The Chinese Embassy in Prague has protested against statements made about
the situation in Hong Kong by some Czech politicians and institutions. In a
Facebook post, the embassy said those opinions were erroneous and
represented meddling in China’s internal affairs. It said extreme
violence had been employed by protestors during demonstrations in Hong
The head of the Czech Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Pavel Fischer, this week appealed to the Beijing government to refrain from violence. The Czech Confederation of Trade Unions also wrote an open letter to the Chinese Embassy, calling for an end to repression and saying people should not be fired from their jobs for taking part in demonstrations.
Activists have clashed with police in China over the past 10 weeks during protests sparked by an extradition bill.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO says he wants the party’s coalition
government with the Social Democrats to continue. Mr. Babiš told the news
website iDnes.cz on Sunday that he was doing his all to ensure this
happened. He added that if the Social Democrats’ nominee for arts
minister, Michal Šmarda, wished to help the party he would withdraw his
President Miloš Zeman has refused to appoint Mr. Šmarda despite the fact that the head of state is meant under the constitution to name ministers proposed by the PM.
Social Democrats leader Jan Hamáček insists that both the coalition agreement, under which his party controls the Ministry of Culture, and the constitution be respected. Otherwise, he says, the party may quit the government.
Mr. Babiš said on Sunday that neither he nor the head of state had violated those documents.
Mr. Hamáček and Mr. Babiš are due to hold talks on Monday to try to break the impasse. The prime minister will speak to President Zeman the following day.
Around 20 percent of new apartments in Prague are bought by foreigners,
according to developers addressed by the Czech News Agency. The level of
purchases by non-Czech nationals is around the same as last year, they
Slovaks are the most frequent foreign buyers of Prague properties, followed by people from Western Europe and post-Soviet states.
Foreigners display the greatest interest in small flats, frequently in upscale projects, the developers said.
The leader of the Communists, Vojtěch Filip, says his party would be
willing to support a reconstructed minority government led by Andrej Babiš
of ANO, if the Social Democrats quit the current coalition. Speaking in an
interview for Novinky.cz, he said, however, that the Communist Party
actually entering government was out of the question.
Mr. Filip said the current government had won a vote of confidence and the prime minister would have no reason to step down if the Social Democrats left.
If the junior coalition party quits, there have been suggestions that Mr. Babiš could attempt to continue ruling with the support of the Communists, Freedom and Direct Democracy and some MPs elected as Social Democrats who are at odds with the party’s leadership.
Conditions for the usage of drones in the Czech Republic are to be
tightened up under new rules being imposed across the European Union, Czech
Television reported. Operators will be barred from flying drones over large
gatherings or accidents so as not to hamper the work of rescue services.
Drone pilots will have to register their machines and will receive identification codes similar to car registration numbers.
The usage of drones following a recent train accident near Mariánské Lázně complicated the work of fire and rescue services.
The head of the Czech Association of Professional Pilotless Plane Operators told Czech Television that a small plastic drone could cause a helicopter to crash if it collided with the aircraft’s rotors.
The US rock band Metallica are set to play to around 70,000 fans at a
sold-out concert at Prague’s Letňany airfield on Sunday evening. Traffic
is barred from the vicinity of the venue until midnight and public
transport will be greatly reinforced for the event.
Metallica have played several times in the Czech Republic, most recently at Prague’s O2 Arena last year. Letňany has also hosted shows by Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones and other artists.
Planned repairs to Prague’s Powder Tower landmark have postponed until
next year, Czech Television reported. The project was put back after a
delay in a survey into the state of the structure, which was completed in
The Powder Tower will be surrounded by scaffolding when it is being cleaned, a process that will make it lighter in colour. It is also set to get a new staircase and electrical system.
It will be the biggest renovation job since the end of the 19th century, when the structure attained its present form.
The first ever LGBT pride parade in Ostrava took place on Saturday
afternoon. An estimated 300 mainly young people participated in the
procession, which passed through the centre of the Czech Republic’s third
city before culminating in an event offering music and talks at the
Komenský sad park.
Around 30 opponents of the parade also gathered in the centre of the city, many of them bearing symbols of local football team Baník Ostrava. Riot police kept them away from the pride participants.
This year’s November 17 is the 30th anniversary of the start of the
Velvet Revolution and more events than usual are planned for the state
holiday, the Czech News Agency reported. These include the opening of a new
permanent exhibition at Prague’s National Museum focused on 20th century
Czech and Slovak history.
The biggest events for the public will take place at the capital’s Albertov, Národní and Wenceslas Square, which are locations closely associated with the demonstrations that led to the fall of the Communist regime in 1989.
Most of the events taking place will be co-ordinated by Festival of Freedom. A candle-lit procession will take place, the event Národní Promenade will again be held and a Concert for the Future is set to draw crowds to Wenceslas Square. Post Bellum will present its annual Memory of the Nation awards to those who stood up to totalitarianism.