Demonstrations were held in 11 cities and towns in the Czech Republic on
Monday against the election of Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček as chairman
of the lower house committee that oversees the General Inspectorate of the
Security Services, which investigates police crimes. His election took
place on Friday; 79 of a 155 MPs present voted in favour.
Mr Ondráček was a member of a riot police unit that beat protesters during Palach Week in January 1989, preceding the Velvet Revolution which brought down the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in November of that year. His election to the post not only caused a broad outcry but led the prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš, to say he will push for his removal.
Demonstrations began at seven pm but petitions were available for signing two hours earlier. Sites posted photos of large crowds of demonstrators coming together on Wenceslas Square, some waving Czech flags and others carrying signs with slogans against the committee head and against the Communist Party. Some of the protesters also laid blame with the prime minister with signs saying he "had to go". Some unofficial estimates put the crowd size in Prague alone as at least ten thousand.
Protestors are meeting in Prague, Brno, Ostrava, Liberec, České Budějovice, Písek, Jihlava, Olomouc, Plzeň, Hradec Králové, and Rožnov pod Radhoštem.
The ANO deputies’ club will meet on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of
removing Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček from his post as chairman of the
committee overseeing the General Inspectorate of the Security Services.
The news was confirmed by ANO’s leader Andrej Babiš in Zlín. The Communist Party will also be meeting over the matter. The prime minister is looking for support in a second chance to form a viable government; the most likely scenario so far is a minority government of ANO with the Social Democrats, with tacit support from the Communists, who, however, will seek for elements of their party program to be incorporated into the government’s.
On Sunday, however, Mr Babiš did a U-turn on the matter of Mr Ondráček’s election.
The prime minister in resignation Andrej Babiš remains the country’s
most popular leader of parties in the lower house, according to a new poll
by the STEM agency. While his popularity has fallen (it is at 48 percent
compared to 56 percent in March of last year) Mr Babiš still finished far
ahead of Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartoš and the head of Freedom and
Direct Democracy Tomio Okamura, who gained 36 and 35 percent, respectively.
Tied for the lowest rung on the ladder, in the 8TH and 9th spots, are the leaders of TOP 09 Jiří Pospíšil and Stan’s Petr Gazdík, both with 24 percent.
City Hall and the Prague Public Transit Company have been unable to launch
a tender on the design of stations on the planned “D” metro line which
is to join Pankrác and Písnice after failing to reach an agreement with
the company in charge of construction, Metroprojekt.
The news was confirmed by Deputy Prague Mayor Petra Kolínská and councillor and mayor of Prague 7 Jan Čižinský. The Mayor of Prague Adriana Krnáčová said she would now also take part in talks with the company. Metroprojekt has to rescind the right to the IP before the artistic look of the new planned stations is chosen.
Russian businessman Iskander Makhmudov, the majority owner of Aircraft
Industries (formerly Let Kunovice), a producer of civilian planes in the
Czech Republic, is named among a group of influential Russian oligarchs on
a list compiled by the US Department of the Treasury, Czech Radio’s
The Russian has had a controlling stake through the mining concern UGMK in 2013, the news site said. The producer in Kunovice counts the Czech Army as one of its clients. The firm itself has not commented.
The list of influential business figures and politicians with apparent ties to the Kremlin was published by the US in January, after the US Congress ordered the list to be compiled for alleged meddling in the US presidential election in 2016. The list was reportedly drawn up from open sources including Forbes.
Czech hockey goalie Petr Mrázek may have gotten off to a three game
winning start with his new NHL club the Philadelphia Flyers but a three
game skid has followed, including a 7-6 loss against in the shootout to
Tampa Bay at the weekend and a 4-1 defeat by the Florida Panthers on
The only Czech to get on the board in the NHL on Sunday was forward Tomáš Hyka, called up from the farm team for Las Vegas: he earned an assist in the Golden Knights’ 3-2 win over New Jersey.
A 39-year-old Czech tourist died of heart failure last week while
vacationing in Hurghada, Egypt, while his six-year-old son was hospitalised
with respiratory problems, news site iDnes reports. The spokeswoman for the
Czech Foreign Ministry confirmed that the tourist was taken to hospital
after falling ill and treated in intensive care. The man died the next
According to the news site, both the father and son had contracted fevers with breathing problems in the days prior. The child suffered no additional difficulties. His mother and another sibling, who were also on the vacation, have given consent for the deceased’s body to be repatriated to the Czech Republic later this week.
In 2017, the authorities uncovered 2,850 counterfeit banknotes and coins in
various currencies and denominations, 22 percent fewer year-on-year and the
lowest number since 1990.
The number of fake Czech banknotes and coins dropped by 814 to a total of
1,318; the number of counterfeit currency was 1,532, 18 more year-on-year.
The news was confirmed at a press conference by a representative of the
board of the central bank.
The bill was often copied was the Czech 2,000 crown note.
The 20th edition of the One World international festival of human
rights-themed documentaries gets underway in Prague on Monday. This
year’s One World will show 128 films and welcome over 100 guests from
around the world.
The opening film will be The Cleaners, a German picture that looks at the work of anonymous content moderators on social networks.
One World is also featuring a competition of Czech documentaries for the second time. Highlights are set to include When the War Comes, which explores a Slovak militia group, and Nothing Like Before, a coming of age film set in the Czech border regions.
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