The Czech government will meet on Tuesday to discuss the details of a day
of national mourning in honour of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and
Polish officials killed in Saturday’s plane crash. A spokesman for the
Czech Foreign Ministry said the government is likely to agree that the day
of mourning should coincide with day of Mr Kaczynski’s funeral; Czech
national flags on official buildings will be drawn half-mast, and a minute
of silence will be held at noon. Also, casinos and gambling bars will
for the day. The government will also suggest that organizers consider
postponing any public events.
Czech President Václav Klaus agreed with the government on Sunday that a day of national mourning should be held in the Czech Republic. Similar measures were adopted in 2005 to honour the victims of the tsunami in south-east Asia, and the late Pope John Paul II.
Czech leaders and ordinary people are still in shock at the death of the Polish president Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and many of the country’s elite, when the government plane they were travelling in crashed. None of the 96 people on board survived the crash on the outskirts of the Russian city of Smolensk. Czech official reactions stressed sorrow at the depth of the tragedy in the neighbouring country with which Prague has strong and friendly ties. Chris Johnstone reports.
In related news, the Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka will hold a special
mass at Prague’s St Vitus Cathedral in memory of those who died in the
accident. The mass will take place next Friday at 10 am. President Václav
Klaus, Prime Minister Jan Fischer and the Polish ambassador to Prague Jan
Pastwa have said in advance they would attend, the spokesman for the
The Czech football league has confirmed it will also pay homage to the victims of Saturday’s crash in a minute of silence ahead of all 1st and 2nd division matches on Sunday and Monday.
On Saturday, after news of the tragedy broke, President Klaus ordered the Polish flag, with black mourning ribbons, to be flown alongside the Czech flag at Prague Castle.
Authorities have confirmed that the Czech Republic will hold a day of national mourning in honour of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and others killed in Saturday’s plane crash in Smolensk, Russia. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that the president and government had agreed that it will be marked on the day of Mr Kaczynski’s funeral; a minute’s silence will be observed and flags on government buildings will be flown at half mast. The Polish president, his wife, and 94 others - part of a delegation en route to commemorate the victims of the Katyn massacre of 70 years ago – died when the presidential plane crashed on Saturday while trying to land. The Polish authorities have not yet revealed the date for Mr Kaczynski's funeral.
One person was killed and 18 suffered light injuries on Sunday morning after a car collided head-on with an oncoming bus. The man killed was the driver of the personal vehicle. The accident took place near Louny. The 18 injured were students from different countries: Slovakia and Ukraine as well as the Czech Republic, on their way to a conference in Germany.Some of them were treated in hospital. Police are looking into the incident .
In related news, other Czech politicians responded on Saturday also
expressing their condolences over the tragedy. The Czech Prime Minister,
Jan Fischer, currently in the United States, stressed that the death of Mr
Kaczynski and others on the presidential plane represented a huge loss not
just for Poland but also for the Czech Republic. He stressed that
the Czechs shared in Poland’s grief.
The Minister for EU affairs Juraj Chmiel sent his condolences to his Polish counterpart the State Secretary for EU affairs Mikołaj Dowgielewicz. In a statement he expressed shock over the crash, calling it a national tragedy. The minister also referred to his own Polish ancestry and said his thoughts were with the Polish people, especially with the families of those who had died.
Czech politicians have expressed sadness and shock over the death of Polish President Lech Kaczynski who was killed on Saturday, along with dozens of others, in a plane crash. The plane was destroyed after its pilots attempted to land in poor visibility near Smolensk, Russia, clipping treetops before hitting the ground. The Polish president, his wife, and an official delegation which included the head of Poland’s central bank, legislators, and military representatives, were on their way to a ceremony to commemorate the victims of the Katyn massacre of 70 years ago. All those on board were killed. Speaking at a press conference in Prague, Mr Klaus said it was a huge loss which had saddened him deeply and said that he had been a true friend. The president has sent a telegram to Mr Kaczynski’s brother, Jaroslaw, the former prime minister of Poland, expressing his condolences.
The number of road deaths in the Czech Republic over the Easter weekend was significantly lower than in previous years. Four people died in accidents between Saturday and Monday, several times fewer than most years in the last decade. The worst year was 2003, when 25 people died on Czech roads over Easter. Around 1,000 traffic police were deployed around the country at the weekend.
A 17-year-old intoxicated driver without a license caused an accident in which five people were injured over the weekend, a police spokeswoman said on Sunday. The youth was speeding and lost control of the car, which swerved into the opposite lane crashing into an oncoming Škoda. The traffic police are out in force for the three day Easter weekend. In addition to more people drinking and driving during the Easter holidays, police say there is also a danger of slippery roads since nighttime lows are expected to drop to freezing point.
Traffic police are out in force for the Easter weekend, a police spokeswoman said on Saturday, noting that particular attention was being paid to bikers. The first and last day of the Easter holidays usually bring heavy traffic and a heightened number of accidents and fatalities on the road. Last year the police registered 753 accidents over the Easter holidays and 15 road deaths. In addition to more people drinking and driving during the Easter holidays, police say there is also a danger of slippery roads since nighttime lows are expected to drop to freezing point on Monday.
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