Deputy Foreign Minister Aleš Chmelař on Friday summoned the Russian
ambassador to Prague, Alexandr Zmejevskij, to voice a strong objection to
the “untrue and insulting” statements of Russian Culture Minister
Vladimir Medinsky directed against the mayor of Prague 6 with regard to the
debate surrounding the controversial statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev.
Medinsky compared the mayor to a leader of the regional branch of the Nazi party NSDAP and slammed the district administration for allegedly being disrespectful to the liberators of Prague in 1945.
Mr.Chmelař stated in no uncertain terms that the fate of the Konev statue is the Czech Republic’s internal affair and reminded the ambassador that the treaty on cooperation and good-neighbourly relations signed by the Czech Republic and Russia is based on mutual respect and equality. He warned the Russian ambassador against abusing history to further the country’s present day political interests.
The Prague 6 authorities decided on Thursday that the controversial statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev will be replaced by a statue commemorating the soldiers who liberated Prague in 1945, and the controversial statue of the Soviet marshal will be moved to a suitable new site in Prague.
Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. Although he helped liberate the country from Nazi oppression, he was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
Daughter, a Czech short animated film by Daria Kashcheeva, has won the U.S.
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ student Oscar for best
animated film from international schools.
Kascheeva, a student of Prague’s Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts is the third Czech film director to win the prestigious award after Jan Svěrák and Marie Dvořáková, who won with their films Oil Gobblers (1989) and Who’s Who in Mycology (2017).
The award-giving gala ceremony in Los Angeles will take place on October 17.
The ruling coalition has reached agreement on a hike in salaries for public
sector employees in 2020.
All public sector employees will receive an additional 1,500 crowns a month in tariffs; the lowest tariff table, which applies to the lowest-paid professions, such as social services employees, will be abolished.
Negotiations are still underway on a 10 percent hike for teachers.
The head of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions Josef Středula welcomed Friday's agreement calling it a good compromise.
“Those who are the worst off will get the biggest hike, and it’s a substantial increase. I think this is a fair deal, ” Středula said.
The Prague State Attorney’s Office has halted a four-year-long
investigation into suspected fraud by the country's prime minister,
Andrej Babiš, and members of his family.
Andrej Babiš was suspected of having illegally acquired EU subsidies to the tune of 2 million euros by changing the status of his Stork’s Nest farm and conference centre. The subsidies were intended to support small and medium-sized businesses, while the Stork’s Nest farm was originally part of Andrej Babis’s multi-billion crown business empire Agrofert.
Chief State Attorney Martin Erazim justified the decision to halt the investigation by saying that at the time of receiving the subsidy the Stork’s Nest centre fulfilled the respective conditions to meet the grant.
The decision may still be reversed by the country’s Supreme State Attorney Pavel Zeman.
He thus upheld an earlier decision by lower-instance State Attorney Jaroslav Šaroch who made a U-turn on the case and proposed halting the investigation two weeks ago.
An incident in which a Smartwings flight from Greece failed to report an
engine shutdown and continued the flight to Prague for another 2 hours and
20 minutes on one engine has been assessed as pilot error, according to the
results of an internal investigation conducted by the carrier, as stated in
documents the company handed over to the Civil Aviation authority last
Smartwings originally denied that the pilots had violated safety regulations, saying that the crew had proceeded in accordance with the safety and operational procedures.
The Aviation Authority is still investigating the incident.
Several hundred people gathered in the centre of Prague on Monday to
demonstrate support for a bill that would permit same-sex marriage in the
The event in the Lesser Town was organized by the NGO We Are Fair! which has criticized the fact that, although the bill was submitted more that a year ago, the Chamber of Deputies has so far failed to debate it.
The NGO has called for the lower house to debate the bill at its session in mid-October. If approved, it would make the Czech Republic the first post-communist state to permit same-sex marriage.
The controversial statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev will be replaced by a
statue commemorating the soldiers who liberated Prague in 1945, the
district administration of Prague 6 decided at its session on Thursday. In
line with the proposal approved, the Konev statue will be moved to a
suitable new site in Prague. A proposal by the Pirate Party to hold a
referendum on the fate of the statue was rejected.
The open session, at which members of the public were able to have their say, is reported to have been stormy, with supporters of the statue calling for the mayor’s dismissal. The mayor said that while he had the utmost respect for the soldiers who had liberated the country from Nazi oppression, the Red Army had not only brought peace to the country, but in later years terror as well.
At a summit of the Visegrad Group states in Prague, the prime ministers of
the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary praised the outcome of
negotiations on the set-up of the new European Commission, saying the V4
had been given important portfolios and would have a strong voice in the
The Prague summit was also attended by representatives from Western Balkan states, the aim of the joint meeting being to strengthen cooperation between the two regions. The Visegrad group states approved a joint declaration stating support for the EU’s expansion to the Balkans.
Kosovo cancelled participation at the summit in reaction to President Miloš Zeman’s statement in Belgrade that he would try to persuade Czech top officials to retract the country’s recognition of an independent Kosovo.
Prime Minister Babiš said at a press briefing after the talks that he saw no reason to change the Czech Republic’s position on Kosovo, although he was open to debating the matter with the president.
President Miloš Zeman has said he does not consider it wise of the Chinese
authorities to boycott Czech cultural events in China, but that he
understands their reason for doing so.
Speaking on a visit to Belgrade, the Czech head of state, who has made a big effort to further Czech-Chinese ties, said that the mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hrib, had “sown the wind, and the whole country was now reaping the whirlwind”.
Mr. Zeman said the Prague mayor was clearly under the impression that he could mould his own foreign policy rejecting the principle of “One China” at Prague City Hall, which was not the case.
In 2016 the then Czech government, which under the Czech Constitution is responsible for moulding the country’s foreign policy, set the ground for a more pragmatic policy line in relation to China signing an agreement on bilateral cooperation that pledged to respect the “One China policy.”
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