Daily news summary
Political parties and other groups holding May Day events
Political parties and other groups held events in the Czech Republic marking May Day, a state holiday. As every year the Communist Party celebrated International Workers’ Day at Prague’s Výstaviště exhibition grounds. The Social Democrats held an event at the Prague island Střelecký ostrov while leader Bohuslav Sobotka attended events in his native Moravia. Leading members of the centrist ANO held an event on a boat on the Vltava. A number of extremist groups also held demonstrations in the Czech capital. While events in Prague were peaceful there were clashes between far-right extremists and opponents in Brno and the police made several arrests.
Stropnický to discuss security and spending with Mattis at Pentagon
The Czech minister of defence, Martin Stropnický, is set to hold talks with his US counterpart, James Mattis, at the Pentagon in Washington on Tuesday. Mr. Stropnický said his meeting with the secretary of defense would take in the security situation, the Czech military budget and the modernisation of the Czech Army. Also on the agenda may be Czech plans to purchase military helicopters, with US firm Bell one of those in the running for the deal, the Czech News Agency reported. Mr. Stropnický had originally been due to travel to the US with Czech President Miloš Zeman but the US side postponed a meeting between him and Donald Trump originally reported as planned for the turn of April and May.
Jan Antonín Baťa’s plane lands near Zlín after 80 years
An historical Lockheed Electra that Czech industrialist Jan Antonín Baťa used to travel the world landed at Otrokovice in the Zlín area on Monday, eighty years after it left. The crew brought with them a Czech tricolour that the pilot who flew J.A. Baťa had on his jacket. Thousands of people turned out to see the historic plane land. J.A. Baťa was the half-brother of Baťa shoe empire founder Tomáš Baťa; after fleeing the Nazis he eventually settled in Brazil.
Czechs accused of spying over filming military installation leave for Greece
Two Czechs flew on Monday from Prague to Greek to appear in court on charges of espionage. Martin Pezlar and Ivan Buchta, who are software producers, are accused of filming by military installations near Greece’s border with Turkey in 2012 for the purposes of producing a video game. The pair say they were in Greece on holiday and merely took photographs and made videos as regular tourists. Their trial is set to begin on Wednesday and they face up to 20 years if found guilty.
Ballet star Polunin making first Czech appearances
The international ballet star Sergei Polunin is set to perform in the Czech Republic for the first time on Monday. The Ukrainian will give two shows at Prague’s National Theatre that will be preceded by a documentary about his career entitled Dancer. Tickets for both appearances sold out in less than five minutes. Formerly principal dancer with the British Royal Ballet, Polunin, who is 27, is today at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre.
Slavia and Plzeň tied on points with four league rounds to go
With four more rounds to go, the top two teams in Czech soccer's first division are tied on points after Slavia Prague drew 1:1 with Jablonec on Sunday evening. Slavia managed to save at least one point with an equalising goal in the final minute of regular time at their Eden stadium. The Prague side are ahead on goal difference only of defending champions Viktoria Plzeň, who had earlier beaten Dukla Prague 2:0.
It should be rainy with some clear spells in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, with temperatures of up to 13 degrees Celsius expected. Similar daytime highs and more rain is forecast for the next week.