The film director Juraj Herz is to receive a prize for lifetime contribution to Czech film at the Czech Lion awards on Saturday night. A Slovak-born Holocaust survivor, Herz was an assistant director on Oscar-winning Obchod na Korze (The Shop on Main Street) before making his debut as director in 1965 with the 30-minute Sběrné surovosti (The Junk Shop), based on a short story by Bohumil Hrabal. Three years later he helmed the great Spalovač Mrtvol (The Creator).
The highest level of flood alert is no longer in place on any of the Czech Republic’s rivers. There had been fears that rivers including the Sázava, Dyje, and Jihlava would burst their banks; however, thanks to a drop in both precipitation and temperature water levels have begun to fall. Heavy flooding in the Czech Republic in 1997 and 2002 led to deaths and significant material damage.
The Czech Republic are leading France 2:1 in a Davis Cup World Group first round tie. After a win for Tomáš Berdych and defeat for Radek Štěpánek on Friday, the two overcame Richard Gasquet and Michael Llodra 6-3 1-6 6-4 6-2 in the doubles. One more win from the two singles rubbers on Sunday would see the Czech Republic advance to the second round. France has not lost at this stage of the Davis Cup since 2000.
Four rebel members of the Greens could be expelled at a meeting of the party’s national council on Sunday, a representative said. MPs Olga Zubová and Věra Jakubová and former education minister Dana Kuchtová are among those who could be thrown out of the smallest party in the governing coalition, after setting up a fraction named Democratic Appeal in opposition to chairman Martin Bursík. Party officials said the rebels had overstepped the mark by appearing in public, using the party emblem and setting up their own website.
One third of Czechs say they and their families are feeling the effects of the financial crisis, according to a new opinion poll by the Median agency quoted in the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes. Respondents around the age of 50 with lower levels of education were more likely to say they were feeling the pinch. Three quarters of university graduates said the crisis had not affected them.
The White House confirmed on Friday that US President Barack Obama would be visiting the Czech Republic on April 4-5. Mr Obama will visit Prague during an informal summit of European leaders to discuss strengthening EU-US ties. A week ago, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek suggested that Mr Obama would make his ‘European speech of the year’ in the Czech capital. The White House has yet to unveil Mr Obama’s programme for the trip. The US president will be accompanied by his wife Michelle on his visit to Prague, the White House has announced.
A young mother who is attempting to regain the baby daughter she left in a
“babybox” in January will not yet have the child returned to her,
authorities in the woman’s town of Havířov said on Friday. The case
highly publicised as the first of its kind in the country and the return
the child has been complicated by the fact that the baby was found to have
previously suffered a broken arm, a fact that the police are currently
investigating. Whether Barbora is returned to her single mother will hinge
on the results of that case and on an expert determination the woman’s
parenting skills. The mother is herself currently in the care of her
boyfriend’s mother and was found to be lacking a suitable home
environment for the child.
15 babies have been left in “babyboxes” since the system was introduced in the Czech Republic in 2005. The hatches are intended as a way for parents in dire straits to anonymously and legally relinquish a small child to foster care.
Speaking in Prague at the European Summit of Regions and Cities, the President of the European Commission José Barroso announced on Friday that new EU member states, the Czech Republic among them, will be able to make early use of more than 7.5 billion EUR, or roughly 210 billion Czech crowns. The European Commission has decided to free up money from European funds set to expire in 2013 as a means of combating the persisting economic crisis. The money is primarily recommended for easing the strain on small and medium-sized enterprises and for projects supporting the environment and sustainable resources. 350 million EUR from EU funds remains available to the Czech Republic until the end of the year.
The general slump in the transportation industry has not bypassed Prague’s Ruzyně airport, which has recorded a year-on-year decrease in passengers of 14% for January. Along with the reduction in travellers, the density of traffic has also dropped off by 10%, with less than 12.000 airplanes departing from the airport in January. Cargo transportation also has plunged by more than 25%. The reduced traffic figures are occurring at a time when the state is seeking to sell the company to a strategic investor, a transaction that could bring the Czech Republic as much as 100 billion crowns.
The Polish parliament on Friday honoured Polish accountant Ryszard Siwiec,
who set himself on fire in 1968 in protest of the Warsaw Pact invasion of
Czechoslovakia in the summer of that year. Addressing the lower house of
parliament, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk praised the deed as a
defining sacrifice of the generation and the parliamentary distinction as
testament to the importance of Polish-Czech-Slovak relations.
Siwiec, a former Home Army officer and father of five, set himself alight during a harvest festival on September 8, 1968, in front of roughly 100,000 onlookers. Several similar self-immolation protests would follow, including that of Jan Palach.
Czechs and Germans in 1930s Czechoslovakia: a complex picture
Wide range of events in store for Czechs this weekend as 30-year anniversary of Velvet Revolution reaches climax
Hundreds of thousands again gather in Prague to voice their opposition to prime minister
Škoda unveils 4th-generation Octavia ahead of model’s 60th anniversary
Shabby pub profits from nostalgia