Communist leader Vojtěch Filip says his party are now undecided as to
whether to tolerate a second government formed by ANO. He made the comment
after the resignation of Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček as chair of the
lower house committee overseeing the General Inspectorate of the Security
Forces, which monitors the police. Some ANO MPs voted for Mr. Ondráček
but then the party’s leader, Andrej Babiš, called for him to be removed.
Mr. Filip said the party’s decision on whether to support a new Babiš government was very much hanging in the balance. He said this was because of trust rather than policy issues.
Zdeněk Ondráček is to step down as chairman of the lower house committee
overseeing the General Inspectorate of the Security Forces, the agency that
monitors the police, Czech Television reported on Tuesday.
The Communist MP, who beat protesters as a riot squad officer prior to the Velvet Revolution, had been facing removal by the Chamber of Deputies.
Most of the parties in the lower house had given their backing to a motion tabled by the Civic Democrats to strip him of the position at a session on Tuesday.
On Monday evening thousands of people protested against Mr. Ondráček’s appointment in Prague, Brno and other Czech cities.
Demonstrators also criticised the prime minister in resignation, Andrej Babiš of ANO. Some of his party’s deputies backed Mr. Ondráček in a vote on Friday but two days later Mr. Babiš said he was for the removal of the divisive committee chairman.
The Czech Republic is the eighth most attractive country in the world for
manufacturing, according to a survey of 42 states by real estate
consultants Cushman & Wakefield. The Czech Republic ranked third among
19 European countries, behind Lithuania and Hungary. China topped the
Cushman & Wakefield said rising labour costs in Central Europe were leading firms in labour-intensive industries to look beyond the region.
Sparta Prague football club have fired their manager Andrea Stramaccioni,
officials announced on Tuesday. The Italian took the reins ahead of the
current season but unimpressive results have left the country’s richest
club in fifth place in the league and 14 points behind leaders Viktoria
Pavel Hapal, a former international who was with the club during his playing career, has been hired as a replacement for Stramaccioni.
The French star Catherine Deneuve will be among the guests at this year’s edition of Prague’s Febiofest film festival, organisers announced on Tuesday. The veteran actress is known for such films as Belle de Jour, 8 Women and Indochine, for which she received an Oscar nomination. Other guests at the 25th edition of Febiofest will be singer Charles Aznavour, TV writer and actor Mark Gatiss and directors Leos Carax and Arnaud Desplechin. Czech actress Daniela Kolářová will be one of five recipients of the festival’s Kristián award. Febiofest begins on Thursday next week.
Some of the “precious gems” in the collection of the National Museum in
Prague are in fact artificial imitations, Hlídací pes reported. The fakes
include ordinary cut glass standing in for a five-carat diamond, while a
purported 19-carat sapphire was in fact created in a laboratory, the news
The deputy head of the museum’s collecting and exhibiting department, Michal Stehlík, said some fake gems had been uncovered but more work was needed. There are around 5,000 items in the institution’s precious stones collection.
Some of the effects created for the winner of this year’s Academy Award
for Visual Effects, Blade Runner 2049, were the work of the Prague
production company UPP, the firm pointed out in a statement. Over 200 shots
involving tricks in Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi movie were done at UPP.
Miniatures of the city in Blade Runner 2049 were made in Prague, while the studio was also heavily involved in a scene showing the creation of the film’s replicants.
Police are searching for a heavily-built man estimated to be around 30 - 35
years of age who assaulted a skier on March 1 at the Czech Republic's
Černá hora ski resort in the Krkonoše Mountains.
The attack took place at around 3 pm aboard an eight-person cable car taking skiers to the top of the hill.
According to reports, the last person to get into the cable car was the one attacked when he asked the other man to move over. He was repeatedly punched in the face and body.
The suspect and his son then disappeared among the crowds at the top of the hill. The suspect was not himself skiing but apparently taking his son to look at the mountain peak.
The punched skier was taken to a hospital in Trutnov for examination. Police have appealed to the public for any information which could lead to the suspect's arrest.
Demonstrations were held across the Czech Republic on Monday evening and
night voicing broad protest over the recent election of Communist Party MP
Zdeněk Ondráček as chairman of the lower house committee overseeing the
General Inspectorate of the Security Forces, which investigates the police.
Thousands gathered on Wenceslas Square in Prague as well as in Brno and smaller crowds in at least another nine cities and towns, making their discontent known over the MP's election. Mr Ondráček was a member of the Communist-era riot police that clamped down on demonstrators in 1989.
Many on the square in Prague jangled keys - a symbol of 1989 - in protest, or carried paper truncheons mocking the riot police back then who had tried to stop students and other supporters of democratic reforms by force.
Others on Wenceslas Square on Monday carried slogans saying No to the Communist Party as well as the country's president, Miloš Zeman, and the prime minister in resignation Andrej Babiš, whose ANO MPs are being blamed by the opposition for making Mr Ondráček's election possible.
The prime minister had begun backtracking earlier, saying he will push for the official to be recalled from his post.
The former riot unit member Ondráček, meanwhile, has voiced no remorse over his actions against demonstrators in the year that the Velvet Revolution brought down communism in Czechoslovakia.
President Zeman's spokesman Jiří Ovčáček criticised the demonstrations on Twitter as "hateful anti-Zeman protests" in which only politicians who had failed or come up short at the polls were taking part. Mr Zeman was recently re-elected to a second and final five year term as head of state. He is seen as a close ally of Mr Babiš - giving him considerable space in his second chance to try and form a viable government. Although Mr Babiš routinely polls as the most popular party leader in the lower house, the protests on Monday seemed to underline that there were still political decisions which crossed the line and were unacceptable for at least part of the populace.
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