Rectors to avoid Czech anniversary celebrations at Prague Castle
Czech university rectors will maintain their common standpoint on the official celebrations organised by the presidential office. Photo: @BrnoDaily
Czech Republic, Oct 28 (CTK) – Czech rectors will not participate in the Prague Castle celebrations of the foundation of Czechoslovakia on Saturday evening, but will lay flowers at Masaryk’s statue in Hradcanske square instead, Purkyne University Rector Martin Balej told CTK yesterday.
The rectors will thus maintain their common standpoint on the official celebrations organised by the presidential office, which started in 2014 and has continued through to 2016.
“In 2005, I joined support for my colleagues, the rectors from Brno and Ceske Budejovice. Since then, I have been clearly showing that I disapprove of President [Milos Zeman]’s steps related to not inviting some rectors to the national holiday’s celebrations, but also to not nominating some professors,” Balej said.
The rectors reacted to Zeman not inviting Masaryk University Rector Mikulas Bek and South Bohemia Rector Libor Grubhoffer Rector to the celebrations over disputes he had with them.
This year, all state and public universities’ rectors apart from Bek were invited to the presidential seat. Grubhoffer had ended in the post.
Masaryk University is seated in Brno, the South Bohemia University in Ceske Budejovice, and Purkyne University in Usti nad Labem.
Some rectors will participate in the event at Hradcanske square, while others will attend festivities in the towns hosting their universities and in other places of the Czech Republic. Tomas Zima, chairman of the Czech Rectors Conference, had told CTK that he would be abroad.
Zeman will be presenting state awards on the occasion of the 99th anniversary of the foundation of the independent state on October 28. So far, he annually decorated about 30 to 35 personalities. According to CTK’s sources, this year he would like to award more people, including Mayor of Vienna Michael Haupl, Czech speed skater Martina Sablikova and singer-songwriter Jaromir Nohavica.
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