President Miloš Zeman apologized to the US ambassador to the Czech Republic, Andrew Schapiro. on Friday. The Czech head of state had accused Schapiro of not attending the Czech celebrations of national day at the castle on October 28 in a speech welcoming the election of Donald Trump as the next US president. But photographs and statements from other participants at the main event quickly proved Zeman’s accusation to be false. In a statement Friday, Zeman said that he had received the information from the protocol section at the president’s office. “If this information was incorrect, the president of the republic of course apologizes to the ambassador.” Relations between the US ambassador and president Zeman have been strained for some time.
Former Czech-born US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke in Prague Friday on the impact of the election of Donald Trump as the next president of the US. Albright, who backed close friend Hillary Clinton, said the world had not ended but warned that things would evolve differently from what most people expected. In a conference at Charles University’s philosophical faculty, she added that many Americans feared that they were not as rich as before, and their jobs had moved to other countries. She said a gender factor was probably at play in the elections with many white males feeling that they had lost everything. She added that Europe should understand that the US was both an Atlantic and a Pacific power.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek believes that the United States under the leadership of Donald Trump will not back out of the agreement with Iran on its nuclear programme. Mr Zaorálek made the statement on Friday after meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Prague. He also said that fulfilling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action can bring stability to the Middle Eastern region as a whole. The two foreign ministers also discussed their countries’ mutual cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
The environment in the Czech Republic has not worsened in 2015 compared to the previous year, the Czech News Agency reported on Friday, citing the annual report on the Czech environment. One of the persistent problems highlighted by the report is poor air quality, which has not improved sufficiently despite lower overall emissions. The report, put together by the Ministry of Environment, suggests that the quality of air was negatively affected in 2015 by extremely hot and dry weather. The report also suggests that public spending on protection of the environment continues to grow. The government is set to debate the report in November.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka of the Social Democrats called for party unity on Thursday amid growing tension in the party ahead of a planned cabinet shake-up. The prime minister made the appeal in response to human rights minister Jiri Dienstbier’s attack on several party members whom he accused of having pushed for his dismissal from office. There has been speculation that Mr. Dienstbier is one of the ministers slated to go in the pending change-of-guard. The prime minister said the upcoming changes were being made to strengthen the party ahead of the 2017 parliamentary elections and called on party members not to undermine the effort. The prime minister has said the changes in the cabinet would be announced by the beginning of December.
Several commemorative events are being held across the country on Friday to mark the International Veterans Day. In Prague, war veterans, in particular Czechoslovakia’s RAF pilots, will be remembered on Náměstí Míru square at an event organized by the local town hall in cooperation with the Association of Veterans of the Czech Republic, the Czech Army Military History Institute and the Czechoslovak Legionnaires Community. The day will end with an open-air mass paying tribute to fallen soldiers. Veterans Day is celebrating all around the world to mark the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918, which ended World War I.
Saturday is expected to be bring overcast skies with daytime temperatures hovering between -1 and 3 degrees Celsius and snow showers mainly in the south and east of the country.