Czech President Miloš Zeman burned giant red underpants in front of
journalists at Prague Castle on Thursday. The meeting had been called by
the president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček on Wednesday as a special
press briefing without any further details.
The burning of the underpants referred to the case of the Ztohoven art group, which hoisted a large pair of red trunks over Prague Castle in place of the presidential standard in late 2015 in protest at the policies of Mr. Zeman.
The Czech head of state said during the press briefing that it was time to end the era of dirty laundry in politics.
Latin pop star Ricky Martin is set to perform in Prague’s O2 Arena in
early September, the organizers announced on Thursday.
The Puerto-Rican singer shot to international fame in 1999 after releasing his single ‘Livin’ la Vida Loca’ which has sold over eight million copies and is one of the best-selling singles of all time. The Prague concert will be Martin’s first appearance in the Czech Republic.
Finnish Transtech Oy, a subsidiary of the Czech company Škoda
Transportation, will deliver ten Artic trams to the city of Helsinki. The
price of the contract amounts to 750 million crowns.
There are currently 48 trams of the same type operating in the Finnish capital. As of 2021, they will also operate on a newly built track in the city of Tampere. The Plzeň-based transport company Škoda Transportation acquired a controlling stake in Finland’s sole manufacturer of rail vehicles abd trams in August 2015.
Nearly a hundred veteran cars embarked from Prague on Thursday morning on a
three-day journey to the Slovak capital Bratislava and back.
The ‘1000 Czechoslovak Miles’ tour is organised by the Veteran Car Club in Prague in cooperation with the National Technical Museum on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia. Most of the vintage cars taking part in the race were made in the 1930s.
More than 1100 Social Democrat regional organizations have taken part in a
referendum on whether the party should enter into a coalition with ANO. The
results of the poll will be officially announced on Friday but according to
unofficial data, the votes so far are in favour of the coalition agreement.
If a positive result is confirmed the two sides will meet to finalize the government line-up. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he would like to speed up the process so that his second government can ask the lower house for a confidence vote on July 11.
The Czech Republic had the fifth fastest growing economy within the EU in
the first quarter of 2018, according to preliminary data released by the
Czech Statistics Office on Thursday. Internal consumption and investments
were among the main factors behind the strong growth figures.
The Czech economy, which slowed from 5.5 to 4.4 percent over the last quarter, was outpaced by Latvia, Poland, Slovenia and Hungary. The head of the Czech Statistics Office, Marek Rojíček, noted that the available figures don’t include data about the Irish economy, which also belongs among the fastest growing in Europe.
Just over one-third of Czechs have confidence in prime minister-designate
Andrej Babiš, the leader of the centrist ANO party, according to a poll
conducted in mid-May. That makes him the most trusted chairman of a
political party now in parliament.
Pirate Party chairman Ivan Bartoš and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) leader Tomio Okamura tied for third place in the poll by the Centre for Public Opinion Research (CVVM). Each enjoyed the trust of 28 per cent of respondents.
However, Okamura is also the least-trusted party chairman, with 62 per cent of those polled expressing no confidence in him. The Czech interior ministry in a draft report leaked to the press characterised Okamura’s right-wing party as “extremist”.
Babiš, who faces charges of fraud regarding the drawing down of EU subsidies a decade ago, ranked second in terms of distrust, at 58 per cent.
Czech football club Dukla Prague has sacked Jaroslav Hynek, the team’s manager since September 2016, following a disappointing season. He had guided Dukla to a respectable 7th-place finish in the 2016–17 season, and in May 2017 was signed to a new two-year contract. But this year the club slid to an 11th-place finish in the Czech First League, and his contract was cut short. Hynek took over as Dukla manager when Jaroslav Šilhavý left for Slavia Prague, last year's champions.
Czech police seized more marihuana last year than ever before. According to
the annual report of the Anti-Drug Centre released on Wednesday,
authorities confiscated 1.1 tonnes of the plant and uncovered 305
plantations, both of which are historical records.
The police also seized more than 93 kilos of pervitin and closed 264 make-shift labs where the methamphetamine was being cooked. After marihuana, pervitin is the most widespread drug in the Czech Republic. It is regularly smuggled into neighbouring Germany and Austria, but also as far as Scandinavia.