The lower house has not voted on removing Tomio Okamura as deputy speaker
over his statements about the Lety concentration camp. The Christian
Democrats, who organised the extraordinary session on Wednesday, failed to
secure enough signatures to ensure a vote on the issue. Only 78 of 177
deputies present gave their backing to the item’s inclusion on the
The Freedom and Direct Democracy leader said in an interview that inmates at the camp had been free to come and go. In reality more than 300 prisoners were killed at Lety and hundreds more were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. He later apologised for saying Lety had no fence.
Former leader of the Social Democratic Party, Bohuslav Sobotka, said the approach of the ANO party, which voted against the item’s inclusion on the session’s agenda, was a disgrace.
Czech spa towns have attracted around 855,000 visitors last year, which is
an increase by a tenth on the previous year, the Czech Statistical Office
reported on Wednesday. Some 47 percent of guests were from abroad, mainly
from Germany, Russia and Taiwan.
The most popular spa destinations are in the Karlovy Vary region in the west of the country, which attracted over 500,000 people in 2017.
Organizers of the protests against the Communist MP Zdeněk Ondráček, who
was appointed chairman of the lower house committee overseeing the General
Inspectorate of the Security Forces, delivered their petition to the lower
house on Wednesday.
Mr Ondráček, who beat protesters as a riot squad officer prior to the Velvet Revolution which overthrew the communist regime in 1989, has already announced he would step down from the post following massive protests on Monday in Prague, Brno and other Czech cities.
The organizers of the petition have collected more than 14,000 signatures so far.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad
al-Hussein, has criticised the Czech Republic for alleged discrimination of
the Roma minority and segregation of Roma children in schools.
In his speech at the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday, he called on the Czech government to compensate Roma women who were sterilised in the past without their full consent and to terminate the use of both surgical and chemical castration for sex offenders.
Actor and dubbing artist Vlastimil Bedrna, known as the Czech voice of
Homer Simpson, has died at the age of 89, his daughter announced on
Mr Bedrna, who was one of the funders of Prague’s Rokoko Theatre, won several awards for his work as a voice actor, including the František Filipovský award for lifelong mastery.
The lower house on Wednesday supported a proposal to increase the security
clearance for the president’s chancellor to the highest level. The
proposal, put forward by the Mayors and Independents Party, was approved in
its first reading despite ANO party and the Communist deputies voting
The proposal comes as reaction to the fact the current chancellor, Vratislav Mynář, has been holding the post despite having failed to pass the top-level security clearance. If the amendment is approved, Mr Mynář would have to get the highest level clearance by the end of the year to remain in the post of a chancellor.
Czech car maker Škoda Auto plans to create about 3,000 new jobs at its
plant in Mladá Boleslav, if it reaches agreement with the unions to launch
an 18-shifts-per-week system, the company CEO Bernhard Maier told the Czech
News Agency on Wednesday.
Mr Maier said the company is ready to launch negotiations with the government as well as with the town and regional representatives to build to new infrastructure that would enable the company to increase its capacity.
The number of people who receive Czech pensions and live abroad has been
steadily growing in recent years, according to data released by the Czech
Social Security Administration on Tuesday. In 2017, the number of Czech
pensioners living abroad reached 93,236 compared to 59,548 in 2010.
More than two thirds of the recipients are based in neighbouring countries: 32,000 pensions are sent to Slovakia, over 19,000 to Germany and over 15,000 to Poland. In total, the Czech Social Security Administration is sending pensions to people in 88 foreign countries.
In several countries there was only one recipient in 2017, including Algeria, India and Madagascar.
President Miloš Zeman laid a wreath at the grave of the first president of
Czechoslovakia Tomas Garrigue Masaryk at Lány on Wednesday morning to
commemorate the 168th anniversary of his birth.The acting Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš and the speaker of the Czech Senate, Milan Štěch have also
paid homage to the first Czechoslovak president.
The founder of the Czechoslovak state T. G. Masaryk was born on March 7, 1850 in the South Moravian town of Hodonín and died at the presidential Lány Chateau in 1937.