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25-06-2019

Zeman: Demonstrators against Babiš actually protesting free elections

President Miloš Zeman says people who have recently been demonstrating against Prime Minister Andrej Babiš are in fact protesting against free elections. Speaking at the start of a visit to the Vysočina Region, he said this was in contrast to those who in 1989 demonstrated for free elections.

Mr. Zeman said he did not expect the Babiš government to end until its term concludes in two and a half years’ time. The prime minister’s critics will have to wait until the next elections for change, he said.

Over 250,000 people took part in a protest calling for Mr. Babiš to resign in Prague on Sunday. They say his appointment of a new justice minister soon after police recommended the PM face criminal charges of subsidy fraud creates fears that he could try to interfere in the case.

Babiš: Govt has fulfilled around fifth of tasks in first year

Babiš: Government has fulfilled around fifth of tasks in first year

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says his government has fulfilled around one-fifth of the tasks it set itself when it was appointed a year ago this week. The ANO-Social Democrats cabinet discussed its achievements in its first 12 months at a meeting on Monday evening, a day after mass protests in Prague against Mr. Babiš.

The government outlined 657 tasks on taking office. It has carried out 138 of them so far, the PM said.

On Wednesday the coalition is expected to win a no-confidence vote called after a preliminary European Commission audit found Mr. Babiš to be in conflict of interest in connection his business affairs.

In April police recommended he face trial on a different matter, the abuse of EU subsidies. Mr. Babiš installed a new justice minister the next day, sparking a series of demonstrations against him that culminated on Sunday.

Zeman to attend 2020 events marking 75th anniversary of end of WWII in Moscow

The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, will attend events in Russia next May marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. He was invited to the take part by Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose advisor Yuri Ushakov visited the Czech head of state on Monday.

Mr. Zeman participated in celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the end of the war in Moscow in 2015 and has taken part in similar events at the Russian Embassy in Prague.

Russia marks the end of the war on May 9, a day later than Western European countries. The Czechs previously followed the Russian model but later switched to May 8.

State takes control of rights to Kaplický “Blob” design

The National Library and the Ministry of Culture have signed a memorandum under which the state has taken control of the rights to “the Blob”, a futuristic design for a new library building by the late Jan Kaplický. Under the agreement inked on Tuesday, the architect’s widow has given up the copyright on the design. However this does not mean that the project will necessarily now be realised.

The Prague-born, internationally renowned architect Kaplický won an international competition to design a new National Library building in 2007. However, the project ran into objections and the then arts minister said it was too expensive.

Oldest drawings on Czech territory found in Moravian Karst

The oldest drawings on present day Czech territory are lines and geometrical images created on cave walls by hunters in the early Stone Age, meaning around 4,200 BC, Právo reported on Tuesday, citing new archaeological findings.

Researchers have been examining the drawings, which are on the walls of the Kateřina Cave in the Moravian Karst protected nature reserve. The meaning of the drawings is unclear, they say.

Archaeologist Martin Golec of Palacký University in Olomouc said his team only recently ascertained that the drawings were in fact prehistoric and were not made in the modern age.

Czech directed adaptation of Roth’s Prague Orgy set for big screen

An adaptation of Philip Roth’s novel The Prague Orgy shot in the Czech capital will get a cinema release in October, the producers announced. The film is helmed by Czech director Irena Pavlásková and stars Canadian actor Jonas Chernik as Roth’s protagonist, Nathan Zuckerman, while Russian Ksenia Rappoport is the female lead.

Pavel Kříž plays Zuckerman’s Prague guide and is just one of a number of well-known Czech actors in the movie.

The original novel is based on Roth’s experiences in Prague in the 1970s.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly sunny in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 35 degrees Celsius. The heat wave is expected to continue in the following days.

25-06-2019