• 11/17/2021

    Prague City Hall awarded former dissident and one of the first Charter 77 signatories Dana Němcová with honorary citizenship on Tuesday in the Old Town Hall. The award was given for extraordinary acts and personal bravery in the resistance to communism.

    Mrs Němcová signed the Charter 77 together with her husband Jiří. She is considered to be among the country’s leading Catholic intellectuals. Due to her activities she was followed, interrogated and shortly imprisoned by the Communist State Security Service. During the 1990s she was active in helping refugees fleeing from war-torn Yugoslavia.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 11/17/2021

    Tuesday saw the highest number of new coronavirus cases since the beginning of the epidemic in the country in March of last year. A total of 22,479 people tested positive on Tuesday, roughly 50 percent more than on the same day last week, Ministry of Health data shows. Meanwhile, the number of hospitalisations fell by 123 to 4,425. Deaths have risen substantially in November, currently at 848 compared to October’s 333.

    Tuesday’s incidence number rose up to an average of 813 cases per 100,000 people. The largest number of infections on average is in the Olomouc Region. Meanwhile, the Karlovy Region remains the least affected.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 11/17/2021

    Leading constitutional officials, politicians and the wider public are honouring the 32nd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution this Wednesday.

    The first official to place a wreath at the memorial on Prague’s Národní třída, where a brutal Communist police crackdown on a largely student procession sparked the Velvet Revolution on November 17, 1989, was Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, together with ministers Karel Havlíček and Alena Schillerová (all ANO). Mr Babiš visited the site at around 6am in the morning, Czech Television reports. He said he came early, because his security guards warned him that there were plans by protestors to throw eggs at him. Due to records in Slovakia showing that he was a Communist State Security Service agent, he has been the subject of insults when appearing at the site in public in the past. The site is being guarded by police officers.

    A representative of the Office of the President laid a wreath at the memorial at around 8am. President Miloš Zeman is unable to come personally due to being in hospital.

    Leading members of the recent election-winning Together coalition (Civic Democrats, Christian Democrats, TOP09) visited Národní třída at around 11am, also laying wreaths at the memorial.

    Representatives of the Pirate Party and the Mayors and Independents visited the site later during the morning hours. Mayors and Independents Chairman Vít Rakušan said that this year’s celebrations are unique, because it is the first time since the revolution that the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia is not represented in the Czech Chamber of Deputies. Pirate Party leader Ivan Bartoš stressed the importance of a well educated and informed public for maintaining democracy.

    Due to convalescence, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib was unable to attend. However, in view of the rising number of coronavirus infections, he recommended that people wear respirators outdoors at public spaces during the celebrations.

    Memorial acts are also being held at Hlávkova College, where SS and Nazi police units arrested students before sending them to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in 1939. November 17 is also remembered as the day on which Nazi Germany closed universities across the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia in 1939. Among the attendants of the event was former Czech President Václav Klaus. A critic of pandemic measures, Mr Klaus said he was concerned that times which people thought would not return are coming back. Speaking shortly thereafter, the Chairman of the Student’s Chamber of the Council of Universities Michal Farník accused the former president of “trivialising the pandemic” with his speech.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 11/16/2021

    Wednesday should be overcast around the country, with drizzle in places, and day temperatures between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius.

  • 11/16/2021

    Czechs will mark the 32nd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution and 82 years since the closure of Czech universities by the Nazis on Wednesday with remembrance ceremonies and cultural events. Unlike last year, when the events were mostly online due to the coronavirus pandemic, they will be back on the streets this year, despite the worsening epidemic. A number of demonstrations and debates will be taking place on current topics such as the state of democracy today and the government’s anti-Covid strategy. There will be an all-day student happening on Národní třída traditionally organized by the Thanks That We Can association. The happening will include street exhibitions, lighting installations and debates.

  • 11/16/2021

    The five parties in the nascent Czech government say they are ready to take over political responsibility for the country immediately. After a meeting of party leaders on Tuesday, the prospective head of the new government Petr Fiala said the country faced serious problems and needed a government  which was action capable and could rely on a majority in the lower house. The prospective prime minister, who is due to meet with President Miloš Zeman on Wednesday, said he would present him with a cabinet line-up and expressed the hope that the transition of power would take place as soon as possible.

  • 11/16/2021

    Laboratories in the Czech Republic registered 11, 514 new cases of Covid-19 on Monday, 2,250 more than on the same day last week. The number of people hospitalised with Covid has risen to over 3,800 of which 572 are in a serious condition. Many hospitals are postponing elective care and some have asked the army for assistance due to a shortage of staff.

    According to Health Ministry data, the Czech Republic presently has on average over 739 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the space of seven days.

  • 11/16/2021

    The Pirate Party has approved the coalition agreement between the Spolu alliance (Civic Democrats, Christain Democrats and TOP 09) and Pirates with Mayors and Independents (STAN) on forming a new government.

    The agreement was approved in an internal online vote by 888 out of 1,082 party members. The Pirates are the last of the five-party coalition to officially approve the document which was signed last week.

    Party leader Ivan Bartoš was given a mandate to sign the document before the vote on its ratification, but its approval was essential in view of the fact that some party members have criticized the leadership's plans to enter the coalition government under the conditions stipulated.

  • 11/16/2021

    Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová who is on a one-day visit to the Czech Republic on Tuesday met briefly with the Czech head of state, Miloš Zeman. The meeting took place in Prague’s Central Military Hospital where Mr. Zeman is getting treatment for an unspecified chronic illness. President Čaputová will later meet with the Speaker of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil and the head of the newly-elected Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarová Adamová. Before her departure the Slovak head of state is due to lay flowers at the November 17th memorial on Narodní třída and hold a debate with students.

  • 11/16/2021

    The Czech government on Monday failed to reach agreement on further restrictive measures to curb the fifth wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to Health Minister Adam Vojtěch the cabinet is mulling three possible courses of action: introducing the so-called Austrian model, which amounts to a lockdown for unvaccinated individuals, the Bavarian model which affords them a greater degree of freedom of movement or the least restrictive course of action which would stipulate that only PCR tests would be recognized as a Covid pass.

    The negotiations will continue on Thursday.

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