Czech morning news roundup: Thursday, November 11, 2021

War dead commemorated throughout the Czech Republic, interrogations of Castle officials begin, Czech billionaire buys stake in English football club. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.11.2021 09:02:00 (updated on 11.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Zeman Police interrogations of Castle officials begin

Police are simultaneously investigating the possible forgery of the President’s signature on a document calling the first meeting of the new lower house of the Czech Parliament. While Prague’s Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) declared Zeman unfit to perform his work duties, Mynář arranged a visit by the outgoing Speaker of the House during which the document calling the first session of the next parliament was signed. Mynář subsequently tried to prove the signature is genuine by showing a video of Zeman signing the document in his hospital bed.

The head of protocol at Prague Castle, Vladimír Kruliš, has testified to the police in connection with the investigation into whether the crime was committed of not providing assistance to President Miloš Zeman ahead of his hospitalization. Chancellor Vratislav Mynář will be questioned on Thursday.

History War dead commemorated throughout the Czech Republic

The memory of war veterans is being commemorated today in the Czech Republic. The main event will as usual take place at Vítkov in Prague, involving representatives of the army and the government. Commemorative meetings will also be held in Brno, Ostrava, Plzeň and Liberec.

Victims of the world wars are commemorated every year on November 11, the day when the armistice ending the First World War was signed in 1918. Last year’s events were severely cut back due to the effects of the pandemic. The event at Vítkov will be attended by outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. In Brno, primary school students are honoring the dead with the symbolic planting of poppies in Moravské náměstí.

Football Czech billionaire Křetínský buys minority stake in West Ham football club

Daniel Křetínský, current owner of Sparta Prague football club and one of the richest people in the Czech Republic, has bought 27 percent of the shares of West Ham United, one of English football’s most famous clubs.

Křetínský was spotted in the stands at West Ham’s recent victory against Liverpool at the London Stadium. The deal will see the billionaire and his business partner Pavel Horský become members of the Board of Directors of West Ham. Some British media are reporting that the deal is worth £150 million (CZK 4.4 billion), while others claim even more has been invested. The deal could boost West Ham’s already strong popularity in the Czech Republic resulting from three Czech footballers playing for the team.

Coal mine dispute EU Court of Justice hearing on Turów mine begins

A hearing on the Turów coal mine has begun at the European Court of Justice, despite intense recent efforts to settle the matter through bilateral negotiations between the Czech and Polish governments. The EU has meanwhile called on Poland to pay fines imposed for ongoing works at the Turów coal mine near the Czech border. Poland’s debt over the affair has now grown to hundreds of millions of crowns due to a failure to pay the fines so far levied.

The EU Court of Justice set a fine of half a million euros (CZK 12.6 million) in September. The outstanding debt now exceeds €25 million, or CZK 630 million. Warsaw has previously said the EU “won’t get a cent” of the money it is claiming as fines over the Turów affair. At the same time, the European Commission says Poland has not yet shown that it intends to suspend work at the mine.

Velvet Revolution Slovak President to visit Prague next week

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová will arrive in Prague on November 16. The visit will take place on the eve of the Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy at the invitation of Senate President Miloš Vystrčil (ODS). The Senate leader will present her with a silver commemorative medal.

Two years ago Čaputová was in Prague for the thirtieth anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, when she laid a wreath at Prague’s Národní třída. Čaputová then said the work that started in November 1989 has still not been completed, emphasizing the fragile nature of democracy. Earlier this year, she attended a ceremonial assembly in Brno where she criticized polarization of society and emphasized the role of constitutional courts as defenders of liberal democracy.

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