President Miloš Zeman will respect the government’s foreign policy, according to the head of the presidential office’s foreign department, Hynek Kmoníček. The president will however pick some topics which he would like to focus on such as support for Czech exports, Mr Kmoníček said. Mr Zeman’s aide for foreign policy also said negotiations were taking place between the president’s office and the Czech Foreign Ministry about the appointments of several ambassadors, an issue which caused a major row between the president and the foreign minister, Karel Scharzenberg. While Mr Kmoníček said he believed a compromise could soon be found, Mr Schwarzenberg said on Saturday there was no resolution in sight.
The Czech Constitutional Court might deliver a verdict on the restitution of church property within the next two months, the court’s chief justice, Pavel Rychetský told Czech TV on Sunday. Under the deal, approved last year, 16 churches and religious societies including the Roman Catholic Church will get back part of the property confiscated by the communist regime along with financial compensation for the rest, amounting to 134 billion crowns. However, the opposition, which says some of the property did not in fact belong to the churches, has asked the Constitutional Court to review the restitution deal.
The official website of the Czech Republic’s state secondary school-leaving exams has come under a hacking attack, four days before the exams are scheduled, the government agency responsible for the exams said. The attack, described as DDoS, has prevented students from accessing trial test available on the website, the agency said, adding it was impossible to say when the website would be functioning again.
Storms and heavy rain that hit the Czech Republic on Saturday night caused minor damages in parts of the country. Fire fighters in the western Plzeň region cleared fallen tress and mud off several roads. In Central Bohemia, local flooding occurred in the community of Bohutín. Heavy rain also hit the southern and eastern regions of the Czech Republic.
Television’s TýTý awards for the most popular TV personalities were handed out in Prague on Saturday night. Investigative reporter Josef Klíma received the highest number of votes, and became the overall winner. TV Prima’s Partička was voted the most popular comedy show while Czech TV’s Vyprávěj won the award for the most popular series. Karel Gott and Lucie Vondráčková won the categories of male and female signers, while actor Lubomír Lipský, who last week celebrated his 90th birthday, was inducted into TV’s hall of fame.
Czech tennis player Lukáš Rosol beat Spain’s 6-3, 6-2 in the final of an ATP tournament in Bucharest on Sunday, to claim the first title of his career. Rosol converted four of his nine break points to win the match in just over an hour. The 27-year-old player, who knocked out world number two Rafael Nadal at last year’s Wimbledon, is currently ranked 48th in the world.
The Czech national hockey team lost 1:2 to Russia on Saturday in the final leg of the Euro Hockey Tour, to finish second overall. The Czechs missed several good opportunities to score and did poorly in power plays. The game was the Czech team’s last ahead of the world championships which start in Helsinki and Stockholm.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told the news website idnes.cz on Saturday there was no resolution in sight to his ongoing row with the president, Miloš Zeman, over ambassadorial appointments. The dispute broke out last month when President Zeman proposed the wife of Václav Klaus, Livia, as the ambassador to Slovakia and former Czechoslovak astronaut Vladimír Remek, to the Czech mission in Moscow. The nominations were rejected by Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg who maintained it was his role to nominate ambassadors who are only then appointed by the president. On Saturday, Mr Schwarzenberg said there was no development in the row which could take “a year or two” to resolve.
In an interview for the Austrian weekly Profil, Czech President Miloš Zeman criticized EU’s numerous regulations. The European Union should not regulate light bulbs, smoking and alcohol, Mr Zeman said. The Czech president also voiced his objections to EU’s bailout for Greece and Cyprus, and reiterated that the Czech Republic should soon adopt the euro.
The Czech government is going to back a motion in the lower house to
establish a remembrance day of the victims of Romany Holocaust, the news
agency ČTK reported on Saturday citing government documents. A group of
MPs from several parties want to introduce March 7 as the Remembrance Day
of the Victims of Romany Persecution during WWII; on that day in 1943, the
first transport of Bohemian and Moravian Romanies was sent to the Auschwitz
extermination camp. In total, nearly 9,000 Romanies were murdered in the
Holocaust, nearly 90 percent of their pre-war population.
All ministries have expressed consent with the idea; however, the Foreign Ministry noted Holocaust victims are remembered on January 27. Should a special day be established to honour Romany victims, the ministry said, it might be necessary to also remember victims from other ethnic or social groups persecuted during the war.