In just five short days, I will return back to the United States after spending four months as a student in Prague. There are many reasons I chose to come here. Aside from having a Czech mother who spent her childhood years in Prague, I must admit that I also came for the cheap prices and bustling nightlife.
Prague city council leaders say they are weighing up the possibility of installing fast start-up electricity generation capacity to cover the possibility of a power black out in the capital. Prague mayor Tomáš Hudeček said the possibility of capacity to cover around a third of Prague’s electricity needs was being looked into following the results of February exercises which showed serious shortcomings in the city’s readiness. The mayor said he hoped that state funding might be forthcoming to cover the costs of such emergency power which might total up to a billion crowns.
Prague’s dominant St. Vitus’ cathedral celebrated the 85th anniversary of its final completion and consecration on Monday with a celebratory mass. Although the cathedral was started in 1344 under the reign of Jan of Luxembourg, it was only completed at a very slow pace with funds frequently running out. A final push to complete the cathedral was made to mark the thousandth anniversary of the death of Saint Wenceslas in 1929. In spite of the slow completion, the cathedral is praised for its consistent gothic style.
The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs is opening up the gardens of its baroque Prague headquarters, Černínský Palace, to stage a celebration of the country’s 10 year membership of the EU. The palace will be open from 10.00 am to 16.00 pm for guided tours with the garden events, including a concert by the band, Buty, starting at 17.30 pm. Exhibitions on Southeast Europe and 10 years of Czech EU membership will also take place in the gardens.
Some 300 Muslims staged a prayer in Prague’s Letná Park outside the Czech Interior Ministry on Friday, in protest against last week’s police raid of two Islamic centres in the capital. The police raided a mosque and a prayer room during last week’s Friday prayers over the publication of a book which allegedly incited religious hatred; one man has been charged with hate speech crimes and faces up to 10 years in prison. On Friday, the head of the Czech Muslim community, Muneeb Hassan Alrawi warned against a surge of islamophobia which could have been triggered by the raid. The police operation has also come been criticized as inadequate by some politicians and public figures.
The Indonesian Embassy in Prague has filed a complaint to the Czech Foreign Ministry over Friday’s police raid at the headquarters of Prague’s Islamic Foundation and a mosque on the outskirts of the city. The raid, made in connection with an allegedly racist publication, took place during Friday prayers disrupting the ceremony attended by around one hundred believers, including women and children. Among them were members of the Indonesian Embassy who were detained for an hour and a half despite their diplomatic status. The police detained 20 people and charged one of inciting racial hatred and xenophobia.
A number of Czech towns and cities marked Holocaust Remembrance Day on Monday with traditional outdoor ceremonies at which the names of Holocaust victims are read out by politicians, church dignitaries and leading cultural figures. In the Czech capital the ceremony took place at Prague’s Náměstí Míru square attended among others by the minister for human rights and minorities, Jiří Dienstbier, the Israeli ambassador to Prague Garz Koren and others. The event, held for the 9th year now, is jointly organized by the Foundation for Holocaust Victims and the Terezín Initiative Institute. Of Czechoslovakia’s pre-war Jewish population of 350,000, 250,000 died during the Holocaust.
Czech president Miloš Zeman is hosting a two day conference in Prague starting Thursday on the European Union’s relations with states from the former Soviet Union, the so-called Eastern Partnership. At least nine presidents are scheduled to take part, including those of Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Ukraine’s acting foreign minister Andrii Deshchytsia is also expected to attend. The Eastern Partnership was created five years ago with the then Czech presidency of the European Council a major impulse behind the move.
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
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives