At their weekend party conference in Prague the Christian Democratic Party approved a plan to enter into a coalition with the grouping of Mayors and Independents for the autumn general elections. The move was strongly defended by party leader Pavel Bělobrádek and eventually approved by 228 out of 279 delegates present. Bělobrádek was also reelected party leader by a strong majority. Some party members regard the coalition agreement as being excessively risky in view of the fact that on a joint ticket the the two political groupings will have to win over 10 percent of the vote in order to win seats in the lower house. Bělobrádek said he was confident this is a realistic goal.
The town of Lidice which was razed to the ground by the Nazis on June 10th ,75 years ago, celebrated the 70th anniversary of its resurrection. In 1947 the foundation stone of a new Lidice was laid 300 meters away from the original site and a new village of 150 houses gradually arose with the help of volunteers from around the country and support from abroad. The celebrations in Lidice were attended by President Milos Zeman, politicians and cultural figures. The British ambassador to the Czech Republic, Jan Thompson, and the US charge d’affaires, Kelly Adams Smith, received a symbolic key to Lidice as a show of gratitude for their countries’ support in rebuilding the village and the Russian ambassador to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeyevskyj a symbolic rose of gratitude for the liberation of Lidice’s survivors by the Red Army.
Czech drugs control employees report a drop in the illegal production of pervitin or crystal methamphetamine in home labs following tighter control of medicines containing pseudoephedrine in neighboring Poland. After such medicines were taken off the list of over-the-counter drugs sold in the Czech Republic drug dealers relied heavily on Poland where they obtained 70 percent of the pseudoephedrine used in the illegal production of this home-made drug. Drug experts say tighter norms in Poland will now increase interest in these medicines where norms are still lax, such as Bulgaria or Turkey.
Over 120 singers, bands and theater ensembles are performing at the Mezi Ploty, or Between Fences, cultural festival at Prague's Bohnice psychiatric hospital this weekend. Mezi Ploty is an annual open-air event held with the aim of increasing awareness and understanding of mental illness, alcoholism and drug addiction. Over the past 25 years the festival has gained considerable popularity and attracts thousands of visitors. Performers this year include Tomas Klus, Lenka Dusilova and Richard Muller.
The police presidium has asked for an extension of the time-frame in which the force was expected to increase the ranks of the force by 4,000 men and women to 44,000, the ctk news agency reports. According to a report for the government the recruitment of new officers is not going as fast as expected. The police has asked for a two year extension of the plan until 2022. The government is to decide on the request next week. The police is taking on new recruits also in connection with the heightened threat of terrorism. Since 2015 the police spent 120 million crowns on security measures.
Czechs are marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Anthropoid, a daring mission in which Czechoslovak parachutists were dropped into occupied Bohemia to assassinate Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich. He succumbed to his injuries on June 4 and the Nazis unleashed a massive punitive action. The parachutists involved in the operation died in a siege of the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius where they had found sanctuary. The Nazis then hunted down and killed all those connected with them and those suspected of having helped them. That same month they razed to the ground the villages of Lidice and Lezaky, killing the male inhabitants and sending women and children to concentration camps as exemplary punishment for the assassination. The brave act of resistance significantly boosted the morale of the occupied nation.
The Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová is set to return from injury next week at the French Open. Five months after surgery to repair serious hand injuries sustained in a knife attack at her home, the two-time Wimbledon winner will play her first match at Roland Garros against Julie Boserup of the US, who is ranked 86th in the world. Kvitová, who is 27, goes into the Grand Slam tournament as 15th seed.
Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has written to the president to propose Stanislav Štech as minister of education, youth and sports. He is set to replace Kateřina Valachová, who announced her resignation after one of her deputies was charged with large-scale corruption. Mr. Štech is a psychology professor at Charles University and has been a deputy education minister since 2015.
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