T-Mobile, the Czech Republic’s largest mobile phone operator, on Wednesday posted a 14.3-percent annual decrease in its earnings before interest, tax, depreciating and amortization, or EBITDA, in the first quarter of this year. The margin reached 2.65 billion crowns. T-Mobile’s revenues decreased by nearly ten percent while the number of the firm’s clients rose by around 4 percent, and reached 5.6 million. In a statement, the firm said the results reflected trends registered in the previous periods, such as further development of data services, lower average spending by clients as well as higher consumption of telecommunications services.
Czech President Miloš Zeman appointed five new army generals on Wednesday, on the occasion of Liberation Day. The new generals include the head of the Czech army intelligence service, Karel Kovanda, commander of the army’s joint forces Ján Gurník, commander of the ground forces Ladislav Jung, the rector of the Defence University Bohuslav Přikryl, and chief of the Military Police, Milan Schulc.
The US film Consuming Spirits by Chris Sullivan has won the main award at the Anifilm International Festival of Animated Films in Třeboň. The prize for best children’s movie was awarded to the French-Belgian film The Day of the Crows while the animated documentary Father received the award for best short film. The Anifilm festival, which concludes in the south Bohemian town Třeboň on Wednesday, has been held for the third time this year.
Switzerland’s Attorney General Michal Lauber has appreciated a change in
attitude by the Czech authorities in investigating alleged corruption in
the 1998 privatization of the mining company MUS. In an interview for the
daily Le Temps on Wednesday, Mr Lauber said that following political
changes in early 2012, his office registered a genuine will of the Czech
authorities to progress in the case. Until the end of 2011, the Czech
Republic did everything to make things more difficult for Swiss
prosecution, Mr Lauber said.
Swiss and Czech authorities raised charges of corruption against former managers of the firm; they face accusations that they privatized the firm using money earmarked for environmental projects. A trial against the accused is set to begin in Switzerland on Monday.
Czechs commemorate the end of the Second World War on Wednesday, a public holiday in the Czech Republic. Events marking Liberation Day are held across the country; President Miloš Zeman marked the anniversary at Prague’s Vítkov Hill where a military parade was held. The event was attended by other Czech officials including Prime Minister Petr Nečas, the speaker of the lower house, Miroslava Němcová, the defence minister, the chief of the Czech Army’s general staff, and the head of the Catholic Church, Archbishop Dominik Duka. President Zeman will also appoint new generals of the Czech Army on Wednesday. The Czech Parliament as well as the country’s Foreign Ministry hold an open day on Wednesday, allowing visitors to view the interiors of the buildings.
Members of the legendary Czech rock band Olympic have announced the band will continue to play despite the death of their drummer. In a statement released on Facebook on Wednesday, Olympic said they would continue with three members while the drummer will be filled by various musicians. Olympic formed in the late 1960s, and has since released nearly 20 albums. Drummer Milan Peroutka, who joined the band in 1986, died on Sunday at the age of 49.
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has criticized Israeli airstrikes on Syria and the country’s settlements plans in the West Bank. In an interview for the news website Times of Israel released on Tuesday night, Mr Schwarzenberg called plans to build settlements in the controversial E1 area “obnoxious”; the Czech foreign minister also said he would nit express support for Israeli airstrikes on weapon convoys in Syria, and never sanction a potential Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Mr Schwarzenberg’s remarks are the first strong criticism of Israeli policies coming from a Czech government minister as the country is considered one of Israel’s major allies within the EU.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych defeated Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 at the Madrid Masters on Wednesday to reach the tournament’s third round. The sixth-seeded Czech had a difficult start to the match but made few errors in the second and third set, claiming victory in two hours and 15 minutes. Berdych will next play the winner of a rubber between Kevin Anderson of South Africa and Juan Mónaco of Argentina.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is holding an open day on Wednesday, which is the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe and a state holiday in the Czech Republic. Visitors will be able to enjoy a rare opportunity to view the interior of the Černín Palace, including what was once Jan Masaryk’s apartment, between 10 AM and 4 PM. The building’s gardens will host an event featuring live music celebrating Croatia’s accession to the European Union in July. The Senate will also be open to the public on Wednesday, from 10 AM to 5 PM.
The Czech opera star Magdalena Kožená performed a much-anticipated recital at the Spanish Hall at Prague Castle on Monday evening. Accompanied by her regular collaborator, pianist Malcolm Martineau, the mezzo-soprano performed a programme of songs by Ravel, Hayden and Bartok that she will repeat on Wednesday at London’s Barbican. Led by Czech Philharmonic director David Mareček, the audience at the sold-out Spanish Hall sang Happy Birthday for Kožená, who turns 40 later this month.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott