12:42 Prague Spring Festival highlights contemporary music
The Prague Spring International Classical Music Festival will introduce the world of contemporary art music this May through a new program called “Prague Descendants”. Contemporary art pieces will be performed by Klangforum Wien, one of the world’s top contemporary art and music groups, who received the festival’s residency this year. Meanwhile, this year’s resident composer will be Olga Neuwirth from Austria, who recently won the prestigious Grawemeyer Music Prize and the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize.
11:42 500 Roma flee Ukraine to Czech Republic
As many as 500 Roma, mostly women and children, have fled the war in Ukraine and are seeking asylum in the Czech Republic, according to the Czech Republic Roma Minority Government Committee. Some Roma refugees went to South Moravia, some to Karlovy Vary, some to West Bohemia and some to Mladá Boleslav in Central Bohemia. Most Roma refugees are believed to have fled western Ukraine and the Uzorod region of the country in difficult humanitarian situations.
politics Social Democrats try to sell property to pay debts
The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) is trying to repay its debt by selling a property worth CZK 200 million in central Prague. After elections last October, the party failed to enter the lower house of the Czech parliament. The Lanna Palace, a large building in the neo-Gothic style, was sold for a loan of CZK 205 million for the Fio Bank. Construction firm Finep is thought to be considering buying large-scale homes from within the party.
music A-ha will bring ‘Take On Me’ to Prague on May 1st
After two delays, pop group A-ha will hold their first Czech concert on May 1st on the O2 stage. The concert will celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Norwegian band’s most famous hit, “Take On Me”. The Prague date will be part of the band’s European tour, which has been delayed twice due to the pandemic. All three former A-ha members Morten Harket, Magne Furholmen and Paul Waaktaar-Savoy will perform on stage. Tickets purchased on previously announced dates are valid for the May 1 concert.
refugee New temporary protection visas come into force
Czech Interior Ministry will start publishing Temporary protection visa for Ukrainian refugees With immediate effect, it will replace the special long-term visa issued to date. Special visa holders will not be affected by any changes and the visa will automatically be converted to the new temporary protection visa.
Temporary protection will allow refugees to stay in the Czech Republic for up to one year. It provides them with assistance with access to public health insurance, education, access to the labor market, and other necessities such as finding accommodation. Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic had so far received 205,500 special visas.
Ukraine President Zelensky appeared on Czech TV for interview
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky talks to Czech TV In an interview with the war-torn Kyiv Radio last night. In an interview with Czech TV correspondent Michal Kubal, Zelensky said that Russia’s demands during the peace talks included that Ukraine should abandon its commitment to the separatist Donbas region and Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014. Asia’s claim to sovereignty is unacceptable.
Zelensky told Czech TV that Moscow doesn’t really want peace, although it’s impossible to know if Russia wants to stop the war without a face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin. Zelensky also said that any proposed peace deal would need to be approved by the Ukrainian people in a referendum to take effect.
Policemen Czech Republic reports crimes against Ukrainians
Thirty-five Ukrainians have reported being victims of criminal activity in the Czech Republic since Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, leading to an influx of refugees into the Czech Republic. Police said four of the cases were ideologically motivated, including one involving physical assault. Seven cases are currently under investigation, according to police.
Almost all incidents involve theft. Three of the cases involved verbal abuse and one involved physical abuse. Separately, police have brought criminal charges in 112 cases related to the Ukrainian war; most of them are related to the damage of pro-Russian symbols, while others are related to speeches expressing approval of the Russian invasion.
sanction EU foreign ministers fail to agree on Russia sanctions
During yesterday’s discussions, EU foreign ministers failed to agree on a fifth set of sanctions against Russia. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavski told reporters that the next round of economic punishment against Moscow would again be the subject of an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday.
The EU has imposed tough sanctions on Russia, but has demanded more restrictions on the Putin regime’s revenue. A particular area of contention is the import of oil and gas from Russia. Poland and the Baltic states have called for a halt to these imports, while countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and Hungary have opposed cutting off Russia’s energy.
army Last batch of US troops to leave Czech Republic to return to base
The transit of a US military convoy through the Czech Republic on its way from an exercise in Slovakia to a German base has ended. In recent weeks, the U.S. military has participated in the Sabre Strike 2022 exercise in Slovakia and crossed the Czech Republic via the D2 and D1 highways. The first part of the convoy entered the Czech Republic on Thursday night, with soldiers spending the night at a camp in southwest Moravia before heading to Germany the next day.
The convoy was split into five different groups for the trip. A total of 1,200 soldiers and 500 military vehicles crossed the Czech Republic. The Sabre strike exercise also saw Czech and U.S. troops prepare to take part in the NATO Rapid Response Force in the Hradishte training area in northwestern Bohemia.