In today’s Spotlight Radio Prague visits an early Baroque palace known as Michnův palác in the historic quarter of Malá strana. Built in the 16th century, it first belonged to the Micha family before it became munitions factory in the mid-1700s. In the early 20th century, after the founding of Czechoslovakia, it was sold to the patriotic Sokol sport and gymnastics organisation, which renovated it and named it Tyršův dům (or Tyrs’ House) after its main founder.
Prime Minister Nečas says that Prague should have a right-wing city council rather than a grand coalition. Mr Nečas told the economic daily E15 that while his party had suffered a defeat in the local elections at the weekend, the victory of TOP 09 was evidence of the preference for right-wing politics in the city and cooperation with the Social Democratic Party would therefore not be in the interests of the voters. TOP 09 and the Civic Democrats are to begin discussing a council coalition at the end of this week. The prime minister said his main concern in the coming days would be to prevent the Senate from becoming what he called a “destructive chamber of parliament” by falling to a Social Democrat majority in the second round of senate elections next weekend.
The senior coalition party, the Civic Democrats, suffered a major defeat
in weekend’s local elections. The party lost most cities, including
Ostrava, Liberec and the capital Prague. There, another collation party,
the conservative TOP 09 won with over 31 percent of the vote, followed by
the Civic Democrats with 23 percent, and the Social Democrats with just
below 18 percent of the vote. The Civic Democrats lost in the capital for
the first time since the fall of communism. Another coalition party,
Affairs, also suffered a defeat, only gaining several hundred municipal
Overall, various local groups of independent candidates won the highest number of council positions. The turnout in the municipal elections was over 48 percent, slightly higher than in the previous vote four years ago.
In other news: no one has responded to the offer of 3.5 million crowns, or nearly 200,000 US dollars, made by the father of a nine-year-old girl who went missing in Prague on Wednesday. The father offered the money as ransom to potential kidnappers although it’s not clear whether the girl had in fact been kidnapped. The police continue searching for the girl who was last seen in the Prague district of Troja on Wednesday; her bag was later found en route from school to her home. The police have notified the Interpol and stepped up checks at Czech airports. Many volunteers have also joined in the search for the missing girl.
The head of the Green Party, Ondřej Liška, said on Saturday his party
would challenge local elections results in Prague over what they consider
and unfair division of the city into electoral districts. Mr Liška said
the city’s division substantially damaged the Greens who ran in a
coalition with smaller parties and gained 5.9 percent of the vote but no
seats on city council. The Communist and the Public Affairs parties are
considering joining in the complaint.
In August, Prague City Hall, controlled by the Civic Democrats, split the capital into seven electoral districts. Several parties earlier contested the move at the Supreme Administrative Court which rejected the complaint. Mr Liška however believes the Greens can now prove the division was unfair, as votes in different districts have different weight.
The documentary “Eye above Prague”, by the Czech filmmaker Olga Špátová, won an award for the best documentary at the 26th Warsaw International Film Festival on Saturday. The documentary depicts the last two years in the life of the Czech-born architect Jan Kaplický, who passed away in January 2009, and whose project of a new National Library building for Prague was scrapped. The festival jury said the film captured the emotional state of a man who outran his times.
With votes counted from around 60 percent of districts of the capital Prague, the conservative TOP 09 party is in the lead with over 36 percent, followed by the Civic Democrats, with more than 21 percent, and the Social Democrats, with just over 17 percent. This would be the first defeat in the Czech capital for the right-of-centre Civic Democrats, who have dominated Prague politics ever since the fall of communism.
A 33-year-old man was shot in both legs at a Prague club in the early hours of Saturday, a spokesman for the Prague police said. The man, a member of the security staff at the club, got into an argument with a visitor man who took out a gun and shot him in the calves. The injured man was taken into hospital where he underwent an operation. The police have not yet arrested the shooter but said they knew his identity.
The past few weeks have seen commuters in Prague able to test – for the first time - the brand new 15T ForCity tram, designed by Škoda Transportation. The 15T, still undergoing trial runs, is boxier but arguably more refined than previous models, offering more room for passengers (up to 61 seated and 239 standing) as well as a slew of improvements. It is, for example, the first 100 percent low-floor tram in the Czech Republic) making it very user-friendly.
Prague’s Villa Bílek, an intriguing piece of modern architecture, has opened to the public after two years of renovation. Designed by the Czech Art Nouveau artist František Bílek as his studio and family home, it stands out as one of the more unusual architectural landmarks of the capital, reflecting Bílek’s vision of a “stronghold of a higher realm”.
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”