Czech Republic

Velvet Revolution? What revolution?

Published on 12 November 2009 at 13:36


Are the Czechs going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution? On its front page, Lidové Noviny complains: “The State has forgotten to plan any ceremonies for 17 November.” Apparently, the local government in the Czech capital has decided to avoid “overly spectacular” events, on the lines of the commemoration in Berlin. In short, as the daily remarks, “nothing would be happening in the streets of Prague were it not for the initiatives organized by citizens’ associations.” One of the largest of these, Opona (The Curtain), has planned a commemorative parade which will be followed by several concerts. Former president Václav Havel is also organizing a musical celebration, to be held in one of the city’s churches on 14 November, which will feature a special guest appearance by singer Lou Reed. As for current president Václav Klaus, he has announced that he would rather celebrate the fall of the communist regime in the company of “normal people,” far from Prague Castle. The release of his new book Kde začíná zítřek (Where does tomorrow begin?) has also been timed to coincide with the aniversary.

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