Daily news summary
MPs call on government to nullify lithium memorandum
MPs in the lower house have asked the government to nullify a recent memorandum on the mining of lithium signed by the Minister of Industry and Trade, Jiří Havlíček with Australian mining company European Metals Holdings.
The move comes days before Czechs go to the polls in the national election and after nine hours of intense debate in an extraordinary session on Monday. Two proposals were passed while two failed to get a majority. The affair over lithium mining has blown up since the memorandum was signed: the Social Democrats accusing fellow members in government, ANO, on Monday of politicizing the matter for their own ends, calling the issue artificially inflated. ANO had claimed in past days that the memorandum signed by the Social Democrat-controlled Ministry of Industry with Australia’s European Metals Holdings Company was “selling out the national interest”.
More than 9,000 Czech expatriates registered to vote
More than 9,000 Czechs have registered on the electoral lists in Czech embassies around the world.
The biggest interest in voting in the upcoming parliamentary elections, which will take place between Friday and Saturday, is in London, Brussels and Paris, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Czechs have the possibility to vote in a total of 109 places around the world, including the Balad military base in Iraq.
Dozens sign open letter in support of Pope Francis
Dozens of people have signed an open letter in support of Pope Francis, initiated by Catholic priest and a renowned Czech theologian Tomáš Halík.
The letter comes in reaction to the criticism from a group of conservative Roman Catholics, who accused Pope Francis of spreading ‘heresy’ by signalling his openness to letting divorced and remarried Catholics receive the Holy Communion.
The signatories, among them renowned theologians, bishops and public figures from 13 countries, express their gratitude to the Pope for taking a courageous and responsible approach to his service.
Zdeněk Miler’s granddaughter barred from granting Little Mole licenses
The granddaughter of the artist Zdeněk Miler, creator of the famous Czech cartoon character Krteček, can no longer grant licenses for the production of Little Mole collectibles, the Prague City Court ruled on Tuesday.
According to the ruling, the contract under which the licenses are granted is invalid. The court upheld an appeal by Milena Fišerová, who was authorised to administer Miller’s copyrights in 2006.
Zdeněk Miller, who authored more than 70 animated short films during his long career, died in 2011. The iconic Krteček first appeared in 1957 in a film entitled How the Little Mole Got His Trousers.
Margaret Atwood to be presented with Franz Kafka Award
Canadian novelist, essayist and poetry writer, Margaret Atwood, will be officially presented with this year’s Franz Kafka prize at a ceremony in Prague on Tuesday. The prize to mark the life and works of Kafka has been awarded since 2001. One of the criteria for the award is the work’s humanistic character. Previous winners include Ivan Klíma, Haruki Murakami, and Philip Roth.
Morricone bids farewell to Prague with last concert
Famed Italian music composer, Ennio Morricone, accompanied by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, performed to a sold out O2 arena in Prague on Monday night.
The concert, called Goodbye Prague, was part of his farewell tour entitled Ennio Morricone - Last ever show. The composer has announced that as of next year, when he turns 90, he will no longer perform in big concert halls.
Wednesday is expected to be partly cloudy with daytime temperatures ranging between 15 and 19 degrees Celsius.