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Political groups and gay marriage supporters hold May Day events

Political parties and other groups held events in Prague and elsewhere in the Czech Republic on Tuesday marking May Day, which is a holiday. The Communist Party had a gathering at the capital’s Výstaviště, the Social Democrats were on Střelecký ostrov, ANO were at Ladronka and the Civic Democrats were on Petřín hill.

Anarchists organised a gathering in Prague while the far-right Workers Party of Social Justice and other groups came together in Plzeň.

In the Czech Republic May 1 is also considered a day of lovers and homosexual rights group We Are Fair created a huge cake in Prague in support of marriage equality.

Parties edging closer to coalition deal but hurdles remain

The text of an agreement on a coalition between ANO and the Social Democrats supported by the Communists on key votes should be completed this week. The leaders of the three parties should confirm the text on Friday, Czech Television reported on Tuesday.

However, disagreements remain, with ANO against the Social Democrats’ efforts to include a proviso under which ANO chief and acting PM Andrej Babiš would have to step down if found guilty of abusing EU subsidies.

ANO are also unwilling to accede to the Social Democrats’ demands to weaken the position of Freedom and Direct Democracy on lower house committees.

Fire officers enforce “witch burning” ban in Prague

The Prague fire service were called out 15 times between Monday evening and Tuesday morning in connection with the Czech tradition of “witch burning” bonfires. They had been banned in the capital this year in view of dry conditions and strong winds and in eight cases the organisers agreed to fire officers’ calls for them to douse the fires. The other seven cases were false alarms, a fire service spokesperson said.

Fire fighters did not have to deal with any blazes resulting from unauthorised bonfires getting out of control.

Large public bonfires were called off at a number of places in the capital and people were also told not to light them on their own properties.

Total ban on smoking introduced at Prague airport

A total ban on smoking came into effect at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport on Tuesday. Previous smoking areas in the facility’s transit areas have been done away with and the ban also applies to electronic cigarettes.

Operators said they expected the number of smoke-free airports to grow and wished to get on board with the healthy trend.

Fourteen spots near entrances to the airport’s buildings have been reserved for smokers.

Anifilm festival kicks off in Třebon

The Anifilm festival of animated film gets underway in the town of Třebon on Tuesday with the Czech premiere’s of Wes Anderson’s latest movie Isle of Dogs. Guests at the annual event will include US director Chris Landreth, who received an Oscar for his film Ryan, and animators from the Pixar studios.

Libuše Čihařová, who co-created the classic Czech cartoons Bob and Bobek and Maxipes Fík, will receive a lifetime achievement award at Anifilm, which runs until Sunday.

Jágr set to continue with Kladno next season

Ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr looks set to remain with his hometown club Kladno next season. The 46-year-old’s name is among the 16 players listed as being on Kladno’s roster for the 2018–2019 season, which has been published on the club’s website.

Jágr, the second most productive player in the history of the NHL, joined Kladno from Calgary at the end of January. He subsequently played only four full games before being largely sidelined by the return of a knee injury.

Weather forecast

Wednesday should be bright with the chance of storms in the Czech Republic. Temperatures of up to 21 degrees Celsius are expected. More rain and similar daytime highs are forecast for the following days.