A number of Czech politicians have criticised President Miloš Zeman’s
decision not to speak in public in connection with Tuesday’s 50th
anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact states. TOP 09
chairman Jiří Pospíšil said Mr. Zeman was neglecting his constitutional
duties in not taking part in events marking such a momentous anniversary
for the country.
Pirates’ leader Ivan Bartoš said he was not surprised by the president’s “sad” announcement in view of his worldview. The Civic Democrats’ Petr Fiala said it said a lot about Mr. Zeman himself.
The president’s spokesman said the head of state had been brave in 1968 itself and that was worth more than a thousand speeches five decades later.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and the chairs of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies will speak at a ceremony marking the anniversary at Czech Radio on Tuesday.
Meteorologists have again issued warnings of increased likelihood of fires
in most parts of the Czech Republic. In the coming days they will take
effect in all regions of the country, except South Bohemia and
Moravia-Silesia, in view of the continuing hot, dry weather.
A number of such alerts were cancelled earlier this week following heavy rainfall.
Billionaire Pavel Sehnal has announced that he will run for the post of
mayor of Prague in municipal elections later this year, Novinky.cz reported
on Thursday. Mr. Sehnal is chairman of the Civic Democratic Alliance, a
grouping founded in 2016 that has the same name as a right-wing party that
was active in the 1990s.
The new Civic Democratic Alliance, which has no presence in Parliament, is running candidates in local elections in several cities and towns. In the capital it has teamed up with some independents to run under the banner Beautiful Prague.
The 15th edition of the Letní Letná festival of new circus and mime got
underway in Prague on Wednesday evening. The event began with a free
outdoor show entitled De Nova Stella and featuring members of various
groups directed by Daniel Gulko.
The festival, which takes place on Letná plain, will continue until September 2.
The police have asked the Chamber of Deputies to lift the parliamentary
immunity of Communist Party MP Zdeněk Ondráček so that he can face
prosecution. No official reason has been given for the request but the news
website Novinky.cz reported it concerned comments made by Mr. Ondráček
about Michal Horáček when the latter was a candidate for president.
Mr. Horáček said on Twitter that Mr. Ondráček had falsely accused him of being a secret police collaborator and illegal money changer during the communist era.
The lower house’s Mandate and Immunity Committee will consider the police’s petition on September 5.
The funeral of Kamil Beneš, who was one of three Czech soldiers killed in
a suicide attack in Afghanistan earlier this month, has been held. The
minister of defence, Lubomír Metnar, and the chief of staff of the Czech
army, Aleš Opata, were among hundreds who attended the funeral mass in
Hluboká nad Vltavou on Thursday morning. The service was preceded by a
Corporal Beneš’s fellow soldier Martin Marcin was buried earlier this week. The funeral of the third of the slain soldiers, Patrik Štěpánek, will take place on Friday.
In tennis, Karolína Plíšková has been knocked out of the second round
of Cincinnati Open. The 26-year-old Czech failed to get past Aryna
Sabalenko of Belarus, who won 6:2, 3:6 and 5:7.
The only Czech player to remain in the singles of the Cincinnati Open is Petra Kvitová, who has defeated Serena Williams of the US for the second time in her career.
Czech senators have supported EU proposal to ban single-use plastic
products, such as straws and cotton swabs, which can be replaced by
financially affordable products made from other materials. After a long
debate, senators have also approved lowering consumption of single use
plastic cups and food containers.
The European Commission has recently proposed banning single-use plastic products and putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an attempt to reduce marine litter worldwide.
The proposal, which needs to be approved by all EU member states, also requires them to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025 and manufacturers to help cover costs of waste management and clean-up.
Over 85 percent of Czech households sort waste regularly, separating
plastic, paper and glass, according to a survey carried out by the NGO
Ecobat, which provides services in battery collection and recycling.
Compared to 2016, Czechs have also improved in sorting milk cartons, batteries and other hazardous waste. However, they are still lagging behind when it comes to separating bio-waste and used oil.
The survey also suggests that people in Prague sort waste less frequently than people in other parts of the country.