News PM wants more money for civil servants

19-05-2014 16:04 | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has said he will push for civil servants to get a salary increase higher than the 2.5 percent proposed by Finance Minister Andrej Babiš. Salary hikes for civil servants in 2015 have become an issue of controversy between the two biggest coalition partners, the Social Democrats and ANO, with the Social Democrats trying to make good on their generous election promises, and ANO, which controls the finance ministry, pushing for greater fiscal restraint. The junior partner in the centre-left coalition the Christian Democrats have so far failed to take a stand. The matter is to be debated at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting.

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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. 

Palacký University in Olomouc to give George Brady academic award

22-10-2016 09:50 | Daniela Lazarová

Palacký University in Olomouc is to give Terezin and Auschwitz survivor George Brady an academic award in recognition of his life’s work. Its rector Jaroslav Miller said the university would be honoured to receive Mr. Brady when he visits the Czech Republic. George Brady, who has devoted his life to writing and lecturing about the Holocaust was to have been given a high state distinction by President Milos Zeman on October 28, Czechoslovak Independence Day, but he was crossed off the list reportedly due to the fact that his nephew Culture Minister Daniel Herman met with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague, raising the ire of the president. Palacký University in Olomouc is the oldest university in Moravia and the second-oldest in the Czech Republic. 

Culture minister says Prague Castle pressured him not to meet with Dalai Lama

21-10-2016 17:38 updated | Daniela Lazarová

Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman has told the ctk news agency Prague Castle had put pressure on him not to meet with the Dalail Lama during his visit to Prague. Mr. Herman said he was warned that, if he did so his uncle, Czech-born Auschwitz survivor George Brady, 88, who was one of the nominees to get a state award from the president on October 28th ,marking Czechoslovak Independence Day, would not receive the honour. According to George Brady was crossed off the list of nominees on Friday. 

Deputies move to curb bootleg wine production

21-10-2016 17:36 | Daniela Lazarová

The lower house of Parliament has moved to curb bootleg wine production. The proposed amendment to the law envisages fines of up to 50 million crowns, up from the present 5 million, and sets down strict norms on the sale of barrel wine. If the bill wins approval in the Senate in its present form, barrel wine will only be able to be sold by wine producers and importers in special shops, so-called vinotekas, under strict conditions. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurecka argues that in some ways the bill is excessively stringent and has said he will try to get the Senate to modify it. The country’s small wine-makers also fear that the new conditions could be devastating for their business. 


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