Tributes were paid to the late Václav Havel in Prague on Tuesday evening
on the seventh anniversary of his death. People lit candles and read from
his writings at an event entitled A Candle for Václav Havel on the
city’s Jungmannovo náměstí. A march in his honour from náměstí
Václava Havla (Václav Havel Square) by the National Theatre to Prague
Castle was also held, followed by speeches at the Castle.
The playwright and dissident led the Velvet Revolution in 1989 and served as president of Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic for 13 years.
Czech MPs are expected to approve a state budget for 2019 with a deficit of
CZK 40 billion on Wednesday. Old age pensions are set for a record rise
while salaries for teachers and other state employees will also increase.
The budget bill will pass in the lower house thanks to the votes of the Communist Party, who support the ANO-Social Democrats minority government on key votes under a “tolerance” deal.
Officers from the police’s organised crime squad raided premises of the
state mining company Diamo on Tuesday. According to the news website
Euro.cz, the investigation centres on a public tender procedure to purchase
land in Cínovec, north Bohemia for the future mining of lithium.
In October the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, said Diamo should become actively involved in a project to mine lithium at Cínovec. This followed reports that the Australian firm European Metals Holdings had acquired permission from the Czech authorities to begin test drills.
The Czech state had signed a memorandum with European Metals Holdings on exploiting the mine but that was abrogated by Mr. Babiš’s government.
A hippopotamus has been born at the Dvůr Králové zoo in East Bohemia for
the first time in 29 years, officials have announced. The animal was born
last Wednesday to a seven-year-old female that arrived there in 2016.
The father was a hippo from a zoo in Germany’s Stuttgart. Another baby hippo is due at the zoo in the coming weeks as part of a revived breeding programme.
The speaker of the Senate, Jaroslav Kubera of the Civic Democrats, will
make a New Year’s address to the nation on January 1. The chairman of the
Senate is the second highest constitutional official. Previously Czech
presidents delivered a speech on New Year’s Day but the incumbent Miloš
Zeman prefers to do so on December 26.
Mr. Kubera’s address is expected to last 10 minutes and reflect on the social and political atmosphere in the country, the Czech News Agency reported. The Senate speaker is a former mayor of Teplice and is a well-known smokers’ rights advocate.
The first Czechoslovak postage stamps were issued 100 years ago on this
day. The stamps – which went on sale less than two months after the
foundation of the country – featured an image of the Prague Castle
complex created by Art Nouveau artist Alphonse Mucha. Philatelist Tomáš
Mádl told Czech Television that Sokol and Jan Hus were considered but an
apolitical motif was preferred.
The stamps came in green five-heller and red 10-heller variants. Around 100 million were produced in total, meaning they are of little value today.
Zetor Tractors plans to let around 40 percent of its staff go at the end of
March. Some 260 jobs will be lost at the Brno company, which union
representatives said was in financial difficulties.
Whereas Zetor sold almost 4,200 tractors in 2014, that figure had fallen to below 2,800 last year.
Since its foundation in 1946 Zetor has produced over 1.3 million tractors. In 2016 some 86 percent of its vehicles were exported.
Slavia Prague go into the winter break in Czech soccer’s top flight with
a four-point advantage. They extended their lead over second-placed
Viktoria Plzeň with a 2:0 away win over Jablonec on Monday evening in the
final game of the 19th round. Jablonec had defeated Slavia in the capital
earlier in the season.
The next round of the Czech first division takes place on February 9. Slavia last lifted the title the season before last.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”