Police have arrested radical campaigner Adam B. Bartoš after he called for the "highest punishment" for Czech politicians; he said they deserved this fate for the "treason" of allowing migrants into the Czech Republic. Mr. Bartoš, who heads the group National Democracy, made the comment at a demonstration in Prague on Saturday against "Islamisation", politicians, the media and non-governmental organisations. His arrest sparked scuffles between his supporters and the police.
A female student is taking legal action against a Prague school that refused to allow her to wear a hijab, her lawyer told the Czech News Agency. Two young Muslim women left the Prague 10 Medical Secondary School in 2013 after being barred from wearing the headdress. Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová has supported the women, describing the institution's actions as indirect discrimination. The school says its rules don't allow students to have their heads covered.
Dozens of Chinese flags placed on the road from Prague Airport into the city ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Yinping on Monday were vandalised on Friday night. Unknown perpetrators marked the flags, which were put up by the Czech-Chinese Mixed Chamber for Mutual Cooperation, with dark paint, the police said. The spokesman of Czech President Milošs Zeman said political and moral responsibility for the damage lay with the TOP 09 major of Prague 6, who said he sympathised with such actions.
Life in the Czech Republic is two-fifths cheaper than the average in the European Union, according to a price comparison for 2014 published in the magazine Statistika&My. In that year prices in the Czech Republic were at 59.4 percent of the EU average; this was lower than in countries such as Slovakia and Croatia and placed the Czech Republic in the six members of the bloc with the cheapest prices. However, economist David Marek told the Czech News Agency that local prices are likely to approach the EU average in the long-term.
Former president Václav Klaus has slammed the renaming of Prague Airport after his late political rival and predecessor, Václav Havel. In a new book of his travel writings, Mr. Klaus describes the move as an act of political wilfulness reflecting a short-term outlook, comparing it unfavourably to the renaming of Rome’s Fiumicino airport after Leonardo da Vinci. The right-wing politician also takes a swipe at Czechs in the book, saying they are “always stupider than the rest of the world” and have greater hatred for one another than other nations.
The Czech Under 21 soccer team have climbed to the top of their qualifying group for next year’s European Championship after beating Latvia 2:1 in Uherské Hradiště on Friday evening. Both goals came from Bohemians 1985 striker Patrick Schick. The Czechs are two points ahead of Belgium in the six-team Group 1 but the latter have a game in hand.
The Society to Build a Statue to Václav Havel is planning to place a billboard featuring a picture of the late former president and Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama on the road leading from the airport to the city centre ahead of a visit Monday by Xi Jinping. The placing of Chinese flags and billboards welcoming the Chinese President along the route has caused anger in some quarters and the pro-Havel group say they make a mockery of freedom, human rights and democracy. The mayor of the Prague 6 district where the flags have been erected, Ondřej Kolář, said permission had been granted for the protest billboard. Mr. Kolář is also opposed to the Chinese flags and his office plans to raise a Tibetan one during Mr. Xi’s visit.
Charles University is due to sign a new cooperation agreement with the University of Beijing, the ctk news agency reported Friday. The new agreement will entail a broader exchange of students and lecturers and closer cooperation in a number of areas, predominantly medicine. Presently there are 35 Chinese students studying at Charles University and another 26 are here on short study stays. The University of Beijing is also Charles University’s strategic partner for academic contacts in Asia. The universities first established cooperation in 1987.
Masses are being celebrated around the Czech Republic on Good Friday which is once again observed as a public holiday. The holiday was observed in the years of the First Republic but was scrapped by the communist regime in 1951. It was reintroduced as a public holiday late last year by the country’s Parliament. The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka will serve a mass at St. Vitus Cathedral at 6pm on Friday.
Police in Prague on Friday briefly detained a man who cut off two of the Chinese flags which are being put up in Prague in a lavish show of welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping who is due to arrive in Prague for a two day visit on Monday. Tight security measures will be in place in several parts of the city, including Prague Castle, the Office of the Government and the president’s country seat at Lány which President Xi Jinping will be visiting. The preparations have raised protests from Prague’s sixth district whose mayor compared flags and billboards with greetings in Czech and Chinese to state visits by communist officials before the fall of the Iron Curtain.
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