Hundreds of politicians, foreign dignitaries and members of the public attended the annual commemorative ceremony in Terezín, the site of a former Nazi concentration camp. Speaking at the gathering, marking the camp's liberation, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka recalled the horrors of Terezín and warned against division in society. He also said peace and freedom were the result of a joint European effort to overcome the differences.
Also known as Theresienstadt, the 200-year-old fortress town was transformed by the Nazis into a camp where Jews from across Europe were gathered until they could be transported to extermination camps. Of the 150, 000 people who were interned at Terezin between 1940 and 1945, 33,000 died and 88,000 were transported to Nazi death camps elsewhere.
TV crews and reporters have been waiting outside the Rýnovice prison in Jablonec nad Nisou for several days for the release of Jiří Kajínek, the Czech Republic’s most notorious prisoner. President Miloš Zeman announced earlier this month that he would grant him a pardon after returning from a trip to China. On Sunday afternoon, the head of the prison, Vlastimil Kříž, told the journalists that he has not yet received the clemency approval from the court.
Jiří Kajínek is serving a life sentence after being found guilty of two contract killings, a crime he has always denied committing. He made headlines by escaping from a maximum security prison. The Czech head of state has granted seven pardons since taking office. Prior to his election he said he would only grant pardons in very exceptional cases.
Hungarian refinery giant MOL, which runs several hundred petrol stations in the Czech Republic, will provide oil to the Czech Administration of State Material Reserves to the tune of 230 million crowns. The company will provide altogether 20 million litres of winter diesel fuel, the administration’s spokeswoman Edita Pechalová told the Czech News Agency on Sunday. The Czech Republic currently doesn’t fulfil the European Directive on oil and crude oil reserves, which requires EU countries with no oil of their own to maintain emergency stocks of crude oil or petroleum products equal to at least 90 days of net imports.
Around four hundred people took part in Saturday’s spring cleaning of the Krkonoše or Giant Mountains. The clean-up event took mainly along the main tourist trails, included the country’s tallest mountain Sněžka. The annual event is organised by the management of the Krkonoše National Park. This year, volunteers gathered around three tons of litter and debris.
Temperatures in the Czech Republic next week could reach up to 25 degrees Celsius. The warm weather is expected to last until Thursday, followed by rain and cooler temperatures. In the next four weeks, temperatures should remain average for the time of year, according to a regularly monthly weather forecast issued by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. Rainfall levels are expected to be slightly above average.
The Czech Republic’s Martin Fuksa has won another gold at the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Portugal’s Montemoru-o-Velho on Saturday. A day after picking up gold in the 1,000 metres, Fuksa topped the podium in the 200 metres on Sunday. The 22-year-old also competed in double canoe, along with his younger brother Petr, finishing fifth in the 500 metres race.
Monday is expected to be mostly sunny with daytime temperatures ranging between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.