Deputy prime minister and leader of the Christian Democrats Pavel Bělobrádek has come under for a visit to Munich at the end of the week during which he present a wreath in memory of the Sudeten Germans expelled from Czechoslovakia at the end of WWII. Leader of the communist party, Vojtečh Filip said it would have been better for Bělobrádek to have paid homage to those who laid down their lives for freedom rather than those that greeted Adolf Hitler, a reference to the euphoria in 1938 when the Sudetenland was attached to Germany. And Civic Democrat Member of the European Parliament Jan Zahradil asked for clarification whether the visit was official or private. Bělobrádek’s gesture did though win some support from other political leaders.
Dozens of Czech women have failed in an attempt to claim compensation from a German company which supplied the silicon for breast implants which were later found to be flawed. An initial court hearing in France held out the prospect that damages could be claimed from the German firm which supplied the implants to the French company at the centre of a scandal which broke out in 2011. The complainants argued the producer had failed to check how the silicon was being used. But an appeal court reversed that ruling. Radek Novotný, acting for dozens of Czech women who received the faulty implants, said a further appeal to the Supreme Court is now being considered.
he Ministry of Regional Development will apparently be asked to intervene in the case of the so-called ‘Marshmallow,’ a controversial building project in the centre of Prague which has sparked opposition from local residents and heritage organisations. The project, given its name because of its pastel colours and shape, was originally approved by Prague one district. But Prague City Hall has since started to probe the zoning approval. The project developer regards this as illegal and is now seeking an intervention from the ministry, the Czech News Agency reported.
The brother of the Lebanese taxi driver who disappeared in the east of the country along with five Czechs was detained in the Czech Republic last year on suspicion of links with terrorism, the web server Novinky.cz said Sunday citing the broadcaster Voice of Lebanon. Ali Fajad was detained with two others on suspicion of being involved in a drugs for arms deal. His extradition has been demanded by US authorities but a final decision is still pending a ruling by the Czech Minister of Justice. Lebanese security forces are searching the area where the five Czechs and driver disappeared. The Czech foreign ministry confirmed the disappearance of the five Czechs on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Petr Čech has made his debut between the posts for Arsenal in the final of a warm-up pre-season tournament in Singapore. Čech played in the final of the Barclay Asia Trophy against fellow Premier League team Everton. Arsenal won 3:1 with the final goal a consolation for the Merseyside team. Čech said after the game that he knew he would be the focus of attention and was pleased to have put in a good performance.
Recording of the music for Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino’s new Western, The Hateful Eight, began in Prague on Saturday at the recording studios of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Recording should continue through to Monday. Director Tarantino and the composer of the score, Ennio Morricone, were both on hand for the proceedings. The two have teamed up again after falling out in 2013. Morricone is actually making a comeback to composing for Westerns after a gap of several decades.
League champions Viktoria Plzeň claimed their first trophy of the new football season by winning the Super Cup against last season’s cup winning team, Slovan Liberec. Plzeň had most of the early pressure and took a two goal lead through Tomáš Hořava and Daniel Kolář. Slovan cut the lead in the 52nd minute with a strike by Lukáš Bátošák, his first game for the club on his debut.
Demonstrations for and against immigration took place on Saturday afternoon at Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Around 1,000 are estimated to have taken part in a second demonstration against immigrants and the EU in the afternoon. It was backed by the far right National Democracy movement. They were faced by a group calling for solidarity with refugees. Police kept the two sides apart. Chants of ‘Czech Republic for the Czechs’ and ‘You will hang’ were shouted at the pro-immigration demonstrators. Police intervened at one stage to check the identity of some of the demonstrators. Police had been criticized for their laxity when a mock gallows was carried during another anti-immigrant protest a few weeks ago. An internal investigation later cleared them of blame.
The West Bohemian town of Bečov nad Teplou on Saturday celebrated the 30th anniversary of the rediscovery of the Shrine of St. Maur, a magnificent gold plated and jewelled ark that was rediscovered at Bečov castle in 1985. The American who played a crucial part in the shrine’s rediscovery, Danny Douglas, was present at the celebrations on Saturday. Douglas was contracted by the Belgian noble family that owned the medieval shrine and buried it under floorboards at the castle chapel when they were forced to quit the country in 1945, to recover it. But a slip up allowed the Communist era secret police to get to the treasure first. Douglas told Radio Prague that he is expecting full official recognition as the finder by Czech authorities by the end of the year.
Five Czechs have disappeared in Eastern Lebanon not far from the Syrian border, according to the local English language daily, The Daily Star. The Czech Foreign Ministry in Prague said Czech foreign ministry officials in Lebanon are trying to verify the details. According to the paper, passports, bags, money, and valuables believed to belong to the Czechs were found in an abandoned taxi. The local taxi driver had also disappeared from the scene. The Czechs are reported to be aged between 25 and 47. Their identities were not revealed. Cases of mass kidnapping have occurred in the past in the region .