Czech weekend news in brief: November 21, 2021

Czech PM questioned by police over alleged Vrbětice scandal, Pekarová Adamová re-elected TOP 09 chair, and more headlines from this weekend.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.11.2021 09:57 (updated on 21.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

investigation Czech police question PM over Interior Minister's planned trip to Moscow

Outgoing Czech PM Andrej Babiš testified before Czech police on Saturday about the circumstances behind Interior Minister Jan Hamáček's planned trip to Moscow in mid-April that was ultimately cancelled. Along with his testimony, Babiš provided all relevant text messages exchanged with Hamáček.

The investigation was launched by police in reaction to an article in Seznam Zprávy that claimed Hamáček wanted to exchange information about the Czech investigation of the 2014 explosions at the Vrbětice ammunition depot in south Moravia for Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines. Hamáček has denied the allegations and he has filed a criminal complaint against the writers of the article. He also plans to sue the server, claiming damages in excess of ten million crowns from the publisher. Seznam Zprávy's editor-in-chief Jiří Kubík said in May that the server stood by its story, and was ready to prove its truthfulness in court.

Politics Markéta Pekarová Adamová re-elected TOP 09 chair

Markéta Pekarová Adamová has been re-elected chair of TOP 09, one of three parties behind the new incoming government coalition Together, for another two-year term on Saturday. Pekarová Adamová ran for the position unopposed, and received 163 out of 176 votes at the party's congress. Only around 30 delegates attended the congress in person, while the rest joined online due to the worsening epidemic situation in the Czech Republic.

Pekarová Adamová led her party to victory in the October general election as part of the Together coalition, in alliance with the Civic Democrats and Christian Democrats. She was later appointed lower house head. In the new government, TOP 09 will have representative Vlastimil Válek as Health Minister, while Helena Langšádlová will be named Science and Research Minister.

Sports Sweden's Von Eckermann wins Global Champions show jumping tour in Prague

Sweden's Henrik Von Eckermann and his horse King Edward won the show jumping Super Grand Prix at the Prague Playoffs on Saturday. Von Eckermann, who finished fourth at the Tokyo Olympic Games, rode a flawless two rounds. In the finals, Von Eckermann achieved a better time score than his rival and Prague Lions representative Sergio Alvarez Moya from Spain, who also rode a flawless round.

Third place went to the Olympic Games champion, British rider Ben Maher and his horse Explosion. The first Super Grand Prix round saw five riders perform without faults. This was not the case for the second representative of the Prague Lions, Belgian Niels Bruynseels, who logged four penalty points for knocking down a log fence. In the second round, Bruynseels committed another fault.

Money Rare Slovak banknote sells at auction for 1.25 million crowns

The only surviving copy of a Slovak banknote issued in 1945 was sold at an online auction for 1.25 million crowns. The final price was more than twelve times the starting bid of 100,000 crowns. The banknote was issued by the Slovak state at the end of World War II and never came into circulation; it is the only known copy in the world.

The banknote was sold an the online auction ran by Bankovky.com, which focuses on paper money that circulated in the historical territory of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia from 1762 to the present. The most expensive item sold during the two-day auction is a 50 guilder note from 1800, which was auctioned on Saturday for 3.4 million crowns; only three pieces are known to exist.

literature Šumava Litera festival gives top prize to Czech author David Jan Zak

The Šumava Litera festival, a Czech-German literature festival that focuses on books about Šumava (Bohmerwald), gave the Johan Steinbrener prize to Czech author David Jan Zak for his second book in the Tromba (Whirlwind) series, titled Žeberův odkaz (Žebera's legacy). The author drew inspiration from works of Jaroslav Foglar, a famous Czech author who wrote many novels about youths and their adventures in nature and dark city streets.

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Last year, the Šumava Litera festival was conducted online due to the coronavirus epidemic; the 2021 edition took place live in Vimperk despite some speakers being quarantined due to potential risk contacts with a Covid-positive people, according to festival head Tomáš Jiřička.

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