President Miloš Zeman met with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at Lány
Chateau on Saturday to discuss the performance of the coalition government
to date as well as its plans for the future. Mr Sobotka said after the
meeting that there were no major conflicts between him and the President
regarding the fulfillment of the government programme.
Mr Sobotka also said that the Czech Republic was doing enough to help other EU countries deal with the migration crisis. His words came in reaction to the criticism from Austria's Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil, who said that the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary showed lack of solidarity towards the EU.
Snowboarder Ester Ledecká has won this season's third and last paralell giant slalom World Cup event in Kayseri, Turkey on Saturday, clinching the first small Crystal Globe of her career. The 20-year-old Czech finished four seconds ahead of Austria's Sabine Schöffmann. Ledecká also leads in the overall alpine snowboard World Cup ranking, with only one more race to come in Winterberg, Germany on 6 March.
Several hundred people gathered in Prague 3 to support the Autonomous Social Centre Klinika, which helps the homeless and migrants. The local construction office refused to extend Klinika's lease on the Žižkov building where it now operates on the grounds that the building had been certified as a health facility and could not legally serve for other purposes. Its lease expires on March 2. The demonstrators plan to march from the centre on Jeseniova street to Prague 3 Town Hall at Jiřího z Poděbrad square. Klinika was recently attacked by extremists during an anti-migrant demonstration in Prague.
The Confederation of Political Prisoners has expressed its outrage at the statement issued by the Communist Party on the anniversary of the February 1948 events, in which the party claimed adherence to the ʻrevolutionary legacyʼ of the Communist takeover. The party said it appreciateed the work and devotion of the generations of the developers of socialism and regretted tragic deformations and deficiencies that harmed the idea of socialism. They also said they had already apologised to all those whose lives were affected by this. The Confederation of Political Prisoners said the Communists could only be excused by dissolving their party. The Communist Party seized power on February 25, 1948, when president Edvard Beneš agreed they could form a new government after members of democratic parties resigned.
The Czech snowboarder Eva Samková has finished third at a World Cup snowboard cross event at Bokwang, South Korea, reaching the podium for the third time this season. The Olympic champion currently holds a second place in the overall World Cup standings, only 40 points behind Italy's Michela Moioli.
Awards were handed out at the Mene Tekel festival against totalitarian regimes at Prague's Vinohrady Theatre on Friday to people who opposed or were persecuted by totalitarianism. The Dame of Czech Culture title was given to actress Marie Tomášová and artist Helga Hošková-Weissová. The Knight of Czech Culture title was given to actor František Miška and artist Jiří Sozanský. Actor Karel Hašler and author Božena Kuklová-Jíšová were honored posthumously. Minister of Culture Daniel Herman gave Meda Mládková, founder of Museum Kampa, the honorary title of Czech Culture Patron.
Czech production designer Martin Kurel has won the French César Award for Best Production Design for the film Marguerite, a French-Czech coproduction shot partly in the Czech Republic. The annual awards were handed at a ceremony at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris on Friday night. Mr Kurel is the first Czech to receive the French national film award. The period drama Marguerite, inspired by the real-life tale of the doomed soprano Florence Foster Jenkins, was directed by Xavier Giannoli and has been a hit in France. The film also received a César for Best Actress, Best Costume and Best Sound.
Police in Prague have released photos of two men suspected of spray painting letters on Charles Bridge, a national monument and one of the capital’s major tourist attractions. According to the police, the suspects are French speakers and most likely tourists. The police have come up with the pictures after checking the CCTV cameras for evidence. If convicted, the suspects face up to three years in jail for vandalizing a national monument.
Czech Republic’s unions have called for a pay rise for state employees in the cultural sector of at least 10 percent, leader of the country’s confederation of trade unions, Josef Středula, said on Friday after a meeting with the culture minister Daniel Herrman. There are around 6,500 employees in the cultural sector and their salaries are about 2.5 percent below the national average, which is a little over 26,000 crowns. The ministry has received an extra 100 million crowns for this year’s budget which is intended to increase wages of people working in the non-profit sector.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has agreed with Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek on the text of a new draft treaty according to which children with Czech citizenship living in Norway should be handed to their parents, the president said on Friday during his visit to the Liberec region. The Foreign Ministry's lawyers said the old version was in conflict with international treaties and principles of international law. Mr Zeman presented the first version of the draft treaty in January in reaction to the cases of Norwegian authorities taking children with Czech citizenship away from their parents.