Czech officials, survivors and other guests marked the 72nd anniversary of the Nazi massacre in Lidice. The German authorities razed the central Bohemian village to the ground and killed most of its inhabitants in retaliation for the assassination of high-ranking Nazi official, Reinhard Heydrich, in 1942. The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka celebrated a mass on Saturday in the village to commemorate the victims including the local priest, Josef Štembera, who was offered to leave by the Nazis but he chose to say and die with his parishioners.
The Czech national handball team sensationally beat Serbia 32:21 in Brno on Saturday in the second leg of their qualifying tie and booked a spot at the world championships in Qatar next year. They lost the first leg 15:23 in Serbia last week. The women’s national handball team, meanwhile, lost to Poland 22:25 on Saturday, failing to qualify for this year’s European championships.
Former Prague mayor Bohuslav Svoboda has been nominated the leader of the Civic Democrat ballot in October’s local elections. Mr Svoboda, who served as mayor between 2010 and 2013, received 57 out of 74 votes at the party’s regional congress on Saturday, the news agency ČTK reported. The chair of the party’s Prague organization, Filip Humplík, will be number two on the ballot, followed by Jaroslava Janderová, Alexander Bellu and Alexandra Uženija. Local elections will be held in October.
Thousands of people joined Avon walk for breast cancer through central Prague on Saturday to raise awareness of the disease. The march began at Old Town Square at noon and concluded several hours later at the Žluté lázně resort on the bank of the Vltava. Some 7,000 patients are diagnosed with breast cancer in the Czech Republic each year, while another 2,000 die of the disease.
Social Democrat leadership on Saturday rejected a proposal to hold an inner-party vote on taxation of a controversial church property deal. Some Social Democrat officials pushed for taxing the financial compensation Czech churches receive in compensation for property confiscated by the Communist regime in the 1950s, as approved by a Czech centre-right government in 2012. Approving the plan could destabilize the Czech government as the coalition Christian Democrats strongly oppose any changes to the church restitution deal.
The Czech Republic’s Communist Party has put forward a motion to cancel legislation that prohibits Czech firms from supplying technology to the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran, the news agency ČTK reported on Saturday. The party argues the law is obsolete as the power plant is complete, and no supplies of Czech equipment can take place. It is the Communist Party’s third attempt to have the law scrapped. The legislation was adopted in 2000 in a reaction to plans by a Czech firm to export air conditioning system to the plant; the plan came under criticism from US and UK governments.
Czechs tennis player Radek Štěpánek defeated South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 1-6 6-2 6-3 at the Aegon Championships in London to reach the tournament semi-finals, his first in two years. Czech number one Tomáš Berdych, meanwhile, has been knocked out after he lost to Feliciano Lopez of Spain in the quarter-finals. Štěpánek will now face Lopez to qualify for the finals.
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.
Czech President Miloš Zeman is to join central and east European leaders in Budapest on Monday for Hungary’s celebrations of the fall of communism 25 years ago. The celebrations in Budapest have been planned to coincide with the 31st anniversary of the funeral of the leader of the 1956 uprising Imre Nagy who was executed following the crushing of the rebellion by Soviet forces. The Budapest celebrations are the second in a series of events marking the freedom anniversary around Europe. Other venues where celebrations are due to be held are the German city of Leipzig, Prague and Bratislava.
Lobbyist Martin Dědic who faces corruption charges has been released on bail. According to the state attorney the bail was set at 4 million crowns. Dědic is suspected of accepting bribes, money laundering and involvement in manipulation of public tenders at a hospital and transport company in Ostrava. If convicted he would face up to 12 years in jail. Eight other people have been charged in connection with the case.