The Museum of Romani Culture in Brno has demanded a public apology from
Tomio Okamura, the head of the anti-Islam, anti-migrant party Freedom and
Direct Democracy who said in an interview at the weekend that the Lety
concentration camp in South Bohemia, where Roma were interned during WWII,
had had no fencing restricting movement.
Experts at the museum slammed the claim as untrue, adding that such allegations contributed to anti-Roma sentiments in society and were an insult to the memory of those who suffered persecution and genocide during the Second World War.
In his interview for the online DVTV, the Czech News Agency reported that Mr Okamura based his claim on an unspecified quote from former president Václav Klaus and on a book entitled The Lety Camp - Facts and Myths, which he said had been published by the Czech Academy of Sciences. The museum said no book had been published under that name and that a text dating back to 1999 which was put out by the academy featured no such claim.
In March, the Museum of Romani Culture will take over the area of the former camp in Lety near Písek.
Radio New Zealand National (RNZ) has reported that a Czech family – a
mother and three sons – was granted asylum in New Zealand after they
appealed. Only one of her children, aged nine, had been given refugee
status earlier, after the family had received death threats from Neo-Nazis
in their homeland Czech Republic.
The mother, Caucasian had been married to, but since separated from, her Roma partner, the broadcaster said.
Her eldest child was reportedly segregated in school in Czechia and attacked while her second son, who is adopted, was the only one to receive refugee status.
The tribunal hearing the case pointed to growing intolerance in the form of anti-Roma riots, marches and demonstrations in 2013 in the Czech Republic and racism and hate crimes it saw as becoming more and more normal, and ruled the whole family was at risk of persecution.
The European Commission has initiated infringement proceedings against the Czech state for systematic discrimination.
Hygiene officers warn that Prague has been on the verge of a localized flu
epidemic since late last week. Over the week, the number of children up to
the age of 14 who were suffering from flu symptoms doubled.
Outbreaks reach epidemic levels when the numbers of infected reach between 1,600 and 1,800 per 100,000 people. Across the Czech Republic, the number is 1,450 people per 100,000 and 1,300 per 100,000 in Prague.
A poll conducted by Kantar TNS and published by public broadcaster Czech TV
at the weekend, found that some 47 percent of voters in the second round of
the election who backed challenger Jiří Drahoš did so primarily to try
and block a second term for the incumbent. Fifty-two percent voted for Mr
Drahoš for who he was as a candidate.
The poll found that 77 percent of President Miloš Zeman cast votes “for” the candidate as opposed to 22 percent admitted they specifically wanted to prevent Mr Drahoš from winning the office.
President Zeman won what in the end was a fairly close election, earning roughly 150,000 votes more than his opponent.
The president of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier has followed Russia’s
president, Vladimir Putin, and others in extending his congratulations to
the Czech head of state Miloš Zeman who won the election in the Czech
Republic at the weekend and will serve a second and final five year term in
In his congratulations, President Steinmeier noted that his country and Czechia shared not only historical ties but ties and a commitment to democracy and the lawful state within the European Union and NATO.
Mr Putin congratulated the Czech president earlier, writing that he hoped to continue in successful progress on bilateral and international questions. On Saturday, Mr Zeman defeated challenger Jiří Drahoš by just over 150,000 votes.
The Czech Finance Ministry has excluded the Stork’s Nest project from an
EU program for the region of Central Bohemia. Finance Minister Alena
Schillerová said in a statement earlier the ministry would take the move,
which was confirmed after a meeting of Central Bohemia officials on Monday
including regional governor Jaroslava Pokorná Jermanová.
Eleven people, including Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his party deputy Jaroslav Faltýnek, are charged with 50 million crown subsidy fraud in EU funds in connection with the conference and leisure facility.
Future Hall of Famer Jaromír Jágr was placed on waivers by NHL’s
Calgary Flames on Sunday signaling the end of the hockey forward’s stint
at the Saddledome.
Other NHL teams were left 24 hours to claim the player by 10 am Monday. The Flames are otherwise expected to announce a mutual parting of ways – either a termination of his contract or by loaning him to another team, the Calgary Sun reported.
Jágr, who turns 46 in February, was dogged by injury during much of his time in Calgary and was limited to one goal and six assists during in 22 contests. The most likely outcome, if he isn’t picked up, is a return to his hometown club HC Kladno, just outside of Prague.
SB Nation on Sunday, meanwhile, published an article online listing five NHL teams who should give the Czech “one more shot”, among them the Pittsburgh Penguins, with whom he won two Stanley Cups, the Montreal Canadiens (where he could reunite on a line with Tomáš Plekanec) and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Czech police have said they are investigating a scuffle that broke out
between supporters of re-elected president Miloš Zeman and journalists at
a Prague hotel where the president and fans followed the results.
Police said they are investigating suspected breach of the peace. A
complaint by one journalist was lodged on Sunday evening.
The incident, which was capture on video and made public, appeared to start when a man collapsed and journalists took pictures. Supporters of the president then appeared to intervene with fists flying.
Journalists said organisers of the event at a Prague hotel did nothing to resolve the issue.
Outgoing Czech prime minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš is due to take
part in a series of meetings with top European Union officials on Monday
afternoon and into the evening.
One of the meetings will be with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. The talks should focus on the future shape of the EU, including the make-up of various funds and the overall budget, as well as the thorny issue of migration.
The Czech Republic and other Central European countries have taken a stand against quotas aimed at distributing immigrants who mostly arrived in Italy and Greece.
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