The fifth Prague Pride festival of LGBT culture culminated with a parade through the city centre on Saturday. The 10,000-strong parade, led by Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová and a number of Czech celebrities, set off from Wenceslas Square, passed across Čechův bridge and ended at Letná. This year’s LGBT festival, held under the motto “We all have a rainbow inside us” offered over 120 events, including debates, film screenings and exhibitions. Some 160 foreign visitors took part, including Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst and the London Gay Men’s Chorus.
The Prague Pride festival has divided the Christian Democratic Party of the Czech ruling coalition, with some members slamming Culture Minister Daniel Herman for supporting the LGBT festival. However a march in support of the “traditional family” model organized by Christian Democrat opponents of Prague Pride attracted only a handful off supporters. Jan Wolf, a Christian Democrat and Prague councillor said he was disappointed by the low turnout. Jan Gregor, deputy chair of the Young Christian Democrats called the Prague Pride parade “obscene”.
President Miloš Zeman has met with the army chief-of-staff Josef Bečvář to discuss the ongoing migrant crisis and the possibility of using the army to secure the country’s borders against the growing number of illegal migrants. The army chief-of staff assured the president that the military was ready to react flexibly to the needs of the country should the government request such assistance. He said the army was prepared to deploy up to 2,500 men in the border areas. Earlier this week President Zeman and the heads of both houses of Parliament, Jan Hamáček and Milan Štěch, stressed the need for the EU to strengthen its external borders. They agreed that if that is not done in the foreseeable future then the Czech Republic should strengthen its own borders against the growing influx of illegal migrants.
Some two hundred people joined an anti-migrant protest at Vyšehrad in Prague organized by the non-Parliamentary National Democracy party. According to the internet news site idnes.cz protesters called for all migrants to be driven out of the country and for the Czech Republic to leave the EU. According to idnes there was a skirmish with several opponents of the protest which was cut short by the police. The protesters then marched to the headquarters of Czech public television which they accuse of biased and manipulative reporting.
Clean-up work is underway at the Unipetrol chemical plant near Litvínov which was ravaged by a massive fire on Thursday. It took fire crews 48 hours to put out the blaze and cool the facility. Experts have repeatedly been taking ground samples and testing the air for pollutants. So far no toxic substances have been uncovered, confirming Unipetrol’s earlier claim that no toxic substances were released into the environment during the explosion that set off the blaze. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
Traffic police have reported an exceptionally high number of deaths on Czech roads in the past three days. Fifteen people are reported to have been killed in road accidents since Thursday. The police put the increase down to the exceptionally hot weather which they say may have a similar effect on drivers as alcohol. Traffic police have issued repeated warnings for drivers to exercise greater caution.
The Assay Office has warned the public against shopping for gold, silver and precious stones on e-shops that are not registered with the office. It says moreover that apart from possible financial losses there is a possible health risk, since jewelry from Asia has been found to contain toxic metals such as cadmium. The Assay Office said that in 2014 it had issued 300 fines to the tune of 2.5 million crowns.