In a ceremony at Prague Castle President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday
appointed Aleš Opata chief of the general staff of the Czech Army. He
replaces Josef Bečvář, who has been dismissed from the post.
Lieutenant General Opata, who will officially take charge at the start of May, says his priorities are to develop the country’s ground forces and to continue to recruit more soldiers.
Dutch media have published the identities of seven men arrested by Prague
police following a brutal attack on a waiter at an outdoor restaurant in
the centre of the city on Saturday. One of the group is a police officer
from Amsterdam, iDnes.cz reported, quoting a Dutch news site.
IDnes.cz cited somebody close to the investigation as saying all of the men had martial arts experience. Video footage shows them beating up a waiter, who had told the group they were not allowed to drink their own alcohol at the restaurant. The victim later required surgery.
One of the Czech Republic’s best-known brewing companies, Plzeňský
Prazdroj, produced a record 11 million hectoliters of beer last year, a
spokesperson said on Wednesday. That was a volume increase of 3 percent
year on year for the brewer, which makes Pilsner Urquell. Exports grew by 8
percent in 2017.
Last year Plzeňský Prazdroj was bought by the Japanese group Asahi from SABMiller.
This year’s edition of the Book World Prague will welcome a record 404
exhibitors from 22 countries, organisers said on Wednesday. The trade fair
will run at the city’s Výstaviště from May 10 to 13.
The themes of the 24th edition of Book World Prague will be comics and the revolutionary 20th century. Last year the event attracted around 45,000 visitors.
Social Democrat members of the Senate have come out strongly against a
possible coalition government with ANO headed by an Andrej Babiš facing
criminal charges, iDnes.cz reported on Wednesday. The Social Democrats’
Senate speaker Milan Štěch said that Mr. Babiš, who should be the chief
representative of the executive, was constantly suggesting that the charges
against him were a stitch-up.
Social Democrat senator Petr Vícha said that when Mr. Babiš insisted he would not stand down even if found guilty of abusing EU subsidies he was doing his utmost to ensure a Social Democrat internal vote on a coalition with ANO would not pass.
The chairman of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, said he did not understand why his party’s senators were making such resolute statements when coalition talks were still ongoing.
Some of the massive paintings from Alphonse Mucha’s Slav Epic series will
go on display in Brno from May 26. Nine of the largest works in the
20-piece series will be on show at the festival Re:publika 1918-2018
alongside dozens of posters by the Art Nouveau artist, the mayor of Brno,
Petr Vokřál, said on Wednesday.
Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová, a councillor from Prague, which owns the Slav Epic, said the city had had to overcome objections from restorers, who didn’t want it to be transported anywhere. However, the famous paintings attracted two-thirds of a million visitors in Tokyo and should also draw tourists to Brno, she said.
The acting Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, is suing the publishers of
a Slovak newspaper over an interview in which former StB man Ján Sarkocy
said Mr. Babiš had knowingly collaborated with the communist-era secret
police. The Slovak-born ANO leader is seeking EUR 1 million in damages from
Nový Čas, which is the country’s best-selling daily. The Czech PM is
also suing Mr. Sarkocy.
In January a Slovak court rejected an action taken by Mr. Babiš, who said he had been wrongly listed as an agent of the StB in the now archived files of the secret police.
Mr. Sarkocy – who is himself a former StB agent – made headlines earlier this year after claiming to have met the leader of the UK’s Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, while he was stationed at the Czechoslovak Embassy in London in the 1980s.
Czech football striker Patrik Schick played in a rollercoaster second half
Champions League semi-final for AS Roma against Liverpool on Tuesday night.
Schick was brought off the substitute’s bench at half time when the visitors were already losing 2:0.
Schick had chances up front but saw Roma concede another three goals before scoring twice. The 5:2 score line gives them a glimmer of a chance for the return leg at home.
The Czech Republic has dropped dramatically down the index of press freedom
put together by the international organisation Reporters Without Frontiers.
The Czech Republic dropped 11 places in the ranking of 180 countries to 34th. Neighbour Slovakia dropped 10 places to 27th place.
The campaigning group highlighted the concentration of media in the Czech Republic saying that it had reached a critical point. It added that oligarchs has bought into media to boost their power base in the country.
It also focused on president Miloš Zeman’s repeated attacks on the press.