Daily news summary


Anniversary of end of WWII marked in Czech Republic

A number of events were held in the Czech Republic on Tuesday marking the 73rd anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Government leaders including acting PM Andrej Babiš, President Miloš Zeman and Czech Army commanders took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Monument on Prague’s Vítkov hill.

More memorials marking the anniversary of the end of the war took place at Prague’s Klárov, the Kounic student dorms in Brno and other locations. May 8 is a state holiday in the Czech Republic.

President appoints six generals, ignores two government recommendations

President Miloš Zeman appointed six new generals on Tuesday in connection with the anniversary of the end of WWII. Four of those promoted to that rank were soldiers, while the other two were the director of the national anti-drug agency and a regional fire chief.

Mr. Zeman declined to make generals two men who had been proposed for the rank by the government: Petr Procházka, deputy commander of the country’s ground forces; and Michal Koudelka, director of the BIS intelligence service.

ANO and Social Democrats reach agreement on coalition text

ANO chairman Andrej Babiš and Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček say they have reached agreement on the text of a coalition agreement between the two parties. Mr. Hamáček said on Monday evening that the document was in his view acceptable to the Social Democrats and that party leaders would discuss it on Friday.

The Social Democrats’ demand that a member of the government step down if convicted has been met, Mr. Hamáček said. The proviso was previously a sticking point between the two parties and relates to the fact that Mr. Babiš is facing criminal charges of abusing EU subsidies.

The two-party minority government would be supported by the Communists on key votes in the lower house.

Statue of Red Army’s Konev defaced with pink paint

A statue of the Soviet military commander Ivan Konev in Prague has been vandalised. During Monday night, pink paint was poured over the monument to the World War II leader. Police are investigating the matter, a spokesperson said.

Konev helped liberate Prague in May 1945, an anniversary that is being marked on Tuesday. The statue, which stands in the city’s Bubeneč district, was also defaced a year ago.

Pirates remove Ruml from ticket for Senate after vote

Former minister of the interior Jan Ruml will not now stand for the Pirate Party in elections to the Senate later this year after a national party vote opted to remove him from the ticket. Two-thirds of participants voted to remove Mr. Ruml, a spokesperson said.

Pirates’ leader Ivan Bartoš said the move was an example of direct party democracy in practice. Former dissident Ruml was a leading member of the Civic Democrats in the 1990s and was previously senator for the Prague 6 constituency.

Kvitová into third round in Madrid

Petra Kvitová has reached the third round of the Madrid Open. The 28-year-old, who won the clay court Prague Open last week, continued a good run on the surface with a 6-3 7-3 victory over Monica Puig of Puerto Rico.

Kvitová's compatriot Kristýna Plíšková also reached the third round in Madrid on Tuesday, joining her twin sister Karolína at that stage of the tournament.

Weather forecast

Bright spells but also cloudy weather and storms are forecast for the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Temperatures are set to reach around 23 degrees. More rain is expected through the remainder of the week.