The Štefánik Observatory on Prague’s Petřín Hill celebrated its 80th anniversary with an open day on Sunday. The Czech Astronomical Society had worked for 11 years to build the observatory before it officially opened on June 22, 1928. It was seriously damaged during the Prague Uprising of May 1945, though within a few months of the end of the war was again open to both scientists and the public.
Viewers of Czech Television have voted Libuše Šafránková the most popular Czech film actress and Vladimír Menšík most popular actor. In the poll Dana Medřická came second in the women’s category, followed by Nataša Gollová; Vlasta Burian was runner-up in the men’s poll, with Rudolf Hrušínský third. Libuše Šafránková features in some of the best loved Czech fairytales and won a Czech Lion award for her role in Kolja. Vladimír Menšík, who died in 1988, is regarded as one of the all time great Czech actors.
A memorial service was held on Sunday at the spot where the village of Ležáky stood in east Bohemia before it was razed to the ground by the Nazis on June 24, 1942. Hundreds of people turned out to pay tribute to 52 inhabitants of Ležáky murdered following the assassination of the German governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. The same fate had befallen the central Bohemian village of Lidice two weeks earlier. There are plans to invest around 50 million crowns in the next five years in the valley where Ležáky stood; local officials are hoping to attract school groups and are preparing educational programmes.
Both Milan Baroš and the Czech football association have denied tabloid allegations that the player verbally abused now retired manager Karel Bruckner after the Czech Republic were knocked out of Euro 2008. The Czech FA posted on their website an SMS message that Baroš sent Bruckner saying the reports were untrue, while officials described them as nonsense. The head of the Czech FA, Karel Mokrý, said the whole thing would be investigated.
The industrial zones built in the Czech Republic over the last decade are 70 percent occupied, according to a report by the government agency CzechInvest. The state has invested nearly 8.9 billion crowns in industrial zones around the country since 1998. Over 500 companies have invested 192 billion crowns in premises in the industrial zones, creating nearly 120,000 jobs, the study says.
MP Petr Wolf is quitting the opposition Social Democratic Party
completely, the news website novinky.cz reported. The move comes a day
after Mr Wolf became the fourth MP to leave the Social Democrats group in
the Chamber of Deputies since the last elections in 2006. He recently
received threats over his positive position on a planned US radar base, a
project the Social Democrats are firmly against. They deny being
responsible for the threats, saying Mr Wolf’s resignation was
with the governing Civic Democrats, who back the radar base. For his part,
the MP says the Civic Democrats played no role in his decision.
This comes against a backdrop of tension between the government and the opposition in Parliament; the Social Democrats have recently been obstructing business in the Chamber of Deputies and have been refusing to pair with government MPs, putting pressure on them to attend all votes.
Ivan Hašek has refused an offer to manage the Czech national football team. The widely respected coach, who is currently with a club in the United Arab Emirates, announced his decision after a meeting on Sunday with Vlastimil Košťál, the influential deputy chairman of the Czech football association. Mr Košťál was hoping to present a candidate for the post vacated recently by Karel Bruckner at a Czech FA meeting on Tuesday. There has been speculation that a foreign national team coach could be hired for the first time.
The governor of the Czech National Bank, Zdeněk Tůma, is to discuss the strong crown with the Czech Association of Exporters next week, the group’s Jiří Grund told the news website aktualne.cz. Mr Grund said that exporters did not want to dictate to the central bank; nevertheless, he said, an interest rate rise had lead to speculation and a further strengthening of the crown. He said a quarter-point cut in interest rates would help Czech exporters. The crown again set new records against both the euro and the US dollar this week.