Daily news summary
Thousands attend mass in Stará Boleslav on St. Wenceslas Day
Several thousand people gathered in the town of Stará Boleslav on Thursday for the annual pilgrimage of St. Wenceslas dedicated to the patron saint of the Czech nation. An open air mass held outside the church where the prince was murdered by dissenters, was celebrated by Papal Nuncius Charles Daniel Balvo.
Events in the town include theatre performances, concerts and a traditional St. Wenceslas fair. Believers also marked the 10th anniversary of a visit to Stará Boleslav by Pope Benedict XVI. A bust of the pope was unveiled on the town’s main square on the occasion.
September 28, the day on which the prince was murdered, is observed as the Day of Czech Statehood and is a public holiday.
Senate awards outstanding personalities on eve of Czech Statehood Day
The Speaker of the Senate Jaroslav Kubera presented twelve outstanding personalities with the Senate’s silver commemorative medal at a special gala ceremony on the eve of the Day of Czech Statehood, or St. Wenceslas‘ Day on September 28.
Among those honoured were RAF pilot General Emil Boček, the renowned traveller Miroslav Zikmund, and musician Michael Kocáb.
General Boček, gave a moving thank you speech on behalf of those recognized, thanking the Senate for remembering its war veterans and saying the silver medal was a tribute to all his friends in the RAF who are no longer with us.
Series of events commemorate East German exodus via Prague in 1989
A plaque was unveiled at Liben railway station in Prague on Saturday in memory of the East German exodus via the Czech capital in the early autumn of 1989.
Around 13,000 East Germans who camped out on West German embassy grounds for days, boarded special trains from Liben railway station to West Germany after being granted free passage by the authorities.
The plaque’s unveiling, by the former federal minister for special affairs Rudolf Seiters, who helped negotiate their free passage, was one of a series of events in Prague marking the anniversary of the exodus.
The German Embassy in Prague organized a festival titled The Way to Freedom on the embassy grounds that included panel debates and meetings with former politicians and witnesses of the events.
Václav Klaus Jr. elected head of his new party
Václav Klaus Jr. was elected head of the new conservative Tricolour party he founded at its election conference in Brno on Saturday. Klaus Jr., son of the former Czech president, ran for the top post unchallenged, and was elected by 185 votes out of 188.
Klaus Jr. established the new party after getting expelled from the centre-right Civic Democratic Party for allegedly failing to respect its political agenda and values. His new party wants to lower taxes, scrap the minimal wage and secure an exemption from Eurozone membership for the Czech Republic.
Czech PM visits 9/11 memorial in New York
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš wound up his five day working visit to the United States at the 9/11 memorial in New York where he and his wife Monika paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre 18 years ago.
Laying down a white rose in memory of the 2,750 people killed, Mr. Babiš stressed the importance of remembering this terrible memento because terrorism was a threat to all nations.
The countries of the world should remember this day and unite in the fight against international terrorism, Mr. Babiš said.
The Czech prime minister represented the Czech Republic at this week’s session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Neckermann cancelling more trips as uncertainty over its future grows
The Czech branch of the travel agency Neckermann, which is part of the bankrupt British group Thomas Cook, has cancelled the trips of another 500 clients, as uncertainty regarding it future grows.The company still has 800 Czech clients abroad.
So far the Czech branch of Neckermann has not filed for bankruptcy. According to the deputy chair of the Association of Czech Travel Agencies Jan Papez the company will either be sold, file for bankruptcy or its employees may decide to establish a brand new travel agency.
Sunday should be partly cloudy to overcast with scattered showers and day temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.