The Prague Municipal Court on Wednesday rehabilitated the late General
Milan Píka over his unjustified imprisonment by the Communist regime in
the late 1940s. The judge said it was the only possible response to the
wrongs committed against him by the regime.
Milan Píka was jailed in 1948 for allegedly plotting to break his father, General Heliodor Píka, out of prison. In 1949 war hero Heliodor Píka became the first victim of judicial murder during Czechoslovakia’s Communist show trials.
Milan Píka died earlier this year and the case to clear his name was taken by his daughter Dagmar Sedláčková.
Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of the death of Bohumil Peroutka, who set
himself on fire in protest at the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia and
the onset of normalisation. He was 43 years old when he committed his
radical protest in the town of Vsetín on October 28, the day of
Czechoslovak independence, and died of his burns two days later.
Peroutka, who is not well known, is regarded as the country’s fourth “human torch” protestor of that era, with the first being student Jan Palach.
The narrow pavement running from Prague’s Vinohradská St. to the Main
Train Station is being widened, a spokesperson for City Hall said on
Wednesday. The sidewalk will be expanded from the current 30 cm to 175 cm.
It runs alongside the busy “mainline” road that cuts through the city centre and is known by Praguers as the “pavement of death”, the Czech News Agency said.
Czechoslovak citizens executed in the Soviet Union in the 1930s were
remembered at a ceremony in Prague on Tuesday evening. The event took place
at a monument to the victims of the Communist regime in the Újezd
The names of 85 Czechs and Slovaks put to death in the USSR were read out by representatives of the associations that organised it and others. Similar memorials were held elsewhere in Europe on the eve of Russia’s Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions on October 30.
Dollar millionaires in the Czech Republic and Slovakia believe the next
economic crisis is likely to arrive in two years or less, suggests the
latest edition of the annual Wealth Report compiled by J&T Banka. One
in 10 of those surveyed believe a crisis will come within the next 12
months. However, the respondents in the study do not expect the next
economic downturn to have as much impact as the crash of 2008.
Hardly any of the 165 Czech and 117 Slovak clients of the bank with savings of at least CZK 23 million said they did not foresee an economic crisis within the next five years.
The state attorney’s office has ordered that the case of the death of Jan
Masaryk be reopened, Právo reported on Wednesday. This follows the recent
discovery of a recorded statement from a police officer who was first on
the scene when Masaryk’s body was found beneath a window at Prague’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 1948.
The case will now be investigated by the police’s Office for the Documentation and Investigation of the Crimes of Communism, which has looked into it several times in the past.
Jan Masaryk was the only democratic minister remaining in the Czechoslovak government after the Communist takeover of 1948. The official interpretation is that the minister was murdered.
The Czech Olympic Committee says the country’s participation in the Tokyo
Olympics next year will be the most expensive ever. The Committee, which is
currently discussing its budget for 2020, said the Czech party in Tokyo
would number around 200.
The head of the Czech Olympic Committee, Jiří Kejval, said that while almost CZK 50 million had been earmarked three years ago to cover involvement in the 2020 Olympics, up to 20 percent more would now be required due to the increased cost of accommodation.
A group of eight environmental activists who forced their way into the
Vršany brown coal mine early on Tuesday to protest against continued
mining in the region remain on the grounds of the mine for a second day
The protest is an effort to prevent the planned sale of the coal-burning Počerady electric power plant to the group Se.ven Energy belonging to Czech billionaire Pavel Tykač. Police are monitoring the situation but have not so far intervened.
Academics and former politicians have also been petitioning the power utility ČEZ against the sale on the grounds that the plant’s continued operation would be in violation of the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.
The leadership of the Communist Party has not distanced itself from
shocking statements made by the party’s deputy chair Stanislav Grospič
who said in an interview for Czech Radio that the 1968 Soviet-led invasion
of Czechoslovakia had not been an invasion and that the people killed had
died mostly in road accidents. His words were condemned by politicians
across the board.
Opposition politicians are calling for his resignation as head of the Mandate and Immunity Committee in the lower house.
The head of the Communist Party Vojtěch Filip said after a meeting of the party’s leadership that its members should be more restrained in expressing themselves in public and should make sure their statements do not go counter the official party line.