News Former Agrarian Chamber head: Russian sanctions may lead to cheaper domestic fruit and vegetables
Reacting to retaliatory sanctions announced by Moscow on Thursday, Jan Veleba, former head of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, and currently a serving Senator, said that it may lead to lower domestic fruit and vegetable prices. He noted that given Russia's ban on importing EU fruits and vegetables, major producers such as Germany and Poland will likely flood nearby countries such as the Czech Republic with their now surplus produce. Similar sentiments have also been expressed by Czech Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurečka, with fears expressed over lower prices hitting domestic producers.
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The head of the State Nuclear Safety Authority Dana Drábová has suggested that a deep nuclear waste storage site should be built in the vicinity of one of the country’s nuclear power plants, be it Temelín or Dukovany. Drábová told Czech Television that the Industry and Trade Ministery had made a mistake in trying to find a new locality. Drábová said the inhabitants of villages near Dukovany had indicated an interest in geological tests in return for adequate compensation. The ministry’s plans to conduct geological tests at seven other localities raised a storm of opposition. The deep nuclear waste storage site should be built by 2065.
Terezin and Auschwitz survivor George Brady, 88, is expected to arrive in the Czech Republic on Sunday evening, according to the ctk news agency. Mr. Brady expressed regret over the developments surrounding his award, but said that even if he was no longer up for a state award, he would visit his homeland as planned. Palacký University in Olomouc has said it would be honoured to give Mr. Brady an academic award in recognition of his life’s work. The visit is expected to spark great media interest.
A real estate boom fueled by low mortgage rates has sent up housing prices in Prague, making it one of the costliest cities to live in, Czech Television reported. Czechs with an average salary now have to work eleven years for a flat of approximately seventy square meters. An Austrian would need to work for nine years to acquire a similar flat in Vienna, while a German would only need to work for six years to buy a one in Berlin. London, Paris or Brussels are more expensive. An average flat of seventy square meters in Prague costs approximately 7.5 million crowns. Just a year ago Czechs needed to work less than ten years to acquire it.
Cardinal Dominik Duka is to celebrate a mass at the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul at Vysehrad on Sunday in memory of the victims of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. The uprising, which lasted from October 23 until November 10, 1956, started as a student protest and quickly grew into was a nationwide revolt against the government and its Soviet-imposed policies. It was brutally crushed by Soviet troops who invaded the country. Over 2,500 Hungarians were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 people fled the country. Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months after.
Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers in the north-western parts of the country and day temperatures between 9 and 12 degrees Celsius.
Homeopathy sceptics in a number of cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia will stage a mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies, in a bid to prove they have no effect. In Prague homeopathy critics, among them doctors, vets and members of the Sysifos club of sceptics will meet on Palacký square where they will demonstrate the production homeopathy medicine on homeo-rum which they will offer the public. We will eat a lot of sugar, have some fun and go home, Jaromír Šrámek the organizer of the event told the media.
The Communist Party leadership has survived a call for a change-of-guard in the wake of the party’s defeat in October’s regional and Senate elections. The call for new party elections came from the Ostrava region, but did not receive majority support. The party analyzed the reasons for its failure, concluding that it would stick with its program but needed to change its approach and rhetoric ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has urged President Miloš Zeman to act
like a statesman and honour Auschwitz survivor George Brady with an
academic award in recognition of his life’s work. On his Twitter account
the prime minister warned that otherwise the celebrations marking
Czechoslovak Independence Day at Prague Castle would turn into a festival
of pettiness and disagreements. A growing number of politicians, academics
and cultural figures have announced they will not be attending the event in
solidarity with George Brady who was reportedly crossed off the list of
nominees because his nephew Culture Minister Daniel Herman met with the
Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague. In a private conversation with
Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Mr. Zeman admitted having asked the
culture minister no to meet with Dalai Lama but denied having threatened
him that failure to comply would result in his uncle not receiving a state
Prime Minister Sobotka likewise commented on the fact that some politicians are planning a separate celebration on Prague’s Old Town Square. He said he did not consider this a good idea since Czechoslovak Independence Day is an occasion that should unite and not divide the nation.
The affair has evoked widespread criticism across the political spectrum. The leaderships of the Christian Democratic party and the opposition Civic Democrats have said they will discuss a possible party boycott of the award giving ceremony at Prague Castle next week and many ministers and high-placed officials have already said they plan to decline the invitation. Speaker of the lower house Jan Hamáček of the Social Democratic Party said that if Mr. Herman’s words were confirmed he would not attend the ceremony. Miroslava Nemcová of the Civic Democrats said that if the allegations were true then the president had committed blackmail and society must respond. ANO leader Andrej Babiš said Prague Castle owed the public an explanation and should issue an official stand clarifying the matter. An alternative celebration marking Czechoslovak Independence Day is already being organized on Prague’s Old Town Square.
President Zeman confirms asking culture minister not to meet with Dalai Lama, but says he made no threats
President Zeman has confirmed asking Culture Minister Daniel Herman not to
meet with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague, but has denied having
linked the request to an award for Herman’s uncle George Brady. The
president did not issue an official stand on the matter, but passed on the
information to Finance Minister Andrej Babiš with whom he met on Saturday.
Culture Minister Daniel Herman told Czech Television late on Friday that President Miloš Zeman had threatened him not to meet with Dalai Lama or his uncle, Auschwitz survivor George Brady, would be crossed off the list of nominees for a high state distinction. Mr. Herman claimed the words had been said at an official event in front of several witnesses. He refused to disclose their names for fear of dragging them into the dispute.
According to Aktualne.cz, Czech-born George Brady, 88,who has devoted his life to writing and lecturing about the Holocaust, was on the list of nominees who are to receive a state award on October 28, Czechoslovak Independence Day, but was crossed off the list on Friday.