Central Europe's biggest car manufacturer, Czech-based Skoda Auto, boosted sales in the first half of the year by 13.2 percent to 311,062 cars compared with the same period in 2006, the member of the Volkswagen Group announced on Wednesday. Skoda's biggest seller was the mid-range Octavia with sales of 146,772 cars, the company said. In its biggest market, Western Europe, sales rose 11.8 percent to 173,392, on a 12-month comparison. In Central Europe, including the Czech home market, sales rose 16.4 percent to 115,960 cars, Skoda Auto added.
The south Bohemian village Troubky nad Becvou is marking the tenth anniversary of devastating floods that almost wiped it off the map. In 1997 the country was hit by the worst floods in 500 years, taking lives, destroying houses and ravaging the countryside. The village of Troubky was the worst affected - nine people drowned and three hundred houses were either completely destroyed or so badly damaged they had to be torn down. Troubky became a synonym for disaster but aid poured in and within a few years the village was rebuilt from scratch. On Thursday the villagers attended a remembrance mass for those who lost their lives in the tragedy and viewed a photo exhibition documenting the 1997 disaster.
July 5th is a national holiday in the Czech Republic commemorating Saints Cyril and Methodius, Greek missionaries who brought Christianity to the Czech lands in 863. They also created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated the Gospel and liturgical books into Slavonic, which at that time had no written form. The two brothers are considered the founders of Slavic literature.
The 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is well into its second half with the main awards to be handed out on Saturday night at a special gala event in Hotel Thermal. In the course of the week film fans will be able to see some 250 feature films and documentaries. The main Czech film in competition this year is called Vratne Lahve, or Empties by the well known father and son team Zdenek and Jan Sverak who won an Oscar for their film Kolya. Nine countries have already bought the film rights and Empties will be shown in Canada, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Denmark and Australia among others.
Czech Muslems have condemned the foiled terrorist attacks in Great Britain saying that violence against innocent people was deplorable under any circumstances and expressed their support for the war against terrorism. Vladimir Sanka, a leading representative of the Czech Muslim community, expressed concern about a possible backlash against all people of the Muslem faith. "Those who seek to harm innocent people are enemies of us all - Muslims and non-Muslims," Sanka said.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg said on Wednesday that he did not think it wise to seek a "third party" who would act as judge in the Czech Austrian dispute over the Temelin nuclear power plant. Mr. Schwarzenberg was reacting to a suggestion made by Austrian deputy Albrech Konecny who said on Monday it might be a good idea to let a third party, possibly the EU, decide who was right in the Czech-Austrian dispute over Temelin, because the two sides were clearly unable to reach agreement. The Czech foreign minister said that while he was not in favour of turning the matter over to a "third party" he thought consultations with foreign nuclear experts could be helpful.
Mehdi Ben Barka, Morocco's best known opposition leader who disappeared in 1965 in Paris, was probably a paid agent of Czechoslovakia's communist secret police in the early 1960s, the French news agency AFP reported on Wednesday, citing the weekly L'Express. According to a secret file gained by a Czech journalist whose extracts are to be published by L'Express, a Czechoslovak secret police officer established contact with Ben Barka in April 1960. Ben Barka allegedly repeatedly visited Prague where he also underwent special training in spying five months before he was abducted in Paris during a joint operation of the Moroccan and French secret services. His body has never been found.
Czech president burns giant red underpants at press briefing
Restoration work on Prague’s Astronomical Clock reveals hidden secrets
Czech restaurants and pubs facing serious shortage of workers
Václav Klaus: Russia not a threat to Czech Republic, unlike EU
Ozzy Osbourne performing in Prague with Hollywood Vampires, featuring Johnny Depp