Czech daily news roundup: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

New government to wait until after Christmas, Czech animated film nominated for Golden Globe, Miss Czech Republic takes a stand for women's rights. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.12.2021 09:20:00 (updated on 14.12.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

13:45 Ambulance staff cited in Ombudsman’s Roma death claims

Ambulance staff who attended the scene in Teplice where Stanislav Tomáš died after being held on the floor by police officers said his body was lifeless when they arrived. At that time, the man still had handcuffs on. In an independent report into the event, Ombudsman Monika Šimunková criticized the police officers on the scene for not removing Tomáš’s handcuffs and starting resuscitation when he collapsed. Her report cites the testimony of two medical rescuers, who said that they “lifted a lifeless body” when they arrived on the scene.

12:05 Court asks for prosecution of former Prague mayor

The Prague Municipal Court has asked the lower house of the Czech parliament to release former Prague mayor and current Civic Democrat (ODS) politician Bohuslav Svoboda for criminal prosecution. Svoboda is accused of leading corrupt practices in the Opencard smart card project during his term as mayor from 2010 to 2013. Other suspects have been acquitted in the case, but Svoboda has not yet faced appeals proceedings. Svoboda is accused of playing a central role in allegedly disadvantageous contracts with the company behind the Opencard scheme which are believed to violate economic competition laws. Defendants including Svoboda previously said the problems with the project pre-dated their time in office.

Politics New government to wait until after Christmas despite Zeman approval

President Miloš Zeman agreed to accept Jan Lipavský as Foreign Minister in the new Czech government yesterday evening, bringing the controversy over his candidacy to an end. Zeman gave in to the demands of incoming Prime Minister Petr Fiala after a meeting at his Lány presidential manor.

The new government in its entirety will be formally named on Friday, but it is unlikely to take power until after Christmas. Parliament must approve the new regime in a confidence vote, which the leader of the lower house of parliament, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, has said will not happen before Christmas at the end of next week.

Visegrád Four Macron meets regional leaders at Budapest summit

French President Emmanuel Macron met with Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and other Visegrád Four leaders at a summit in Budapest. Macron pointed out problems with the rule of law and discrimination against sexual minorities in the region, especially in Hungary and Poland, although the leaders of those countries rejected Macron’s criticisms.

Disagreements also emerged on attitudes towards closer EU integration: Macron is one of the main driving forces of closer ties between EU states while the V4 tend to resist such moves. Ahead of France’s assumption of the rolling EU presidency on January 1, Macron said “we need to find a way out of these problems and move forward.”

Empowerment Miss Czech Republic stands for women’s rights at beauty pageant

The Miss Universe contest, held this year in Israel, saw contestants from all over the world make political statements with their national costumes. Among them was Czech contestant Karolína Kokešová, who took a stand for women’s rights with a costume representing a warrior lioness.

The lion is the national symbol of the Czech Republic, while other elements of the costume represented other areas of the world where women’s rights are an issue: Afghanistan, and Texas in the U.S.A. Kokešová said the concept of the costume was the show that “regardless of race, or first- or third-world country, women’s rights issues are all over the world.” The Miss Universe contest was ultimately won by Miss India Harnaaz Sandhu.

Film Czech movie about Afghanistan nominated at Golden Globes

Czech movie “My Sun Mad” (Moje slunce Mad) is one of five candidates for the “Best Animated Film” award at the Golden Globe awards to be held on January 9, 2022. The film tells the story of a young Czech woman who moves to Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, to marry her Afghan classmate. The film is based on a book by journalist and writer Petra Procházková, and is also nominated for the Oscars.

Director Michaela Pavlátová has been promoting the film in the U.S. ahead of the awards season; she has previously won a number of awards for her films, including an Oscar. She is currently the head of the Department of Animation at the Film faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

Military U.S. company to provide Flight Training Devices for Czech Air Force

U.S. helicopter manufacturer Bell has signed a contract with the U.S. government for the provision of Flight Training Devices for the Czech Air Force’s new helicopter fleet. The Flight Training Devices will play an important role in the integration of the new fleet into the Air Force, used for simulation and training purposes for future pilots of new AH-1Z and UH-1Y aircraft.

The new helicopters are also manufactured by Bell, meaning the modernization of the Air Force is heavily dependent on Bell technology, though the Texas-based company is cooperation with local suppliers such as VR Group for the new training devices.

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