The center-right opposition parties TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats say they will call for a special session of the lower house of Parliament to debate the recent joint proclamation of leading Czech officials to reassure China of the Czech Republic’s continued interest in developing close ties with the country and saying the Czech Republic fully respects China’s territorial integrity. The proclamation came in connection with a visit to Prague by the Dalai Lama and his meeting with Culture Minister Daniel Herman. Opposition parties and the Christian Democrats of the ruling coalition have criticized the proclamation for its submissive tone saying that it degraded the Czech Republic and was a throw-back to the communist days. Right-wing senators have called on the chamber’s speaker Milan Stěch, who is running for re-election, to distance himself from the proclamation he signed or forego their support.
Communist Party leader Vojtech Filip has called on Culture Minister Daniel Herman to resign for “repeatedly breaking his oath of office”. The party leader accused Mr. Herman of lying when he said the president had crossed his uncle, Holocaust survivor George Brady, off the list of nominees for a state award and he once again criticized him for having attended the annual conference of the Sudeten Sudeten-German Landsmannschaft in Nuremberg in May of this year. At the meeting Culture Minister Herman expressed regret over the injustices that had broken up long years of fruitful coexistence between the nations, speaking both about the crimes of the Nazi regime as well as the violent acts of revenge committed during the post-war transfer of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia. The Communist Party leader said Herman’s actions damaged the country adding that if he did not resign of his own accord he would ask the prime minister to recall him. Culture Minister Herman, who attended the Landsmannschaft meeting as an official representative of the Czech government, lashed back, accusing the Communist Party of trying to raise its profile in the wake of its humiliating defeat in October’s Senate and local elections.
One of the country’s last surviving WWII veterans, Colonel Bedřich Opočenský, has died at the age of 92. The news was confirmed by Defense Minister Martin Stropnický. Colonel Opočenský fought on the Eastern Front in World War II, taking part in the Battle of Dukla Pass and the liberation of Ostrava. According to Defense Minister Stropnický, just two weeks ago the government approved a proposal for him to be raised to the rank of general on the occasion of Veterans Day, November 11.
MPs from the Platform for Preserving European Culture want the Czech Republic to adopt legislation which would prevent radical Islamic priests from being allowed to preach in the country. They have put forward a draft bill according to which foreign priests who wish to be active in the Czech Republic would have to undergo schooling on the Czech legal and cultural environment. The bill is reportedly tailored according to Austrian and Danish legislation, which also sought to bring radical priests under greater state control. At the end of August the Czech intelligence services reported they were investigating an imam formerly active in Prague who had apparently tried to radicalize the Czech Muslim community.
Police President Tomas Tuhý, who was caught speeding earlier this year, has been punished with a six-months driving ban and a fine of 10,000 crowns, the news site novinky.cz reported on Saturday. The news was confirmed by the police president himself who said the punishment had been meted out by his superior, Interior Minister Milan Chovanec last week. Tuhý was caught speeding near Ostrava where he was driving at 100 km per hour on a stretch with a 50 km speed limit.
The long weekend marks the end of Daylight Saving Time around Europe. At 3am on Sunday October 30, clocks will be turned back one hour to local standard time, or winter time. Traditionally the time shift will affect the schedule of international trains and busses. In the Czech Republic this concerns eleven express trains passing through the country which will take an hour-long break on the border.
Sunday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain in the western parts of the country and day temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius.