Daily news summary
Pelikán expresses disquiet over Okamura’s Lety comments
The minister of justice in resignation, ANO’s Robert Pelikán, has expressed disquiet over statements made by Freedom and Direct Democracy leader Tomio Okamura over the WWII concentration camp for Romanies at Lety, south Bohemia. Minister Pelikán called on Mr. Okamura to cease claiming that the camp was not guarded and to have respect for all those who had died or suffered there during the war.
The Freedom and Direct Democracy leader said in a recent interview that inmates could come and go from the camp, which for the most part had no guards. He has since apologised for saying it had no fence.
Over 300 prisoners were killed at Lety and hundreds more were sent to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The site now houses a pig farm and the Czech state has made various moves to buy it from the current owners.
Deaths of three in Zlín being treated as murder
The deaths of three members of one family in the Moravian city of Zlín are being treated as possible murder. The bodies were found in their home on Monday. The victims are a woman of 60, her daughter of 34 and her son, aged 37.
The father of the children, who did not live with the family, reported finding their bodies to the police on Monday afternoon. A police spokesperson said the three had evidently died weeks or possibly months previously.
Prague mayor: Protesting Uber by blocking roads will harm taxi drivers
Prague’s taxi drivers will not win any support by blocking roads in the capital in protest at Uber, says the city’s mayor, Adriana Krnáčová. The drivers are planning a protest this coming Thursday against Uber and similar services.
The mayor said that causing traffic holdups in the capital would not improve taxi drivers’ situation but would likely have the opposite effect.
A spokesperson for an association of taxi drivers said that Thursday’s action would not be directed toward Prague councillors but ministers and the government. Similar protests have been held in the past.
Appeal against OKD reorganisation plan rejected
A reorganisation plan for the bankrupt coal mining company OKD has won court backing. The Supreme Court in Olomouc on Tuesday rejected an appeal by Citibank against the approval of the plan, which was carried out by creditors in August and was previously confirmed by a regional court.
OKD creditors including Citibank have filed claims of over CZK 20 billion in court, but the administrator has rejected claims for most of that amount. OKD continues to mine coal and employs around 9,500 people.
Citibank, which like OKD’s mother company NWR, appealed against the reorganisation plan is the firm’s biggest unrecognised creditor.
-25.5 C recorded on coldest night of year so far
Monday night was the coldest night of the year so far in the Czech Republic, according to data from the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. The lowest temperature, -25.5 degrees Celsius, was recorded at Jizerka in the Jizera Mountains in the north of the country. Lows of under -20 degrees Celsius were experienced in Šumava in the southwest.
Central Prague was the warmest place in the country during the night, with the Clementinum weather station recording -3.9 degrees Celsius.
Major Kamil Lhoták exhibition opening in Prague
A major new exhibition of works by the Czech painter and illustrator Kamil Lhoták is due to get underway at Prague’s Municipal House on Wednesday. The show, entitled Retrospective, features over 100 oil paintings and includes 19 works never previously presented in public.
The pieces on show have been borrowed from a total of almost 50 private collectors and institutions. Lhoták, who died in 1990 at the age of 78, is one of the most popular Czech painters of the 20th century.
Samková to carry Czech flag at Pyeongchang opening ceremony
The snowboard competitor Eva Samková will carry the Czech flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Friday, the Czech Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday.
Twenty-four-year-old Samková, who won a gold medal in snowboard cross at the last Winter Olympics in Sochi, won the honour after taking three-quarters of the votes in a poll of the Czech team.
Wednesday should be overcast with snow in places in the Czech Republic. Temperatures of up to 2 degrees Celsius are expected. Daytime highs should remain at a similar level for the rest of the week.