Czech Radio marked the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution on Monday with an international conference on the fall of communism in Central Europe and the transformation processes that followed. Aside from leading experts in the fields of economics, political sciences and journalism, the speakers’ list also featured the names of prominent former dissidents and politicians such as Lech Wałęsa, Magdaléna Vášáryová and Václav Klaus.
Former president Václav Klaus, the last surviving Czech RAF pilot Emil
Boček, Srbian film director Emir Kusturica and the president of the
Supreme Audit Office Miloslav Kala are among the personalities who will
receive a high state distinction from President Miloš Zeman on the
occasion of Czechoslovak Independence Day, on October 28th.
Although the list of personalities selected for awards is confidential the president himself revealed some of the laureates ahead of the public holiday this year.
According to Prague Castle the laureates have been informed about the honour and the list of selected personalities has been countersigned by the prime minister.
Weeks after his expulsion from the Civic Democrats, anti-EU MP Václav Klaus Jr. has revealed plans to launch a new party following May’s Euro elections. His father, the well-known former prime minister and president Václav Klaus, is set to occupy an honorary role in the new grouping. I discussed the politics and prospects of “Young Klaus” – as many call him in Czech – with political scientist Petr Just.
Former president Václav Klaus says that if the Civic Democrats had
expelled his son, Václav Klaus Jr., a few weeks sooner, the two would have
had time to found a party under which the latter could have stood in
elections to the European Parliament in May. He made the comment in an
interview for the newspaper Blesk published three days after Václav Klaus
Jr. had his membership of the Civic Democrats revoked.
Mr. Klaus also said that the Civic Democrats should change their name as, he argued, they bear no resemblance today to the party he founded in the 1990s.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Prague, Yevhen Perebyjnis, has hit back at a
statement by former Czech president Václav Klaus, who said on Sunday that
Ukraine was being goaded by Western political elites, including that of the
Czech Republic, to provoke Russia. Mr. Perebyjnis asked on Twitter whether
Czechoslovakia had provoked Nazi Germany to action in 1938.
Mr. Klaus said on TV Prima that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behaving cautiously and soberly and not reacting to each provocation, adding that this was fortunate. Mr. Perebyjnis asked whether Hitler too had been cautious and sober.
The Ukrainian ambassador’s comments received support from Czech MEP Jaromír Štětina and former TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek.
The Ano party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has won the municipal elections in all regional capitals except Prague – where the opposition Civic Democrats and Pirates took first and second, respectively – and Liberec. The big losers of the day, in both the municipal and Senate races, were the Social Democrats and Communists.
The police have begun investigating claims by the ex-wife of former prime
minister Jiří Paroubek that he illegally acquired millions of crowns
while he was the leader of the Social Democrats, iRozhlas.cz reported,
citing a state attorney.
Petra Paroubková made the allegations in an interview last week. The pair are currently divorcing.
Mr. Paroubek says his ex-partner is attempting to scupper his chances in Senate elections in October, when he will be standing as an independent.
The ex-wife of former Czech prime minister, Jiří Paroubek, has accused
him of illegally acquiring millions of crowns when he was head of the
Social Democrats. Petra Paroubková made the allegations in an interview
for Televize Seznam.
For his part, Mr. Paroubek says his former partner is attempting to undermine his chances in Senate elections in October, when he will be standing in the Ostrava constituency as an independent.
Petra Paroubková also said she knew other politicians who had made far higher illegal earnings than her ex-husband.
The Social Democratic Party will not support its former chairman, Jiří
Paroubek, in the Senate elections due to take place in the autumn, the
party decided on Friday. Mr. Paroubek wanted to run as an independent
candidate with the support of the Social Democrats for the Senate seat in
the region of the Ostrava region.
Jiří Paroubek, who is now 66, headed the Social Democratic Party from 2006 to 2010 and served as Prime Minister between 2005 and 2006. After leaving the Social Democrats in 2011, he established his own left-oriented party LEV 21, which failed to win seats in the lower house in the past general election.
Russia does not present a threat to the Czech Republic, unlike the EU with
its numerous directives, former president Václav Klaus said on Sunday in
an interview for commercial TV Prima. Commenting on international and
domestic affairs, Mr. Klaus said he agreed with President Donald Trump that
Russia should be allowed to re-join the G7.
As regards developments at home, the politician who founded the Civic Democrats and who later left the party over ideological differences, criticized its present leader Petr Fiala for not using the opportunity to form a centre-right coalition with the ANO party.
Mr. Klaus said ANO was an “ideologically shapeless mass” that could swing left or right, and pushing it right would have served Czech interests better.