News Terezín loses EU grant to build visitors parking lot
The town of Terezín in central Bohemian has lost an EU grant to build a visitors’ parking lot, the town mayor told the news agency ČTK on Saturday. Terezín was to receive funds from an EU’s regional operational programme to build a parking lot in front of its tourist information centre, located near its historic fortifications; however, the town will fail to invest 10 percent of the grant by the end of July, the mayor said, adding that the town will apply for a new grant in the next round of applications. Around 220,000 people visit Terezín each year, the site of a former Nazi concentration camp and a ghetto for European Jews.
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Deputy Prime Minister Pavel Bělobrádek has echoed the prime minister’s call for Auschwitz survivor George Brady to be given a state award in recognition of his life’s work. Bělobrádek said that Mr. Brady was clearly a deserving nominee and since he had been promised the award it would be honourable to deliver on that promise. The 88-year-old Auschwitz survivor, who arrived in Prague on Sunday night, said he has been informed he would get the Order of T. G. Masaryk by the chief of Prague Castle protocol Jindřich Forejt. According to aktualne.cz Mr. Brady was on the list of nominees but was removed from it after his nephew Culture Minister Herman met with the Dalai Lama.
Two potential witnesses to conversation in which president reportedly threatened minister heard nothing
Two potential witnesses to a conversation in which President Zeman allegedly threatened Culture Minister Daniel Herman that if he met with the Dalai Lama his uncle, Auschwitz survivor George Brady, would not receive a state award, say they are unable to confirm the exchange. Trade Minister Jan Mládek and Transport Minister Dan Tok say that although they were within hearing, they were speaking to others and not paying attention to the conversation between the president and culture minister. President Zeman admitted that he had asked Culture Minister Herman not to meet with the Tibetan spiritual leader but denied having threatened him. The culture minister’s claim has sent shock waves around the country and many politicians, academics and cultural figures are planning to boycott the award-giving ceremony at Prague Castle on the occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day, October 28.
Homeopathy sceptics in a number of cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia staged 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 met on Palacký square where they demonstrated the production homeopathy medicine on homeo-rum which they offered the public. Similar happenings by homeopathy sceptics have been held abroad.
Cardinal Dominik Duka celebrated 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.
Terezin and Auschwitz survivor George Brady, 88, who is at the centre of an awrd scandal that has reverberated across the political scene, arrived in the Czech Republic late Sunday afternoon. 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 had wanted to visit his homeland. 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 has spark great media interest and journalists were at the airport awaiting his arrival.
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.
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.
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.
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.