In a commemorative ceremony marking 30 years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and Bavarian State Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Albert Furacker symbolically cut through a small stretch of the Iron Curtain left for posterity at the Rozvadov -Waidhaus Czech-German border crossing.
The ceremony was reminiscent of the occasion when foreign ministers Hans Dietrich Genscher and Jiri Dienstbier cut through the barbed wire of the Iron Curtain in the tumultuous days of 1989, reuniting the long-divided nations.
At the ceremony Foreign Minister Petříček spoke about how much damage the isolation of Czechoslovakia had caused and how many people had lost their lives at the Iron Curtain trying to flee to freedom.
The police are reported to have arrested two Spaniards and one Czech national caught smuggling 1,500 kilograms of cocaine on a sailboat off the Canary Islands.
According to the news site La Provincia, the police raided the boat some 140 kilometres from Gran Canaria, confiscating 50 large parcels of cocaine. The suspects are being questioned.
It is one of the biggest hauls the police have uncovered, although the Canary Islands are on the main smugglers route from South America and Africa to Europe.
President Miloš Zeman will make his traditional Christmas address to the nation on Thursday, December 26th at 1pm CET, his spokesman Jiří Ovčáček confirmed on Twitter on Monday. The presidential address, which is a an assessment of the past year and a look into the future, will be broadcast live by the country’s public broadcasters as well as the commercial TV stations NOVA and Barrandov.
Czechs' biggest concerns relate to migration, their health and the state of the environment, according to an end-of-year poll conducted by the CVVM agency.
While fears relating to migration have been dropping –from 31 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2019 – fears relating to the environment are growing. While in 2016 a mere 2 percent of respondents voiced this concern, this year it was 19 percent. 19 percent of respondents are also concerned about their health.
Other concerns include fear of a terrorist attack, family problems and problems at work.
A carillon concert is to take place on the Vltava River on Monday night, within the city’s Christmas celebrations. The mobile carillon was made by Petr Rudolf Manousek, a descendant of an old family of Czech bell-founders.
The hour long performance by the Dutch carillon player Rosemarie Seuntiëns titled Roaming Bells will take place on a boat just off Charles Bridge starting at 7.30 pm.
December 24 is expected to be one of the warmest on record since monitoring began, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
Afternoon temperatures are expected to reach eight degrees Celsius and more which would place it among the ten warmest days at this time of year since regular meteorological measurements commenced at Prague's Klementinum observatory in 1752.
The warmest December 24th ever recorded was in 2012 when temperatures in Prague reached 12.7 degrees Celsius.
Tuesday should bring partly cloudy to overcast skies with rain and day temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius. The weather should remain mild in the following days as well.