President Miloš Zeman will mark the 26th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and the 76th anniversary of a Nazi crackdown on Czech universities at Albertov shortly after a demonstration against immigrants is due to start there, the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček told Czech Television on Sunday. Mr. Ovčáček said it was likely that the head of state would address the gathering, similarly as he did last year when faced with a hostile crowd of his critics. Mr. Zeman is known for his tough stance on the migrant issue and has in the past come under fire for making anti-Islamic statements. The migrant issue is expected to dominate the 26th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution with demonstrations both in support of and against migrants planned in Prague and other cities.
A growing number of parents are refusing to get their childen vaccinated against serious childhood illnesses, the president of the Czech Association of Pediatricians Alena Sebkova told the ctk news agency. She said parents often fear the side-effects of the vaccine more than the illness itself. In such cases doctors have parents sign a form saying they take responsibility for the risks involved. Dr. Sebkova said that this trend could have serious consequences in that it might bring back eradicated diseases.
Twenty percent of Czechs think bribes are a normal part of life, according to a poll conducted by the CVVM agency. A fifth of respondents said they would think nothing of offering a bribe to smooth the way at a public institution or hospital. On the other hand two-fifth of Czechs said they would never offer a bribe on principle. The Czech Republic has had serious problems tackling widespread corruption in the wake of four decades of communism when small bribes were often the only way of acquiring hard to get products or services.
The ANO party has gained a strong lead over its rivals in public trust ratings. According to the outcome of an October poll conducted by the TNS Aisa agency ANO would now win general elections with 28 percent of the vote. Its coalition ally, the Social Democrats, has fallen a full 12 points behind it, with just 16 percent, the Communist Party, in third place, would get 12.5 percent, the centre right TOP 09 would get 9.5 percent and the Civic Democrats 7 percent. The only other party to cross the 5 percent threshold needed to win seats in the lower house would be the junior party of the governing coalition, the Christian Democrats with 5.5 percent.
Close to 200 people had to be evacuated from Hotel Step in Prague 9 after a fire broke out in one of the hotel’s saunas. No one was reported injured. The cause of the accident is being investigated. A preliminary estimate of the damage is at around 1 million crowns.
The Czech hockey team beat Russia 4:3 at the Karjala Cup in Helsinki on Sunday. The winning shot was scored by Jan Kovář. Despite playing their best game in the tournament and winning their first two points this season the Czechs will place last in the tournament.
Temperature records are falling around the country due to the unseasonably warm weather. Four monitoring stations on Saturday recorded the highest ever measurements taken in November since recording began in 1775. The highest temperature recorded was at Kopisty, north-west of Prague which reported a high of 20.4 degrees C. Meteorologists predict that the entire month of November should bring above average temperatures and very little rain.
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