Senator and former foreign minister Karel Schwarzenberg was elected the
chairman of the new Czech political party TOP 09 at its constituent
conference in Prague on Saturday. Delegates also elected other members of
party leadership. MP, former finance minister and one the party’s
founders Miroslav Kalousek was elected the 1st deputy chair.
The party, which defines itself as conservative, pro-European and anti-populist, was founded in June this year as a right-wing split from the Christian Democrats. It has since become quite popular in the Czech Republic. Polls repeatedly showed it could become the third strongest party in the Chamber of Deputies after the next general election scheduled for May, 2010.
Another officer of the Czech Army has been suspended for wearing Nazi
symbols. The Czech news agency ČTK reported that Military Police detained
the officer at an anti-aircraft brigade in Strakonice, south Bohemia, on
Thursday. The soldier was immediately suspended, and will be charged with
supporting movements to suppress human rights and freedoms, an army
The Czech Army launched thorough checks earlier this month to curb extremism in the ranks of the army. The measure was prompted by the case of two soldiers from the Czech army contingent in Afghanistan who wore Nazi symbols on their helmets.
Around 9,000 people marked the 204th anniversary of the Battle of
Austerlitz in Slavkov, south Moravia, on Saturday. Some 800 volunteers
part in the re-enactment of the 1805 battle in which Napoleon defeated the
armies of Russian Tzar Alexander I and Austrian Emperor Franz I.
Also known as the Battle of Three Emperors, it was one of Napoleon’s greatest victories. It occurred just south of Brno, near the town of Slavkov, known as Austerlitz in German, on December 2, 1805.
An American tourist damaged a statue on Prague’s Charles Bridge, one of the city’s most significant monuments, in the early hours of Saturday, the news website idnes.cz reported. The man, around 30 years of age, broke off a sabre of an 18th century Baroque statue. The police detained the US national just minutes after the incident. If charged with misdemeanour, the man will face up to a year in prison.
An interested buyer reserved the 1947 abstract painting Prisme by
František Kupka at an art fair in Brno on Saturday, the news agency ČTK
reported. If finalized, the 39 million crown, or 2.2 million US dollar
will set a new record in the Czech art market.
Prisme, an abstract painting by the Czech modernist painter František Kupka, was previously owned by a gallery in Japan that sold it to a Czech collector. The standing Czech auction record of 22.1 million crowns, or nearly 1.3 million US dollars, was set in 2007 when Kupka’s painting Élévation was sold at an auction in Prague.
A Christmas market opened in the centre of Prague on Saturday. Visitors can browse hand-made goods and traditional Czech Christmas fare at the market in Prague’s Old Town square that boasts some 100 stands and features live music from around the world. On Sunday, a smaller and more modern market in downtown Prague will open its gates to visitors at the bottom of Wenceslas Square. Throughout the city, a number of other Christmas markets will be held starting in late November and early December.
Czech rider Zdeněk Štybar won the fourth round of the UCI cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium on Saturday. The Telenet Fidea rider was in a group of five coming to the finishing line, and unleashed a perfectly timed sprint to claim the win over Belgium’s Sven Nys and Klaas Vantornout, who came in second and third, respectively. For Štybar, this was his first World Cup victory in two years; he currently ranks second in the UCI chart.
Several clubs of the Kontinetal Hockey League eye Vladimír Růžička, the coach of the Czech national hockey team and Salvia Prague, the Czech daily Sport reported on Saturday. Mr Růžička, who won gold as player the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998, led the Czech team to the world title in 2005. His contract at Slavia expires this year. According to Sport, the clubs that are interested in the Czech coach include SKA Saint Petersburg, AK Bars Kazan and Dynamo Moscow.
Meteorologists issued a warning on Saturday against strong winds that should hit the eastern part of the country over the weekend and at the star of next week. They said that the regions of Pardubice, Zlín and Ostrava could see winds of up to 100 km/hour. Meteorologist asked people to take extreme caution and avoid trees and older buildings as their roofs could be ripped off.
The president of the European Commission Jose Barosso confirmed on Friday that the Czech EU commissioner Stefan Füle has received the EU enlargement portfolio. Aside from evaluating applications for EU membership, Mr. Füle will also be responsible for relations to neighbor states of the EU that are not in line for joining. During the five-year term that Mr. Füle will serve, Croatia is expected to join the European Union. Mr. Füle still has to be officially confirmed in this position by the EU member states and the EU parliament. He replaces Vladimír Špidla, the former Czech EU commissioner, who was in charge of social affairs.