Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has urged President Miloš Zeman to act like a statesman and honour Auschwitz survivor George Brady with an academic award in recognition of his life’s work. On his Twitter account the prime minister warned that otherwise the celebrations marking Czechoslovak Independence Day at Prague Castle would turn into a festival of pettiness and disagreements. A growing number of politicians, academics and cultural figures have announced they will not be attending the event in solidarity with George Brady who was reportedly crossed off the list of nominees because his nephew Culture Minister Daniel Herman met with the Dalai Lama during his visit to Prague. In a private conversation with Deputy Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Mr. Zeman admitted having asked the culture minister no to meet with Dalai Lama but denied having threatened him that failure to comply would result in his uncle not receiving a state award.
Prime Minister Sobotka likewise commented on the fact that some politicians are planning a separate celebration on Prague’s Old Town Square. He said he did not consider this a good idea since Czechoslovak Independence Day is an occasion that should unite and not divide the nation.
Terezin and Auschwitz survivor George Brady, 88, who is at the centre of an awrd scandal that has reverberated across the political scene, arrived in the Czech Republic late Sunday afternoon. Mr. Brady expressed regret over the developments surrounding his award, but said that even if he was no longer up for a state award, he had wanted to visit his homeland. Palacký University in Olomouc has said it would be honoured to give Mr. Brady an academic award in recognition of his life’s work. The visit has spark great media interest and journalists were at the airport awaiting his arrival.
Cardinal Dominik Duka celebrated a mass at the Basilica of St Peter and St Paul at Vysehrad on Sunday in memory of the victims of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising. The uprising, which lasted from October 23 until November 10, 1956, started as a student protest and quickly grew into was a nationwide revolt against the government and its Soviet-imposed policies. It was brutally crushed by Soviet troops who invaded the country. Over 2,500 Hungarians were killed in the conflict, and 200,000 people fled the country. Mass arrests and denunciations continued for months after.
The Communist Party leadership has survived a call for a change-of-guard in the wake of the party’s defeat in October’s regional and Senate elections. The call for new party elections came from the Ostrava region, but did not receive majority support. The party analyzed the reasons for its failure, concluding that it would stick with its program but needed to change its approach and rhetoric ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.
Homeopathy sceptics in a number of cities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia staged a mass "overdose" of homeopathic remedies, in a bid to prove they have no effect. In Prague homeopathy critics, among them doctors, vets and members of the Sysifos club of sceptics met on Palacký square where they demonstrated the production homeopathy medicine on homeo-rum which they offered the public. Similar happenings by homeopathy sceptics have been held abroad.
A real estate boom fueled by low mortgage rates has sent up housing prices in Prague, making it one of the costliest cities to live in, Czech Television reported. Czechs with an average salary now have to work eleven years for a flat of approximately seventy square meters. An Austrian would need to work for nine years to acquire a similar flat in Vienna, while a German would only need to work for six years to buy a one in Berlin. London, Paris or Brussels are more expensive. An average flat of seventy square meters in Prague costs approximately 7.5 million crowns. Just a year ago Czechs needed to work less than ten years to acquire it.
Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers in the north-western parts of the country and day temperatures between 9 and 12 degrees Celsius.