he wasn't using a rope
Six months ahead of the presidential election, two candidates for the post have already collected 50,000 signatures needed to officially register as candidates, Czech Radio reported on Saturday. According to Czech Radio, it is almost certain that lyricist Michal Horáček and the current head of state Miloš Zeman will take part in the upcoming elections. Jiří Drahoš, a former head of the Academy of Sciences, said he was also getting close to the target figure. Political parties are planning to announce their candidates after the parliamentary elections in October, Czech radio reported.
Temperatures in the Czech Republic in the next four weeks should remain average for the time of year, according to a regularly monthly weather forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute on Saturday. Day-time temperatures are expected to drop from the current 24 degrees to around 21 degrees Celsius. Rainfall levels are also expected to be average for the time of year.
The 2017 Prague Pride LGBT festival, a week-long event celebrating sexual diversity, culminated on Saturday with a traditional carnival parade through the city centre. Several thousand people took part in the procession, which set off from Wenceslas Square and ended at Prague’s Letná plain, where a concert is held. Around two hundred people took part in a march in support of the “traditional family” model organized by Christian Democrat opponents of Prague Pride.