The shoe company Baťa was renamed as Svit under the communist president. (ČTK) The residents of Zlín are commemorating 60 years since the city was renamed. They celebrated the end of 1948 as Zlín citizens but woke up in 1949 as the residents of Gottwaldov. The city was named after the first communist president of Czechoslovakia, Klement Gottwald, on the order of high-ranking party members and the government and thanks to the activity of the local communist organisation. The act of renaming was designed to erase the memory of Tomáš Baťa, the founder of Zlín and the symbol of a successful businessman. Gottwald was to become the new face of the city. For example, the Gottwaldov ice hockey players hadContinue Reading

NEWS ČR planning mission to help resolve Gaza conflict Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek confirmed Thursday that in its role as the new EU president the Czech Republic is planning a diplomatic mission to help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Topolánek said it will not be possible to count on US participation in the mission. most Czech press Topolánek to announce cabinet reshuffle Monday PM Mirek Topolánek will announce major changes in his cabinet on Monday. Speaking Thursday on Czech Television, Topolánek said the cabinet shuffle will affect all three coalition parties but he did not specify how many cabinet members will be replaced. He said he has given up establishing the post of deputy PM for economics and will instead setContinue Reading

NEWS Schwarzenberg to travel to Middle East over Gaza Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg will travel to Israel in a few days to help pacify the recent violence in Gaza. Schwarzenberg said that as a leading representative of the EU’s foreign policy, he wants to meet with all key players in the conflict. most Czech press Vondra to light Letná metronome to launch EU presidency In the first minute of the New Year, Deputy Prime Minister for EU Affairs Alexandr Vondra will illuminate the metronome at Prague’s Letná park to launch the Czech EU presidency. The metronome will display the European Union colours. ČTK ČSSD senator suspected of trying to get compromising info on colleague ČSSD Senator Vladimír Dryml met withContinue Reading

NEWS ČR to deal with Gaza conflict Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg told Hospodářské noviny that he is calling his EU colleagues and gathering information and opinions on whether they should meet to discuss an EU reaction to the recent escalation of tension in Gaza. France has called for a meeting of EU foreign ministers today. Schwarzenberg told E15 that the Middle East peace process is a priority for the Czech EU presidency but he did not specify any steps. most Czech press Vondra rejects rumours of NATO post Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Alexandr Vondra said yesterday he is not thinking of working for NATO nor does he consider it a realistic possibility. He was reacting to a recentContinue Reading

NEWS Xmas frost kills four A homeless woman died of hypothermia in an Ostrava hospital after being found lying on the street 23 December. Two skiers were rescued from an avalanche in Krkonoše 26 December, but one later died in hospital. A missing woman was found frozen to death in the Chrudim area 26 December, and a man froze to death the following night near Znojmo. most Czech press Sat Vlk: Pope to visit ČR next year Cardinal Miloslav Vlk told Aktuálně.cz that Pope Benedict XVI might visit the Czech Republic in September. Vlk declined to discuss a programme for the visit as it has not yet been officially confirmed. most Czech press Brno City Hall to run trauma centreContinue Reading