Saturday, November 17, 2012

News 11.17.2012

Copyright (c) 2012 Radio Prague (Cesky Rozhlas 7 - Radio Praha)

News Saturday, November 17th, 2012

By: Ian Willoughby

* Events have been held in the Czech Republic to mark the country's day
of the fight for freedom and democracy

* In an address, President Klaus said he was concerned Czechs were now
living in an era of "forgetting and gestures".

* Prime Minister Petr Necas said Czech people had not lost and would
not lose their historical memory.

* Thousands of people gathered in Prague on Saturday for an
anti-government demonstration.

* The Czech Republic are 2:1 up against Spain in the final of the Davis
Cup in Spain.

Events mark Czech Republic's day of fight for freedom and democracy

Events have been held in the Czech Republic to mark the country's day
of the fight for freedom and democracy, which is a state holiday. On
Saturday morning the Czech president, Vaclav Klaus, the prime minister,
Petr Necas, and other senior state officials took part in a ceremony at
a Prague hall of residence where there is a memorial to student victims
of Nazi persecution in 1939. A march commemorating those students
sparked the beginning of the Velvet Revolution on November 17 1989 and
people on Saturday also gathered and lit candles at a memorial at the
spot where riot police attacked participants on Prague's Narodni St.

President Klaus: Czechs living in an era of "forgetting and gestures"

In an address, President Klaus said gatherings such as the one at the
student dormitory were held to ensure that people did not forget the
past. He said he was concerned that Czechs were now living in what he
would characterise as an era of "forgetting and gestures". Mr. Klaus
said he would not describe contemporary society as an information
society but rather as an "uninformed society" in which traditional
values were being damaged and defiled, adding that gestures and words
were being applauded, not actions and principled and consistent
behavior. Later, at the memorial on Narodni St., the president was met
by supporters and opponents; members of the pro-Klaus D.O.S.T. group
shouted long live Klaus, while a young man carrying a Czech flag
declared that the president was a thief who had robbed and sold off the

PM Necas: No loss of historical memory

Prime Minister Petr Necas said with regard to Saturday's events linked
to resistance in the past to Nazism and Communism that Czech people had
not lost and would not lose their historical memory. He said the fact
that freedom and democracy were not taken for granted in the Czech
Republic was constantly being confirmed. Mr. Necas also said that the
success of the Communist Party in recent regional and Senate elections
represented a certain "memento", the Czech News Agency reported.

Unions hold anti-government protest on Wenceslas Sq.

Thousands of people gathered on Prague's Wenceslas Sq. for an
anti-government demonstration held by trade unions and other groups on
Saturday. Organisers said 20,000 to 25,000 people had turned out for
the protest, though the police put the figure at around 10,000.
Speaking under a "Stop the Government" banner, the chairman of the
country's confederation of trade unions, Jaroslav Zavadil, told the
crowd that they did not deserve the current government of "corrupt"
ministers. Mr. Zavadil said people were currently too afraid to launch
a general strike, but said he hoped the nation would wake up a bit
more. Other demonstrations were also held in the centre of the capital.

Hundreds hold anti-Communist demonstration in Ceske Budejovice

Hundreds of people protested in Ceske Budejovice on Saturday against
the participation of the Communist Party in the government of the
region. Students in the South Bohemian city have been protesting this
week in the wake of the appointment of the Communists' Vitezslava
Baborova as councillor for education by the regional governor, Jiri
Zimola of the Social Democrats. Demonstrators carried banners with
slogans such as "Red brothers, go back to your reservation."

Slovak bands play Prague show to remember revolution and split of

A number of Slovak rock bands are playing a concert at Prague's Rock
Cafe on Saturday night to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the start
of the Velvet Revolution and the upcoming 20th anniversary of the split
of Czechoslovakia. The groups Polemic, Billy Barman and Zive kvety will
perform at the downtown venue, which is located only metres away from
the Velvet Revolution memorial on Narodni St. A spokesperson for the
organisers said the Czech foreign minister, Karel Schwarzenberg would
appear, as would the former Slovak prime minister, Iveta Radicova, who
now heads the Slovak Institute in Prague.

Czechs lead Spain 2:1 after day two of Davis Cup final in Prague

The Czech Republic are 2:1 up against Spain in the final of the Davis
Cup in Spain. After Friday's singles rubbers the two countries were
tied at 1:1 but Radek Stepanek and Tomas Berdych on Saturday afternoon
gave them what could be a crucial point with a 3-6 7-5 7-5 5-3 6-3
victory over Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez in front of 13,000 fans
at the sold-out O2 Arena. The final two singles rubbers will be played
on Sunday. The Czech Republic's women recently triumphed in the Fed Cup
and a win for the men's team in the Davis Cup would make it the first
time ever that the country has held the two titles.


It should remain largely cloudy over the next couple of days, with
temperatures set to reach a maximum of 9 degrees Celsius.

Articles posted on today
Olga Hruba: Supporter of Milada Horakova and campaigner for religious

Olga Hruba is today a feisty woman of 85. Way back at the turn of the
1950s she campaigned, from exile in the US, to save the life of her
friend Milada Horakova, a Czechoslovak politician executed by the
Communists after a show trial. For the following four decades Olga
Hruba, along with her pastor husband, worked - with some success - to
protect the rights of religious believers in Communist states.

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