Zeman to give posthumous White Lion to Antonín Švehla, soldiers slain in Afghanistan


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 Czechoslovakia.

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.