Winding up a business-oriented visit to India, Czech Prime Minister Andrej
Babiš on Saturday attended the opening of a new Skoda Auto and Volkswagen
Group Technology Centre in Pune.
The 250 million euro centre will employ 250 engineers and will focus primarily on developing Skoda and Volkswagen vehicles for the Indian market. The first of these models will be a mid-size SUV in the A0 segment, which will be unveiled in 2020.
Czech Culture Minister Antonín Staněk wants the 18th century Villa
Bertramka in Prague notable for its connection to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
to be declared a national cultural monument.
The villa, which was turned into a museum dedicated to the famous composer several years ago, has been closed for over two years for reconstruction. The Mozart Society running the museum has had problems revitalizing the property and making it attractive for visitors.
The culture minister says the status of a national cultural monument would help the society in its endeavour.
Mozart stayed in this villa on his visits to Prague in 1787 and 1791. The museum has acquired some of the composer’s valuable manuscripts, his harpsichord and a lock of his hair.
Czechs are paying homage to the memory of student Jan Palach who set
himself on fire to protest against growing public apathy to the Soviet-led
invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. His action roused the public and
hundreds of thousands turned out for his funeral which was perceived as a
massive silent protest against the communist regime.
A mass will be served in his memory at Tyn Cathedral on Prague’s Old Town Square and people have been lighting candles and laying flowers at a plaque in his memory on Wenceslas Square, in his home town Všetaty and outside the Prague clinic where he died.
The 54-year-old man who set himself on fire on Wenceslas Square on Friday
remains in serious condition at the Vinohrady burns clinic in Prague. He
suffered burns to 30 percent of his body and is in an induced coma after
undergoing emergency surgery.
A police spokeswoman ruled out a political motive, saying the matter was still being investigated.
According to the news site Aktualne.cz the man told his brother he wanted to die like the student martyr Jan Palach, whose death by self-immolation Czechs are commemorating this week.
A parliamentary sub-committee responsible for the judiciary is to meet over
suspicions that President Miloš Zeman’s chancellor, Vratislav Mynář,
had repeatedly tried to influence the courts in cases relating to the
Office of the President or ones in which President Zeman had a vested
According to the weekly Respekt, Mynář had repeatedly met with judges to inform them about the president’s stand on given court cases. The former president of the Supreme Administrative Court Josef Baxa told journalists that Mynář had, on several occasions, told him what outcome of a court case the president would welcome.
The reports have stirred concern on the Czech political scene with some MPs calling for the matter to be debated at a special session of Parliament.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in connection with the scandal that he trusted Czech judges to be impartial whatever information they received.
A fifty-four-year-old man set himself on fire at the top end of Wenceslas
Square on Friday afternoon. According to eyewitnesses he doused himself
with a flammable substance and set himself alight. Bystanders rushed over
to help. He was taken to hospital minutes later. According to early reports
the man suffered burns to 30 percent of his body and is in an induced
coma.The motive for his action is not clear.
The incident coincides with a week of events commemorating the legacy of student martyr Jan Palach who set himself on fire fifty years ago in protest against growing public apathy to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who is on a business-oriented tour of
South Asia on Friday met with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. The two
officials discussed ways of boosting business and trade cooperation,
bilateral ties and relations between India and the European Union.
Attending the Vibrant Gujarat business forum in Gujarat, the Czech prime minister said his country was interested in developing a strategic partnership with India, saying that Czech-India business ties not only had a long tradition, but had great potential for the future.
Prime Minister Babiš will wind up his visit to India in Delhi where he is scheduled to meet with President Shri Ram Nath Kovind.
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