Daily news summary


PM: euro adoption not a priority

On the opening day of the Re:publika festival in Brno Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš reiterated his negative stand to euro adoption.

Speaking in a debate titled What Kind of EU Do We Want?, the prime minister said joining the euro was not a priority and he was happy with the Czech currency.

In the event of problems, the prime minister said he trusted the intervention of the National Bank which had proved beneficial in the past.

Mr. Babiš noted that in the case of Greece and Italy the common currency had been a reckless experiment.

Civic Democrats stress need to safeguard democracy

The Czech Republic is a step away from its first semi-communist government since 1989 and the Civic Democrats will strive to offset its influence from the opposition benches, party leader Petr Fiala said at the Civic Democrats’ ideological conference in Libeznice, near Prague.

Party delegates met at the weekend to outline their strategy and select candidates for the Senate and local elections due to take place in the autumn.

Petr Fiala said the Czech Republic was experiencing a drawn-out political crisis and warned of the dangers of a cabinet that would have to rely on support from the Communist Party. He said it was vitally important to prevent extremists and populists getting the upper hand in the Senate, which must retain its role in the system of checks and balances.

Among the independent candidates the party is supporting in the Senate elections are diplomat Pavel Fischer and the rector of Masaryk University Mikuláš Bek.

Theatre director slams show of intolerance during performance in Brno

The head of the National Theatre Brno, Martin Glaser, has slammed the show of intolerance during a performance of the play Our violence, Your violence by Croat director Oliver Frljich at the Goose on a String Theatre in Brno on Saturday night. Glaser said he considered the incident a serious warning regarding the state of Czech society, adding that it reminded him of scenes in films documenting the rise of fascism.

Around 30 protesters disrupted the performance, forcing their way on stage where they formed a human barrier to prevent the audience from watching, blew whistles and threw paper balls at the actors. They were eventually evicted by members of the Brno anti-conflict police team. The performance resumed after about an hour.

The play, in which Jesus rapes a Moslim woman, has raised controversy in other countries as well. The Czech Catholic Church has vehemently protested against its showing.

ANO has no Plan B if Social Democrats reject coalition deal

The ANO party does not have a Plan B in the event that the Social Democrats reject entering into a coalition with it in their party referendum, ANO deputy leader Richard Brabec said in a debate on Czech Television on Sunday.

Mr.Brabec rejected the idea that the party was ready to fall back on a minority government supported by the Freedom and Direct Democracy Party and the Communists, saying that finding common ground with the anti-migrant, anti-EU Freedom and Direct Democracy Party would not be easy.

He said that should such a scenario emerge the party would have to decide between this option and early elections.

President Zeman said earlier this week that no matter how the Social Democrats decided in their referendum, he would appoint ANO leader Andrej Babis prime minister.

Czechs mark 76th anniversary of Operation Anthropoid

On Sunday Czechs marked the 76th anniversary of Operation Anthropoid, a daring mission in which Czechoslovak parachutists were dropped into occupied Bohemia to assassinate Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich.He succumbed to his injuries on June 4 and the Nazis unleashed a massive punitive action.

The parachutists involved in the operation died in a siege of the Church of Ss. Cyril and Methodius where they had found sanctuary. The Nazis then hunted down and killed all those connected with them and those suspected of having helped them.

That same month they razed to the ground the villages of Lidice and Ležáky, killing the male inhabitants and sending women and children to concentration camps as exemplary punishment for the assassination. The brave act of resistance significantly boosted the morale of the occupied nation.

Ahead of the anniversary, two streets in Prague’s Výšočany district were renamed Moravcová and Strnadová in honour of the families that helped the parachutists and paid for it with their lives.

Ride of the Kings in Vlčnov

The Ride of the Kings – a unique and colourful tradition practiced in only four south-east Moravian villages took place in the village of Vlčnov on Sunday.

The ride refers to the flight of Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus from Czech King George of Poděbrady in the 15th century and involves a festive ride through the village with a boy portraying the monarch dresses in a traditional women’s folk costume to ‘mask’ his identity.

The event which involves months of preparations ends with a big celebration, dancing, drinking and merrymaking.

The Ride of the Kings is on UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage.

Weather forecast

Monday should bring clear to partly cloudy skies with day temperatures between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius.