News PM and president agree on need to halt fall in defence spending

30-04-2014 19:11 | Ian Willoughby

The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, and president, Miloš Zeman, agreed at a meeting on Wednesday that the country should halt a fall in spending on defence. Mr. Sobotka said otherwise the Czech Republic would not be able to fulfil tasks arising from its membership of NATO. The two leaders also discussed the coordination of positions regarding foreign policy and economic diplomacy. On a visit to Prague recently the NATO secretary general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, called on the Czech military spending was too low. The military alliance wants members to spend the equivalent of 2 percent of GDP on defence; the Czech Republic puts just over 1.1 percent into defence and reduced spending in that area under the last government.

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Weather forecast

23-10-2016 10:27 | Daniela Lazarová

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 to stage "overdose" in number of cities

23-10-2016 10:20 | Daniela Lazarová

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. 

Communist Party leadership survives call for change-of-guard

23-10-2016 10:00 | Daniela Lazarová

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. 

PM calls on president to honour George Brady

23-10-2016 09:45 | Daniela Lazarová

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 award.

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. 

Political scene in shock over award scandal

22-10-2016 17:45 updated | Daniela Lazarová

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

22-10-2016 17:21 updated | Daniela Lazarová

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, 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. 

Mass served in memory of those murdered in Nazi backlash after Operation Anthropoid

22-10-2016 14:48 | Daniela Lazarová

Cardinal Dominik Duka celebrated a mass at St. Vitus Cathedral at midday on Saturday in memory of the close to 300 people killed in the Nazi backlash for Operation Anthropoid, a brave act of resistance in which Czechoslovak paratroopers assassinated Acting Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich in 1942. His death caused a furious and brutal reaction from the Nazis, with hundreds of ordinary people, many with no connection to the attack, executed or sent to concentration camps. Among the victims were the close associates and family of the five paratroopers involved in the operation. The names of the two-hundred-and-ninety- four victims were read out and candles were lit in their memory. 

Catholic priest urges boycott of Prague Castle celebrations

22-10-2016 14:02 | Daniela Lazarová

Catholic priest Tomas Halík has called on religious leaders, cultural representatives and members of the academic world to boycott the October 28 celebrations at Prague Castle in solidarity with George Brady. Mr. Halík, who received the prestigious Templeton Prize in 2014, also urged the nominees who are to receive state awards from President Zeman this year to consider whether they can accept the honour without a sense of shame. The Catholic priest said Czech society cannot remain silent in the face of the latest developments because to do so would mean to turn the helm of the country’s ship away from Europe and the values of the Western world. 

Czech PM warns against rise in anti-establishment, anti-EU movements

22-10-2016 13:45 | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has warned against the rise in anti-establishment and anti-EU movements around Europe. Speaking at a conference of Slovakia’s Social Democrats (SMER-SD)of Prime Minister Robert Fico, Mr. Sobotka said Social Democratic parties around Europe must react to the concerns of the public in order to prevent this trend. Anti-establishment and ant-EU movements feed off people’s frustration and fears of the future, but what they offer is a grave danger for the continent, because the only alternative to EU integration and the single market is competition, nationalism and protectionism, the Czech prime minister said. 

Weather forecast

22-10-2016 12:25 | Daniela Lazarová

Sunday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius. 


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