The majority of Czechs feel that the state neglects support for small and medium business over large enterprises, according to the results of a poll conducted by TNS Aisa for Czech Television. 64 percent of respondents said that state support for large businesses was adequate, while only 30 percent consider it adequate in the case of small and medium enterprises. The main hurdles for the latter are considered a complicated tax system, excessive bureaucracy and inadequate support for starting-up a small private enterprise.
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, will maintain its present policy line under its newly reelected leader Vojtěch Filip. Filip, who received 203 votes out of 353, said the party would continue to strive for the Czech Republic’s departure from NATO and the withdrawal of Czech troops from foreign missions. It will further support the taxing of church restitutions, measures aimed at curbing illegal migration and at strengthening Schengen’s outer borders. Filip’s unsuccessful rival for the top post, Josef Skála, was elected deputy head for ideology. Skála, a former deputy chair, represents a fraction of the party which has been calling for a more left-leaning policy line.
Several hundred people, including war veterans, government ministers, parliament deputies, church dignitaries and cultural figures gathered at Terezín National Cemetery on Sunday to pay homage to victims of the Holocaust. Speaker of the Senate Milan Štěch said in his speech that this dark chapter of history required self-reflection and objectivity. He stressed that one could not put on par the atrocities of the criminal Nazi ideology with the post-war expulsion of Sudeten Germans from Czechoslovakia. The Nazis interned 155,000 Jews at the Terezín camp between 1941 and 1945. Up to 100,000 of them were transported to Auschwitz and other death camps, around a fifth of those interned in Terezín met their deaths there.
Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman on Sunday addressed a gathering of the
Sudeten German Landsmannschaft in German, greeting participants as “dear
compatriots” for which he received a hearty round of applause. The
minister said that the identity of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia had long
been formed by Czechs, Germans, Jews, Romanies and Poles; a fruitful
co-habitation broken up by the tragic events of the twentieth century. The
minister expressed regret over all acts –both on the Sudeten German and
Czech side – which undermined trust and mutual understanding.
This is the first time that the Czech government has sent an official representative to a meeting of the Landsmannschaft association. Relations between the Czech government and the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft improved after the association confirmed that it would no longer strive for financial compensation or the return of property confiscated from the 2.5 million Sudeten Germans driven from post-war Czechoslovakia under the Beneš decrees.
An exhibition which opens to the public on Sunday at the Wallenstein Riding School presents over 200 artefacts documenting Charles IV’s legacy in a European context, including the crown that Charles IV had made for his coronation as Holy Roman Emperor in 1349. One of the most complex exhibitions on the life, legacy and times of Charles IV was organised by the National Gallery in Prague and the House of Bavarian History in collaboration with the Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe at the Lepizig University.
The Czech crown jewels have gone on display at Prague Castle as part of events marking the 700th anniversary of the birth of Czech king and Holy Roman emperor Charles IV. The crown jewels are being shown at Vladislav Hall and admission is free of charge. The collection, which is only displayed on exceptional occasions such as the election of the president, will be exhibited until the end of May. Prague Castle has organized seven exhibitions to mark the anniversary.
A painting by Jan Zrzavý called Fantastic Landscape has sold for a record price at a Czech auction. The painting was sold for 12 million crowns at an auction by the Gallery Ustar, the highest price ever paid for a Zrzavý painting in the Czech Republic. Fantastic Landscape was part of a private collection and had never been exhibited. According to experts it was painted between 1910 and 1913.
Vojtěch Filip was reelected Communist Party leader at the party’s conference in Prague on Saturday. Filip received 203 votes out of 353. His rival Josef Skála received 150 votes. Skála, a former deputy chair, represents a fraction of the party which has been calling for a more left-leaning policy line. In the 2013 parliamentary elections the party took 33 seats in the lower house. Filip has been at the helm for the last 11 years and has now received a mandate for another four.
Two of the three police officers detained by the police’s organized crime squad on Wednesday have been remanded in custody on the grounds that they could try to influence witnesses or cover their tracks. The three are accused of abuse of office, taking and soliciting bribes and leaking information relating to ongoing investigations. According to unconfirmed sources one of the three persons charged is a detective from the police’s anti-corruption unit.
Twenty-two year old pop-rock singer Gabriela Gunčíková will represent the Czech Republic at the final of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday night. This is the first time ever that the Czech Republic has made it to a Eurovision final. Gunčíková will perform the song I Stand, with music by Christian Schneider and Sara Biglert and lyrics by Biglert and Aidan O'Connor. The singer first got noticed in 2011 as runner-up in the Czecho-Slovak Superstar contest. She later studied with American vocal coach Ken Tamplin and joined the American progressive rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a touring vocalist. She has released two albums.