In Business News: Czech Airlines gets a firm commitment for financial support from Korean Air and pushes ahead with restructuring plan, the ruling parties agree on the introduction of kurzarbeit to cushion the impact of the EU-Russia sanctions and give their approval to a finance ministry proposal to level a punitive tax on undeclared property, and, the average interest rate on mortgage loans drops to its lowest level since 2003. More
The Senate on Wednesday approved a draft bill which would introduce a third Value Added Tax rate. The 10-percent rate should apply to books, medicine and baby food as of January 2015. More
The world-renowned Chinese writer Yan Lianke arrived in Prague this week to collect the annual Franz Kafka prize. The 55-year old writer has become the fourteenth recipient of the international literary award, which is given to authors whose work appeals to readers across different cultures. Among the previous winners were Austria’s Elfriede Jelinek and British playwright Harold Pinter, both of whom went on to win the Nobel Prize in literature the same year. More
The Senate on Thursday approved a government-proposed bill on the introduction of a third 10 percent VAT rate on books, baby food and medicines as of January 2015. The basic VAT rate of 21 percent and the reduced rate of 15 percent will be maintained. The bill still needs to be signed into law by the president.
The renowned Chinese writer Yan Lianke received the Franz Kafka Prize at a ceremony at the Old Town Hall in Prague on Wednesday. The 55-year old author has published several novels and more than ten volumes of short stories. He has received China’s two top literary awards but several of his novels were banned from publishing. His works have also been translated and honoured abroad. The Franz Kafka Prize was established in 2001 and is co-sponsored by the Franz Kafka Society and the city of Prague.
Czech linguist, writer and translator Patrik Ouředník will receive the State Award for Literature for 2014, granted by the Ministry of Culture. The Czech-born author, who has been living in France since 1984, will be given the prize for life-long contribution to literature. Literary theorist and translator Jiří Pechar will receive the state prize for his translations from French, Spanish and German. The awarding ceremony will take place in Prague on Thursday, October 23.
Czech writer Jan Němec is among 13 young European authors who have won the 2014 European Union Prize for Literature. Němec was recognized for his unusual debut novel about the renowned Czech photographer František Drtikol. Entitled A History of Light, the novel captures Drtikol’s complex personality, and follows his path from photography to eastern spirituality and Buddhism. More
The White Carpathian Mountains, straddling the border of Moravia and Slovakia, are one of the most beautiful and rural parts of the Czech Republic. Towns are few and far between and for centuries local people would take their aches and pains to old women renowned in the region for their special healing powers. They were known as “goddesses” and passed their knowledge from generation to generation. But Czechoslovakia’s post-war communist rulers saw the world these women represented as a threat and within two generations they were wiped out. Their tragic story is the subject of the excellent novel “Žítková Goddesses” by the young Moravian writer Kateřina Tučková. David Vaughan meets her. More
Czech writer Jan Němec is among 13 European authors who have won the EU Prize for Literature for 2014, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou said at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Wednesday. Mr Němec has been awarded for his novel A History of Light, a biographical piece about the Czech photographer František Drtikol. The prize is dedicated to new and emerging European authors. The 33-year-old Jan Němec is the second Czech writer who received the prize after Tomáš Zmeškal who was awarded in 2011.
Thousands of libraries around the country are celebrating National Library Week with events aimed at drawing more people to these public institutions and highlighting what they have to offer. Some are inviting people to come and tango, others have selected readings by popular children’s authors while library staff in Ostrava have taken to the streets to reward anyone seen reading a book. More