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.
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 Czech cabinet originally planned to further specify the political
priorities of the Czech EU presidency by the end of June, but has put off
the debate indefinitely as it wants to see how the current Portuguese
presidency will develop, Ondrej Karas of the Office of Government said on
Mr. Karas told the CTK news agency that the cabinet also wants to wait for
the autumn negotiations with France and Sweden, Prague's predecessor and
successor at the EU helm, respectively. The three countries are planning
to create a joint programme for a period of 18 months.
The main motto of the Czech presidency is to be Europe Without Barriers. Prague also wants to focus on the EU s competitiveness and deregulation, and to emphasize the freedom of movement of people, services, capital and goods within a liberal trade policy.
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