President Miloš Zeman will meet Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (Ano) for a
working lunch on Monday at which they are expected to discuss filling the
post of foreign minister, now temporarily held by Social Democrat leader
Jan Hamáček, who is also interior minister.
According to the daily Právo, Social Democrat Jakub Landovský, currently a deputy defence minister, could be named to the position. President Zeman last month refused to name the Ano-Social Democrat coalition government’s choice as foreign minister, Social Democrat MEP Miroslav Poche.
Hamáček had said the Social Democrats would not push for court action over the president’s refusal to appoint their nominee, preferring to resolve the matter through dialogue. His party is due to meet on Friday to discuss the situation.
A ‘happening’ dedicated to eight dissidents who on August 25, 1968,
held a public protest on Moscow’s Red Square against the Soviet-led
invasion of Czechoslovakia was held in Prague on Saturday.
Eight modern activists recreated the events of half a century ago, including by bringing copies of the banners they held, such as one proclaiming “For your freedom and ours”, unfurled by Pavel Litvinov, whose grandfather Maxim Litvinov had been Stalin’s foreign minister in the 1930s.
Saturday’s action on Wenceslas Square was attended by Tatyana Baeva, along with Litvinov and Viktor Fajnberg, the last living participant in that 1968 demonstration.
Main organiser Zuzana Vaňková read out the names of all eight demonstrators and recalled the repression they suffered as a result. All received lengthy jail sentences or were locked up in psychiatric institutions.
The Czech town of Malá Úpa is opening a new tourist trail, called Freedom
at the Border, to remind people of a landmark undercover meeting of Czech
and Polish dissidents forty years ago at the summit of mount Sněžka.
The first meeting in 1978 was attended by Václav Havel, Marta Kubišová and Tomáš Petřivý, who initiated the meeting. From the Polish side, there was Adam Michnik, Jacek Kuroń, Jan Majewski, Jan Lityński and Antoni Macierewicz.
To mark the opening of the educational trail, a concert, theatre performance and debates will be held on Saturday near the Czech-Polish border. The meeting aims to serve as a reminder that freedom is not to be taken for granted.
Dozens of castles, palaces and other monuments in the Czech Republic open
their doors to visitors on Saturday as part of the annual "Night of
castles and palaces" event.
Organised for the ninth time by the National Monument Protection Office, the event includes guided tours, jousting tournaments, concerts, theatre performances and other attractions at about 100 sites nationwide.
This year, the main programme takes place at the castle Kynžvart in western Bohemia.
The Ano movement of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is set to dominate
municipal elections in October nationwide while the opposition Civic
Democrats (ODS), the Pirates and far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy
Party (SPD) also have a great chance of success, according to polling
Of six major cities surveyed, only in Prague would Ano not take first place, where the movement would end third behind the Pirates and ODS, said SANEP, without providing detailed numbers.
Ano would win in Brno, Pilsen, Liberec, Ostrava and Ústí nad Labem while the Pirates will likely gain ground in Pilsen and Brno, it said.
The health ministry is proposing to set aside an extra 6.8 billion crowns
over through 2020 for allowing four medical schools (Charles University,
Masaryk, Palacký, Ostrava) to accept more students.
Minister of Health Adam Vojtěch said action must be taken now to address a
looming, serious shortage of doctors within the next 10 years.
Of the 40,000 doctors now practising some 13,000 will be over the age of 60 as of 2020, or five years short of retirement age. Each year, about 1,400 new medical students are accepted while last year only 1,170 students graduated. Furthermore, an estimated 10-25 per cent of graduates leave the country to practise medicine.
American actor Ben Foster will portray 15th-century Bohemian leader Jan
Žižka in an English-language film to be directed by Petr Jákl, who also
wrote the screenplay.
General Žižka was an innovative military strategist who led the Czech Hussites in a series of confrontations in religious wars, often beating numerically superior opponents. The biopic film will also focus on his relationship with a local heiress and his face-off against a rival king.
Foster is perhaps best known from the X-men franchise and the indie film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints.
With a reported budget of 275 million crowns, Jákl’s biopic is set to be the most expensive domestic film since Dark Blue World, about Czechoslovak airmen who served with the RAF during WWII.
The number of first-year students in Czech primary schools is expected to dip this year. In September, about 108,200 children are due to enter the first grade, a drop of about 3,600 students from the previous year, Ministry of Education data show. However, in general, the number of primary school students continues to grow, as the overall population increases.
Former Czechoslovak Prime Minister Antonín Švehla will be posthumously
awarded the Order of the White Lion, the highest distinction given by the
Czech state, on October 28, the 100th anniversary of the independence of
President Miloš Zeman announced the award would be given to Švehla during his visit to an international agricultural fair in České Budějovice. He said on he wanted to pay tribute to a politician who, in his day, supported farmers. Švehla had been head of the Agrarian Party and led three governments between 1922 and 1926.
At the centennial celebrations, Zeman is also expected to award two-time Olympic champion Ester Ledecká, former Energy Regulatory Authority director Alena Vitásková, and, also posthumously, three Czech soldiers killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan earlier this month: Sergeant Martin Marcin, and Corporals Kamil Beneš and Patrik Štěpánek.
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