Michal Klepetek, a ballet dancer of the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc, has won the Czech Mr Gay pagent. The 28-year-old dancer defeated another six finalists in the competition’s final held in a Prague theatre on Friday night. The contestants competed in several rounds including a swimsuit catwalk, question responses, and a free discipline. The organizers raised 35,000 crowns that was donated to a cancer-research endowment fund.
The leader of the Dawn party, Tomio Okamura, said one of his party’s candidates in the European elections, Klára Samková, had “not a drop of Gypsy blood” in her veins. Ms Samková has worked as attorney for a number of Romany clients and was married to a Romany man. Mr Okamura made the comment on Facebook when asked why the party, known for its anti-Romany rhetoric, had fielded Ms Samková for the election. The comments came under criticism from Romany advocates; for her part, Klára Samková came out in defence of Mr Okamura, saying he meant no offence.
Representatives of the country’s Olah Romanies elected a new king in the town of Hradec Králové on Saturday. Their new monarch is to be fifty-two-year- old entrepreneur Robert Beneš from Brno. Although Benes was elected by Olah representatives from dozens of towns and cities, he may not be accepted by all Olah Romanies. For instance the Olah clan from Ostrava was notably absent from the vote. Elections of previous Olah kings have been known to stir controversy. In 2001 Jan Lipa was elected king of the Olahs, but a congregation of Olah Romanies in Brno refused to accept him and elected Jan Horvátko instead. Lipa died in 2012, Horvátko a year later.
Overcoming the language barrier is one of the main hurdles Romany children face on starting school and is one of the oft-cited reasons for putting them in “special schools” for children with learning disabilities. Deputies in the lower house are now engaged in a debate on whether to introduce a special dual-language curriculum for Romany children.
Finance Minister and ANO party leader Andrej Babiš on Thursday apologized for his attack on the news website echo24.cz. Earlier this week, Mr Babiš said the website’s investor was a front, and indirectly threatened to audit his tax returns. His comments came after ANO’s Justice Minister Helená Válková suggested in an interview for the website that conditions in Bohemia and Moravia under Nazi rule were not that harsh. Mr Babiš said the interview was not fair. The outlet, which has also expressed critical views of the finance minister and his party, was founded by journalists who left the daily Lidové noviny after it was acquired by Mr Babiš last year. In a statement for another of his papers, Mladá fronta Dnes, Andrej Babiš apologized for his remarks and said it was not his intention to check the media outlet’s finances or to silence anyone.
The Czech government’s Agency for Social Inclusion will launch a nationwide anti-racism campaign, its coordinator Jaroslav Valůch said on Wednesday. The campaign will start in the autumn, and will focus on people between 15 and 25 years of age. The agency is planning to use testimonies of victims of racially motivated violence to refute myths and disinformation about the country’s minorities. It will also work with schools, mainly in the depressed north Bohemia and Moravia-Silesia regions, Mr Valůch said. The project, covered mostly by EU funds, will last two years.
The Czech Republic has a large Vietnamese community and today Vietnamese-run open-all-hours corner stores are to be found throughout the country. Indeed, a new report by market analysts Nielsen says that one fifth of Czech food shops are now Asian run. But what does the boom in Vietnamese stores mean for consumers? That’s a question I put to leading Czech food writer Petra Pospěchová.
Statistics reveal a significant gender gap in pay, according to a report by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. The figures show that both in the private and public sector women make on average 17 percent less than men in similar positions. The gap is reportedly widest in the 40 to 50 age bracket, where women make on average 23,000 crowns a month, while men make on average 31,000 crowns.
Since its foundation in the early 1990s, the Prague-based Člověk v tísni, or People in Need, has become one of the biggest NGOs in Central Europe. Founding member Šimon Pánek has for many years been the organisation’s director, and when we met at People in Need’s HQ the other day the conversation touched on its targeting of aid, politics, international perception and plans for the future. But I first asked Pánek what for him had been its standout projects of the last 20 years-plus.
The Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka, has promised that his cabinet will deal with the issue of discrimination against the Roma minority in the Czech Republic, the news site novinky.cz reported. Mr. Sobotka made the pledge in a reply to a letter the government received from the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Nils Muižnieks, who called for action to halt a growing number of anti-Roma demonstrations. The Czech leader said his cabinet would stand up to all forms of violence, hostility and discrimination, including “anti-gypsyism”. Mr. Sobotka said the government was preparing a national strategy on Roma integration that would be in place until 2020.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”