Czech Television has chosen the Romany pop group Gipsy.cz to represent the
Czech Republic in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Czech TV
with the idea of a national song contest and itself nominated Gipsy.cz for
the semi-finals of the Eurovision, which is being held in Moscow in May.
Viewers will be able to vote on what song Gipsy.cz performs.
Since the Czech Republic began taking part in Eurovision in 2007 neither of the country’s two entrants – rock band Kabát and pop singer Tereza Kerndlová – made it past the semi-final stage.
The president of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has cancelled a visit to Prague scheduled for Monday. A spokesperson for the Czech president, Václav Klaus, said Mr Abbas had to change his plans because of talks in Cairo and the situation in the Middle East. The Palestinian leader had been due to meet Mr Klaus, Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and other senior Czech representatives in Prague.
The operators of the website of the Czech presidency of the European Union say over 590,000 people visited it in January, the Czech News Agency reported. The most frequent users of www.eu2009.cz are based in the Czech Republic, with more traffic on the Czech than the English or French language versions. Among those visiting the site are journalists, state employees and students.
Meanwhile, Russia, which is opposed to the radar and a planned missile site in Poland, has again intensified its rhetoric on the subject. A few days ago Moscow indicated it had dropped a threat to place short-range missiles in its Baltic territory of Kaliningrad in response to the US facilities. On Friday, however, the AP news agency reported that Russia said it would place missiles in Kaliningrad if the American project went ahead.
The Karamazov Brothers by Petr Zelenka and Tobruk by Václav Marhoul have both received eight nominations for the Czech Lion film awards. The Country Teacher by Bohdan Sláma picked up seven nominations at an event at Prague’s Lucerna on Friday night. The winners of the leading Czech film awards will be announced on March 7.
The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, attended a Czech ball in Brussels on Friday evening representing the symbolic launch of Czech cultural events during the country’s presidency of the European Union, the Czech News Agency reported. Speaking at the start of the ball, Mr Topolánek joked that he hoped it would become a tradition, at least until the Czech Republic was expelled from the EU. He said as well as its interests and agenda, the Czech Republic would also like to present its humour and bad habits during its presidency.
Around 1,000 people protested in Prague on Saturday against a planned US radar base. Among those who spoke was Vojtěch Filip, the leader of the Communist Party, which organised the demonstration. Opinion polls have consistently suggested that around two thirds of Czech are opposed to the radar base, which would be built in central Bohemia and be part of a planned American anti-missile shield. Prague and Washington have signed treaties on the radar, though the Czech Parliament has not yet voted on the matter.
A court has ordered the Třebíč hospital to pay a total of 3.3 million crowns in damages to two families of baby girls accidentally switched at birth. The families had been asking asked for almost four times that amount. The hospital, meanwhile, had offered the families a payment of 600,000 crowns. Baby girls Veronika and Nikola were mistakenly switched after they were born in 2006, but the mix-up was only uncovered ten months later, after one of the couples underwent DNA testing. The children were then eventually switched back to their biological parents. The damages have not been divided equally between the couples, but on the basis of individual trauma (as assessed by psychological testing). One couple will receive 1.2 million, the other, 2.1. In his ruling, the judge called the original offer made by the hospital “inadequately low” given the mistakes that had been made.
The European Union has agreed with China to hold a joint-summit in Prague during the Czech EU presidency. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek made the announcement on Friday after meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He stressed that although no definite date had been set, May was most likely. The summit is expected to follow the G20 summit in London a month earlier. Prior to meeting with Mr Topolánek in Brussels on Friday, the Chinese prime minister also met with the head of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso. Topics discussed included closer cooperation between China and the 27-member bloc. Other topics included Tibet and human rights.
New foreigners’ law to change conditions for non-EU nationals
Czech foreign ministry reports record number of visa applications
Restaurant tells visitors to “clear their plates” or pay a 50 crown fine for wasting food
New index shows locations with best quality of life in Czech Republic
Archaeologists unearth rare Renaissance-Baroque brew house in ‘Czech Paradise’