President Miloš Zeman said on Friday after meeting with three-time Olympic gold medal winner in speed skating Martina Sáblíková that he had written a letter to the president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, asking for her to be given a wild card entry. Weeks before the start of the summer games, the athlete and her coach were stunned to learn that she was not listed among competitors who qualified for the road cycling event, apparently due to a mistaken understanding of the rules by the Czech Cycling Association. Sáblíková had been training intensively for the Rio games, assured she had qualified for a spot.
A Czech driver returning with his family from a vacation in Greece, died in the early hours of Saturday when he lost control of his vehicle. The car broke through at the guardrails and the car went off an overpass landing on a road below. The man, in his 40s, reportedly died at the scene. The other passengers - his wife and two children aged 4 and 15 - were not seriously injured. The accident took place near Niš; the news was reported by the Serbian daily Blic.
Police detained three people following a shooting in a shopping mall parking lot in Zličín in the Czech capital on Friday evening. Witnesses to the incident said that a conflict involving several people broke out before shots were fired. A man in his late 40s was shot several times but was not critically injured. The police are investigating the incident.
Czech President Miloš Zeman will head the Czech delegation at the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw, to deal with security on the alliance's eastern border, namely a force to serve in the Baltic states and Poland. According to the Czech News Agency, Czechs could serve alongside other NATO forces in the mission in the coming years. Southern security and Afghanistan are also to be discussed and an agreement between NATO and the EU signed. Along with the head of state, the Czech foreign and defence ministers will also be attending, together with the Chief of the General Staff of the Czech Armed Forces, General Josef Běcvář.
The 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival began on Friday with one
of this year's top stars, American actor Willem Dafoe, being awarded
the festival's Crystal Globe - recognizing outstanding artistic
contribution to world cinematography. Mr Dafoe is known for a wide body of
work including roles in the films Platoon, Wild at Heart, Spider-Man, and
The Last Temptation of Christ.
On Friday, the festival opened with the world premiere of the Czech-British production Anthropoid.
The 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival begins on Friday evening. Opening the festival is the highly-anticipated WWII drama Anthropoid about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by Czech and Slovak parachutists in 1942. Jamie Dornan (of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ fame) is one of the stars in the production who will be attending. Other top stars attending the festival this year include Willem Dafoe and Jean Reno.
Czech President Miloš Zeman has reiterated support for a bill on national referenda which was approved by the government last year. But he stirred emotions by suggesting on Friday that he would not be against Czechs voting on whether to stay in the European Union - although he said he would not vote to leave. Mr Zeman added that the Czech Republic received 200 billion crowns more from the EU than it gave back, stressing that “only someone crazy would give up so much money”. The head of state admitted it was “a cynical reason” but called it “a reason just the same”. Some time ago, the head of state spoke in the Chamber of Deputies recommending lawmakers pass the legislation; the bill needs three-fifths support in both chambers.
Government reacted to words earlier in the day by the country’s head of state Miloš Zeman about not being against a referendum on EU membership, by saying it was not counting on any steps which would cast doubt on the Czech Republic’s membership in either the EU or NATO. The news was revealed by government spokesman Martin Ayrer; it stated that both the EU and NATO had been long-term foreign policy priorities and were guarantees of economic stability and security. Finance Minister Andrej Babiš also reacted to the president’s words, stressing that a departure from the EU would be disastrous for the country. The head of the Social Democrats’ deputies club Roman Sklenák confirmed that while the party was in favour of the referendum bill, holding a plebiscite on EU membership was, in his view, not a good idea. On June 23, Great Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the 28-member bloc, leaving many as yet unanswered questions over Great Britain’s future.