News President Miloš Zeman leads commemoration of end of WWII

08-05-2014 13:00 | Chris Johnstone

Czech president Miloš Zeman led a commemoration by war veterans, army staff, politicians, and citizens of the 69th anniversary of the end of WWII in Europe at Prague’s Vítkov memorial on Thursday. Similar events were held around the country. The traditional Vítkov commemoration included a minute’s silence for all those who were killed as a result of the conflict. Defense minister Martin Stropnický told journalists that commemorations of such a kind were necessary, especially given the context of the current unrest in Ukraine. Thursday is a national holiday in the Czech Republic.

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Police raid Cibulka squat in Prague

06-05-2015 10:14 | Ian Willoughby

The police have raided the Cibulka squat in Prague 5, reported on Wednesday morning. Officers have called on dozens of squatters occupying the former farmhouse to vacate the property, the news website said. The move follows a complaint from the owner of Cibulka, who filed a criminal complaint after being prevented from entering the building on Tuesday evening. The farmhouse, which is in a state of disrepair, has a history dating back to the 14th century. 

Spanish referee to officiate in key Sparta-Plzeň match

06-05-2015 10:13 | Ian Willoughby

A key soccer league game this weekend is to be overseen by a Spanish referee, the chairman of the Czech FA, Miroslav Pelta, told the daily Sport. Mr. Pelta said for security reasons the name of the referee would only be announced shortly before Sparta Prague’s game against Viktoria Plzeň in the capital on Saturday. Defending champions Sparta are trailing Plzeň by three points but can lift the title if they win their remaining four games. 

President Zeman refuses to appoint three academics university professors

06-05-2015 10:05 | Daniela Lazarová

President Miloš Zeman has refused to appoint three leading academics university professors. He rejected the appointments of Jiří Fajt, the current director of the National Galley who teaches at the Faculty of Arts, Ivan Ostadal who lectures at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University and Jan Eichler who teaches international relations at the Prague School of Economics. The president’s spokesman said Mr. Zeman had serious reasons for rejecting their appointment relating to the candidates’ past.

In the case of Fajt, it relates to the fact that according to the daily Mlada fronta Dnes, the National Gallery wanted Komercní Banka to contribute to Mr. Fajt’s salary from its sponsorship gift. Eichler worked in the propaganda units of the Czechoslovak military pre-1989 and Ostadal is alleged to have cooperated with the communist secret service. The rector of Charles University, Tomáš Zíma, has protested against the president’s decision saying it was disrespectful of the academic community. 

Heatwave breaks temperature records

06-05-2015 10:04 | Daniela Lazarová

Tuesday’s heatwave broke temperature records around the country. The highest temperature –just over 29 degrees Celsius -was registered in the town of Vyšsí Brod, south Bohemia. In Príbram meteorologists registered a high of 25.4 degrees breaking a hundred year old record. According to a long-term forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-meteorological Institute temperatures throughout the month of May are expected to stay above-average. 

President Zeman bows to the courage of Prague citizens, slams communists for jailing heroes

05-05-2015 18:45 | Daniela Lazarová

At a ceremony at Prague Castle President Miloš Zeman underlined the courage of those who fought for their liberty in the Prague Uprising despite the fact that the liberating US and Russian forces were near and they could have waited for their freedom. The president also spoke of the heroes who had fought with the western allies and were mercilessly persecuted and jailed by the communists in the 50s. No free and democratic country jails its heroes, the president said. 

Court issues verdict compensating family for paratrooper’s death

05-05-2015 18:24 | Daniela Lazarová

The family of a Czech paratrooper who died testing a new parachute for the army is to get four million crowns in compensation from the Defence Ministry, the Prague Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. The paratrooper was killed after the cord of his parachute got stuck and he failed to open the reserve parachute in time. An expert investigating the accident said the tests had been poorly prepared. 

EC predicts 2.5 percent growth for Czech economy this year

05-05-2015 18:04 | Daniela Lazarová

The European Commission has released its spring macro-economic forecast for the Czech Republic, predicting a 2.5 percent growth in 2015 and a 2.6 percent growth next year. The deficit in public spending should be under 2 percent of the GDP and inflation at around 0.2 percent. Inflation was previously projected at 0.8, the other projections remain unchanged. The forecast is in line with that released by the Czech Finance Ministry. 

More than half of Czechs trust the EU

05-05-2015 17:24 | Daniela Lazarová

More than half of Czechs trust the European Union, according to the outcome of a poll conducted by the CVVM agency. According to the results, 52 percent of respondents expressed trust in the EU while 44 did not. Trust in EU institutions slumped to an all-time low in 2014 at just 34 percent. The slump was generally attributed to the euro debt crisis, the influence of the former euro-sceptic government and negative reports in the media. 

Cardinal Vlk named papal legate for Jan Hus celebrations

05-05-2015 16:14 | Daniela Lazarová

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Miloslav Vlk his legate at the upcoming events marking the 600th anniversary of the burning at stake of the Czech reformer priest Jan Hus. The ecumenical commission preparing the Hus celebrations scheduled to take place on July 5-6th says it wants to bring the public a true “unadorned” picture of the reformer priest a bring home his legacy to the young generation. 

PM backs human rights minister in dispute with government agency for social inclusion

05-05-2015 15:15 | Daniela Lazarová

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has backed the minister for human rights and minorities, Jiří Dienstbier, in his dispute with the government agency for social inclusion. The agency’s employees on Tuesday threatened strike action unless they were granted a greater degree of independence, complaining that under minister Dienstbier the agency’s management had become increasingly politicized. Minister Dienstbier recently sacked the agency’s head Martin Šimáček citing poor communication and the fact that Mr. Šimáček had refused to discuss a planned reorganization. The human rights minister has dismissed the complaints as absurd saying the agency’s employees should make up their minds whether they want to stay or leave. The prime minister made it clear he was not about to intervene on the agency’s behalf noting that its employees could not expect to decide personnel matters. 



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