Prague’s Metronome music festival reached a climax on Saturday night. The
UK electronic music veterans The Chemical Brothers played a career-spanning
set to a huge and appreciative audience on the main stage following an
innovative and entertaining show from former Talking Heads leader David
Byrne on a smaller podium.
The two-day event held at the city’s Výstaviště exhibition grounds had earlier featured Massive Attack, John Cale and Tom Odell, among others.
Opinion has been divided by the new strip of the Czech national ice hockey
team, which sees the traditional state symbol replaced by a large
illustration of a lion wearing a crown.
The vast majority of respondents in a poll by the iDnes.cz news site said they did not like the national team’s new look, while the Czech player of the season David Pastrňák said he didn’t understand it and goaltender Ondřej Pavelec described it as a disgrace.
In contrast Martin Nečas, who was part of the Czech squad at this year’s world championships, said the jerseys were far nicer than the old ones. Now retired ice hockey great Patrik Eliáš said the lion was a national symbol and it was a great idea to use it as the symbol of the Czech team.
The Social Democrats’ Miroslav Poche says if he does not become foreign
minister he could serve in another role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Czech Television reported on Saturday. The MEP is his party’s choice for
that portfolio in a minority coalition taking shape with ANO. However, his
appointment is opposed by President Miloš Zeman and ANO Andrej Babiš.
Mr. Poche described a possible scenario under which Social Democrats chairman Jan Hamáček would temporarily take on foreign affairs as a second portfolio and he himself would serve in a different role at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as “plan B”.
However, both he and Mr. Hamáček are still insisting that Mr. Poche head the ministry, he said.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, has responded to French comments
regarding the Visegrad Four and an informal EU meeting on migration planned
for Sunday. French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said the fact
that the V4 countries – which include the Czech Republic – were
boycotting the mini-summit on Sunday would make it harder to find a
Europe-wide deal on migration at a major summit of the EU 28 at the end of
Mr. Babiš described Mr. Griveaux’s words as “unfortunate”. He said the V4 were not boycotting anything but were just not attending Sunday’s mini-summit, which he said had been called in a most irregular manner.
On Thursday morning the Czech PM said he was going to Sunday's meeting. However, after V4 and Austria talks later that day he said none of the Visegrad states would be represented there.
The Czech National Archive has taken possession of recently discovered film
and audio recordings of the 1950s show trial of Rudolf Slánský and
others. Since being found the materials had been looked after by the
National Film Archive. The NFA comes under the Ministry of Culture, which
had promised to apply for government funding for their care.
A spokesperson for the National Archive (which comes under the Ministry of the Interior) said however that it should oversee the recordings under Czech law.
The valuable materials were uncovered by chance by insolvency administrators at a factory in Central Bohemia.
The spokesman for President Miloš Zeman, Jiří Ovčáček, should quit
over his comments on Twitter, says the president of the Czech
Constitutional Court, Rychetský. Speaking in an interview published by the
news site iDnes.cz, Mr. Rychetský said Mr. Ovčáček’s position gave
him no right whatever to express any opinions on the courts, domestic
politics or foreign policy.
Mr. Rychetský, who served as deputy prime minister in a government headed by Mr. Zeman, also said that the now head of state had – like his predecessors – allowed himself to be surrounded by yes men.
Saturday is the day of the year when Czechs have made enough money to pay
their tax obligations this year and begin earning for themselves, according
to the calculations of accounting firm Deloitte. It says it took the
country 174 days to reach the 2018 “tax freedom day”.
According to Deloitte, that day has never come so late in the year for Czechs. Another organisation, the Liberal Institute, uses different calculations and declared “tax freedom day” on May 22.
The leader of the Social Democrats, Jan Hamáček, says he could
temporarily also serve as minister of foreign affairs in a coalition his
party is planning with ANO. ANO are opposed to the Social Democrats’
nominee for the foreign affairs portfolio, Miroslav Poche.
Mr. Hamáček, who is in line to serve as interior minister in the Communist-supported two-party minority government, made the comments after President Miloš Zeman – who is also opposed to his candidature – asked Mr. Poche to step aside during a meeting on Friday.
ANO leader Andrej Babiš says he would have no problem with Social Democrats’ chairman Hamáček holding two ministerial posts for a limited period.
Mr. Babiš has said that the prospective coalition could undergo a vote of confidence in the lower house on July 11.