A crowd of around 20,000 ice hockey fans welcomed the Czech ice hockey team who arrived in Prague on Monday afternoon after winning the Ice Hockey World Championships in Vienna on Sunday. The Czech team beat the Canadians 3:0, breaking Canada's bid to win a third consecutive championship. The win handed Czechs their fifth title in ten years. Vaclav Prospal opened the scoring in the first period, while Martin Rucinsky scored in the 2nd, and Josef Vasicek added an empty-netter in the final seconds of the game.
The Czech Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, the chairman of the lower house, Lubomir Zaoralek and other top officials have unveiled a statue of the second Czechoslovak President Edvard Benes in front the Foreign Ministry at Prague Castle. Mr Zaoralek said that President Benes stood at the birth of democratic Czechoslovakia and stood firmly on the side of those who fought Nazism. Mr Zaoralek also dismissed criticism of President Benes coming from some Sudeten German groups. For example, Bavaria's state premier Edmund Stoiber said at the weekend's meeting of the Sudeten German Landsmanschaft that the unveiling of President Benes's statue was a provocation. Mr Stoiber again criticized the so called Benes decrees which formed a legal basis for the expulsion of over 2.5 million Sudeten Germans from post war Czechoslovakia.
More than fifty percent of Czechs believe that the European Union should have a common constitution, according to a recent poll carried out by the CVVM polling agency. Six out of ten respondents said that a referendum should decide on the approval of the EU constitution in the Czech Republic and an absolute majority of respondents said that they were not informed about the content of the European constitution at all. The new government of Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek announced that the ratification of the EU Constitution was its top priority.
Around 2,000 Czech war veterans have been awarded by the Russian President Vladimir Putin on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Great Patriotic War, as WWII is called in Russia. The Russian General Consul in Brno Viktor Sibilev said the awarded Czech veterans had fought in the Red Army or in partisan resistance units. The Russian diplomat, who on Monday presented the medals to 44 veterans from the eastern Vysocina region, said Russia had been putting together the list since November.
The Czech football club Bohemians Prague have been saved from bankruptcy, team representatives announced on Monday. The club was stripped of its professional licence and knocked out of the second football league several weeks ago because of crippling debts. At a news conference on Monday representatives of the recently-formed AFK Vrsovice company said they had taken over the club. According to the club's website, British company New Europe Entrepreneurs Counsellors is the full owner of AFK. Bohemians, who were founded in 1905, won the Czech title in 1983 and in the same year reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup.
Over the next couple of days we can expect cloudy skies and rain, with daytime temperatures between 17 and 20 degrees Celsius.
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