The Czech foreign ministry has said that it still considers Catalonia to be part of Spain. The statement from the ministry followed the declaration of independence from the Catalonia parliament on Friday which comes in the wake of a referendum on independence held at the start of October. The referendum was not recognised by the central government in Madrid and was in some places brutally opposed by police. The Czech statement said the Catalan move conflicted with the Spanish constitution. Prague’s line is the same taken by other EU states such as France,. Germany, and Britain.
Several Czech MEPs have condemned the violence used by Spanish police to
try and prevent a referendum in Catalonia over independence on Sunday.
MEPS Pavel Svoboda, Kateřina Konečná and Stanislav Polčák, representing different parties, said on public broadcaster Czech Television that police had overstepped the mark and the European Commission should condemn their action.
Deputy chairman of the European Parliament, Pavel Telička, said on his Twitter account that there was no excuse for police reverting to pre-1989 [former Soviet bloc] methods.
Czech foreign affairs minister, Lubomír Zaorálek, said the issue was an internal Spanish one.
Spanish police tried to disrupt voting, often using violence against voters and those at polling stations. The Spanish government says the vote was unconstitutional and has refused to accept the outcome.
Prague's Petřín Tower was lit up in the colours of Spain's national flag on Friday in a sign of defiance against terror and to honour the many people who were killed or injured in terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils. On Thursday, perpetrators purposely drove a van into pedestrians on Barcelona's busy Las Ramblas boulevard, killing at least 14, while additional members of the suspected terrorist cell killed one person in Cambrils and seriously injured three others. Terrorist group Islamic State later claimed responsibility. Prague councilor Petr Wolf joined other Czech officials in condemning the attack, saying it was necessary to defend democratic values. The decision to light Petřín Tower in Spain's national colours was a sign of solidarity, he said.
A Czech plane with almost 200 people on board was forced to make an emergency landing in the south of France on Wednesday. The Travel Service plane was on a flight from Prague to Seville in Spain. It was forced to land at Toulouse after a loss of cabin pressure in the aircraft. Technicians are now trying to pinpoint the fault. It was not immediately clear if passengers would use the same aircraft to continue the journey.
A team of investigators have left for Spain to ascertain the cause of Thursday’s crash of a Czech military helicopter during a NATO training exercise. The helicopter crashed near Zaragoza, making a hard landing and turning over. It was carrying five crew and eleven soldiers. The five soldiers who suffered light injuries were released from hospital on Friday.
The city council of Ustí nad Labem has approved a land sale which will enable a Spanish automotive supplier to build a factory in the Triangle industrial zone near Žatec, in the north-west of the country. The construction of the plant is expected to begin next spring and the initial investment has been put at 247 million crowns. The plant should provide jobs for around 125 people.
Police in the Spanish city of Bilbao have arrested a 53-year-old Czech man who they say was carrying 670 grammes of cocaine in his luggage. A Spanish news site said the man, who had arrived this week from Sao Paulo in Brazil, had attempted to hide the drug in four shampoo bottles. Police said the high-quality cocaine was probably destined for sale in Madrid. Spain is among the countries with the highest number of Czech citizens in its prisons; at the end of 2010 there were 102.
Moja, the first gorilla bred in captivity in Prague zoo, will move to Spain in October to mate, the zoo’s director, Miroslav Bobek, said on Thursday. The 6-year-old gorilla will live in the Cabárceno wildlife reserve in the north of Spain where she is expected to find a mating partner imported from the wild. Moja has become very popular with visitors to the zoo; between 2005 and 2008, she was the star of a reality show broadcast by Czech Radio and Czech TV.
Cyclist Roman Kreuziger took second place on Sunday in the 9th stage of the Vuelta a España, the same result as he achieved in the tour last year. The Czech racer was bested on the 187-km track only by Spaniard David López, who was six seconds ahead of 24-year-old Kreuziger into the destination city of Alcoy.