State dignitaries as well as war veterans and hundreds of members of the
public gathered at Prague’s Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius on
Tuesday. They were marking the 77th anniversary of the heroic last stand of
seven paratroopers, who were involved in the assassination of Reinhard
Heydrich, the governor of the occupied Czech lands during WWII.
Speaking at the gathering, Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar said that it was important to remember such acts. Deputy Premier Jan Hamáček and the speaker of the lower house of Parliament Radek Vondráček laid wreaths at the memorial.
In a project which took place earlier in 2019, researches from the Military History Institure found two new areas within the church crypts that show where the paratroopers were trying to dig themselves out of their encirclement by Nazi troops.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will meet with the president of the
European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, on Thursday, news website
iRozhlas reports, citing the spokeswoman of the EC president, Mina
Two weeks ago, the Czech prime minister said he would personally bring up a preliminary EC audit, which found him in a conflict of interest, with Mr. Juncker and ask about its authors, whom he called “incompetent”.
However, Ms. Andreeva did not confirm the meeting would revolve around the audit’s findings, stating instead that the agenda was unspecified and that the two leaders would be preparing for the next European Council meeting.
This year, up to half of the Czech Republic’s spruce tree population
could be infested by bark beetles if the current crisis scenarios end up
happening, Environment Minister Richard Brabec said at a meeting of Central
Bohemian mayors on Tuesday. The spruce is the country’s most common tree,
making up more than half of all woodland in the country. According to Mr.
Brabec, 500,000 hectares of forest are now at risk.
The bark beetle has become a serious problem for Czech woodland in recent years, because of the increasingly hotter, dryer climate. Spruce trees are most at risk from bark beetles and the fact that they tend to be planted in large woodland monocultures makes the problem worse, experts say.
Czech opposition parties say they have enough signatures to call a no-confidence vote against the current government, the leader of the largest parliamentary opposition party, Petr Fiala of the Civic Democrats, said at a press conference on Tuesday. The vote is expected to be scheduled for some time next week. The reason for the vote is a preliminary EU audit last month found Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to be in a conflict of interest and suggested the Czech Republic return hundreds of millions of crowns in EU funds. Mr. Fiala stated that the prime minister has been damaging the Czech Republic’s reputation abroad.
A district court in Hradec Králové on Tuesday acknowledged the right of
the family of aristocrat Karel des Fours Walderode to property confiscated
on the basis of the Beneš decrees in the post-war period.
Walderode’s widow Johanna Kammerlander has since 1992 been fighting to regain control of family assets in north Bohemia valued at around 3 billion crowns. Following the district court ruling, upholding a preliminary decision of 2017, hearings could take place regarding around 1,400 individual properties.
Due to his German nationality, des Fours Walderode lost his property in 1946 under the Beneš decrees. The family had their Czechoslovak citizenship returned the following year, but the Communists took power before the assets could be returned. After emigrating in 1948, he again lost his citizenship.
David Pastrňák, a 23-year-old forward for the Boston Bruins, has been
named Czech ice hockey Player of the Year for a third time in a row, in an
Pastrňák narrowly edged out Tomáš Hertl of the San Jose Sharks in the poll. Placing third was Jakub Voráček of the Philadelphia Flyers, fourth was David Krejčí of the Boston Bruins, and in fifth Michael Frolík of the Calgary Flames.
In 2017 Pastrňák was the youngest ever recipient of the Golden Hockey Stick award, now in its 51st edition. Jaromír Jágr has won the award the most times of any player, with 12 to his name.
Criminal charges of corruption have been filed against more than 30 people,
mainly Prague 1 officials, over the sale of city-owned flats at below
market rates, the news server ListZprávy.cz reported on Tuesday.
Among the accused are former Prague 1 district mayor Oldřich Lomecký and his then deputy Daniel Hodek, who are alleged to have voted to sell off apartments cheaply for personal gain, the news server writes.
According to an expert opinion commissioned by the police, more than 20 city flats were sold below the market price, resulting in lost revenues of some 40 million crowns.
Social Democrats party chairman Jan Hamáček told journalists on Monday
that his party could withdraw from the coalition government if its senior
partner ANO votes to elect far-right journalist Michal Semin to the council
of state news agency ČTK.
Semin, who has blamed American elites for the 9/11 terror attacks, heads the ultra-conservative movement Akce DOST. Last week, the Federation of Jewish Communities protested against his candidacy, citing his alleged anti-Semitic statements
His candidacy for the ČTK council was proposed by the far-right opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy party. It was also backed by ANO deputies in a first-round vote earlier in June.
Hamáček said that Semin was an “unacceptable” candidate. If ANO voted to support him in the second round on 20 June, there would be no point for the Social Democrats to continue in the coalition government, he said.
Later on Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who founded ANO, said his party had not supported Semin’s candidacy and would not back him in future. He said he did not understand why Hamáček said otherwise, calling it “a nonsense”.
The Czech Republic’s producer price inflation slowed in May after rising
the previous month, according to data released by the Czech Statistical
Office on Monday.
The producer price index rose 3.8 percent year on year in May, slower than 4.3 percent increase in April. The biggest increase was in ‘electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning’ prices, which rose by 8.6 percent annually in May.
Prices of ‘mining and quarrying’, and ‘food products, beverages and tobacco’ rose by 7.5 percent and 4.0 percent, respectively. Among the main industrial groupings, energy prices grew the most, rising 8.1 percent in annual terms.