Daily news summary


Czech voter turnout for Euro elections seen higher than in 2014

Preliminary information from Czech district councils shows voter turnout for the European Parliament election is higher than in 2014, when it reached 18.2 percent.

In Prague, more than 30 percent of eligible voters cast ballots. In most regions, it ranged between 15 to 21 percent. However, in some regions, it was as low as 5 percent or as high as 55 percent.

On the ballot are some 840 candidates from 40 parties and movements, who are vying for 21 seats in the European Parliament. A low turnout would favour opposition and smaller parties.

According to the Median agency, the ruling centre-right ANO party should win 22-25 percent of the vote and their junior partner in government, the centre-left Social Democrats, about 5-6 percent.

The opposition Pirates and the Civic Democrats are polling at about 14 percent each, the TOP 09 and Party of Mayors and Independents coalition up to 11 percent, the far-right Freedom and Direct Democracy party 9-10 percent, the Christian Democrats 7-9 percent and the Communists at about 5-6 percent.

The Czech Statistical Office will publish preliminary results on Sunday evening, after all polls close in other EU countries. The official tally will be announced by the national election commission on Tuesday.

Education Minister proposes hiring of teachers without pedagogical education

Minister of Education Robert Plaga (ANO) is due on Monday to submit to draft legislation to the government that would allow people without specialized pedagogical education to teach in primary and secondary schools, under certain conditions.

The draft amendment to the Act on Educational Workers would require such teachers to acquire new educational qualifications within three years.

General subjects such as the Czech language, mathematics or music could be taught at secondary schools and at primary school by people with degrees in relevant fields. Trade unions and some teachers' representatives oppose the move.

Ice Hockey: Czechs facing Canada at IIHF semi-finals on Saturday

The Czech ice hockey team is gearing up to take on Canada in the IIHF World Championship semi-finals on Saturday night, in Bratislava. Faceoff is set for 19:15 local time.

Should the Czech team win, they will face Finland in a gold medal final.

If the Czech team loses to Canada, they will face Russia to compete for a bronze medal.

Previously, the Czech Republic won gold medals at the IIHF hockey Worlds in 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, and 2010. When part of Czechoslovakia, the team won another six gold medals.

Czech foreign minister to meet French counterpart, discuss Mali mission, V4 Presidency

Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) is heading to Paris on June 5 for a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Their agenda includes issues of European diplomacy, security and also military operations in Mali involving soldiers from their respective countries.

The head of Czech diplomacy should also present the priorities of the Visegrad Group Presidency, which the Czechs hold for one year beginning in July.

On the same day that Minister Petříček is visiting France, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) will attend the 75th anniversary of the Allied landings in Normandy, on the other side of the English Channel.

Helfštýn castle hosts military history festival spanning centuries

The medieval castle of Helfštýn in Přerov, north Moravia, is hosting the 10th annual Festival of Military History on Saturday and Sunday. It is expected to draw over 5,000 visitors.

The festival opened with a ceremonial procession of all participants, dressed in period costume from the eighth century to the end of the First Republic.

Military history enthusiasts dressed as Czechoslovak legionaries walked alongside Celtic warriors, Renaissance and Gothic knights, and footsoliders from the Thirty Years War.

Weather outlook

Sunday should be partly cloudy with rain likely in the regions of northern Bohemia, Vysočina and Moravia. Average daytime highs should range between 21 to 23 degrees Celsius.