The funeral of writer Jiří Stránský took place Prague’s Church of Our
Lady Before Týn on Monday. The mass was served by the head of the Czech
Roman Catholic Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka, who said that Mr. Stránský
had enriched Czech culture thanks to the brave life he had led.
Mr. Stránský, who was 87, spent almost a decade in Communist labour camps as a political prisoner after being convicted of “treason” in the hard-line 1950s and drew on those experiences in his writings. In the 1990s he became president of the Czech PEN Club.
June 10 marks the 77th anniversary of the destruction of the central
Bohemian village Lidice by the Nazis, in what was one of the worst
atrocities in the country’s history.
The village was razed to the ground and its 300 inhabitants, including women and children, were killed as part of reprisals for the assassination of Nazi governor Reinhard Hedyrich.
The village of Ležáky in Eastern Bohemia suffered a similar fate just a fortnight later.
A commemorative ceremony marking the 77th anniversary of the Lidice tragedy has been scheduled for June 15 at the Lidice memorial.
Deputy Prime Minister and Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček on Sunday
met with representatives of the civic initiative Million Moments for
Democracy, which has been organizing anti-government protests around the
country in recent weeks.
Mr. Hamáček met with the protest leaders after Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, against whom the protests are primarily directed, refused to do so. He later wrote on Twitter that the meeting had focussed around guarantees for the independence of the judiciary and the discussed amendment to the law on state attorneys, which would limit their time in office.
Demonstrators have been calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the dismissal of Marie Benešová, who was appointed to the post of justice minister just a day after the police proposed charging the prime minister with EU subsidy fraud.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ ANO party would still win general elections
in the country, despite a slight drop in support, according to a poll for
Czech Television conducted by the Kantar agency.
According to the May survey ANO would gain 27.5 percent of the vote, down by 2.5 percent on the previous month, the Pirate Party would come second with 17.5 percent of the vote, the centre-right Civic Democrats third, with 12.5 percent.
The only other parties which would cross the 5 percent margin needed to win seats in the lower house are the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party, the Mayors and Independents, the Communist Party and the Social Democrats.
A flash poll conducted by the Median agency on the anti-Babiš protests
that have been taking place in Prague and other big cities in recent weeks,
suggests that while a third of respondents support them, a fifth of those
polled disagree with them.
Ninety percent of respondents said they had registered the protests, 59 percent said they were not particularly interested in them, while 25 percent said they followed them with interest. Six percent of respondents said they had taken part in the demonstrations at least once.
Thirty-four percent of respondents said they approve of the protests, 26 percent of those polled said the demonstrations were legitimate but they did not agree with the sentiments voiced there, 22 percent found them unjustified and 18 percent had no opinion on the matter.
The centre-right opposition parties in the lower house have said they want
to call a vote of no- confidence in the Babiš government, despite the fact
that they lack the votes needed to bring down the administration.
In a debate on Czech Television Miroslav Kalousek from TOP 09 said the growing scandal surrounding the prime minister regarding his alleged conflict of interest required a move from the opposition, albeit only a moral one.
In the past few days both the prime minister’s coalition partner, the Social Democrats, and the Communist Party, which supports the minority coalition government, have said they will continue to back the Babiš minority government.
Speaking to journalists in Slovakia, Prime Minister Babiš dismissed the demonstrations against him, saying there would be no change of government in Prague because of street protesters.
Prague Museum Night attracted close to 150,000 visitors, within the
framework of a festival that has a 15-year-long tradition, according to the
ctk news agency. The most popular institution was the newly-renovated
National Museum at the top end of Wenceslas Square which attracted 11,500
Over 70 galleries, museums and other cultural institutions opened their doors to the public between 7pm and 1 am on Saturday night.
Prague Museum Night was the culmination of the annual Festival of Museum Nights.In the course of the last three weeks over 500 museums and cultural institutions in 158 towns and cities opened their doors to the public.
A new intercity train and bus schedule comes into force on June 9, with
changes to routes as well as arrivals and departures. Rail and bus
operators are introducing a number of new connections in view of
accommodating locals and tourists in the course of the summer.
The changes also affect a number of international trains. One of the novelties is a direct RegioJet connection from Prague to Bratislava, Czech Railways is offering new connections to the Tatra Mountains and the Baltic Sea resorts.
Passengers are advised to check out their train and bus connections online before setting off.