Czech film director Jan Němec, a key figure of the Czech new wave in the 1960s, died on Friday at the age of 79. According to sources, he had been battling a serious illness. In the 1960s, the director first made his name with Demanty noci (Diamonds of the Night) based on short stories by the writer and Holocaust survivor Arnošt Lustig. Mr Němec achieved further acclaim with The Party and the Guests (1966), a satirical allegory describing servility to the ruling power. The film antagonised powerful figures in the Communist regime and was banned until after 1989. Němec also made Oratory for Prague that recorded the first day of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968. He described it as his "most successful film, seen by over one billion people". In the Normalisation 1970s, Mr Neměc was prevented from working in film and for a time worked in television. He left Czechoslovakia in 1974 and for 15 years lived in Germany and the US.
Some fifty-six percent of Czechs are happy with the way democracy is working in their country, which is the best result since 2004, according to a poll by the CVVM agency published on Friday. It is a one-percent rise on the last survey, carried out in 2015. At the same time, 51 percent of respondents said Czechs were not treated equally, which is a four percent increase on last year’s survey.
More than two-thirds of companies in automobile industry in the Czech Republic are planning to increase their economic production capacity in the next five years, according to a new survey by the accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte carried out in car plants in six central European countries. However, they will also face lack of qualified workforce, insufficient infrastructure and logistics, the study suggests. Among the biggest advantages of the Czech automobile industry mentioned by the respondents was the low cost of labour.
A gang stealing vehicle license plates off foreign cars is operating in Prague, a German news server Sudwest Presse reported on Friday. The website describes the experience of a tourist from Dresden, who said the thieves have left a note on his car demanding 500 euros in return for the stolen plate. He also had to get his car towed away to his hometown because driving without a license plate is illegal both in the Czech Republic and Germany. According to the website, citing official police figures, there were about 30 cases of such thefts reported to the police on one day alone recently. Czech police spokesman, Tomáš Hulan, has denied the information.
Czech pop singer Karel Gott's malignant tumorous disease has fully disappeared, his spokeswoman Aneta Stolzova announced on Friday, referring to the results of the most recent medical check-up. Doctors treated the singer, since last November, when he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He underwent his last chemotherapy at the end of February. At 76, Karel Gott still remains one of the most well-known figures in Czech show business.
Car production in the Czech Republic in the first two months of 2016 was nearly four percent higher than in the same period last year, according to figures released on Tuesday by the Automotive Industry Association. Some 230,634 rolled off the assembly lines in the Czech Republic between the start of January and the end of February. Hyundai recorded the biggest increase in production by 16 percent. The biggest Czech car maker Škoda Auto raised its production by one percent.
In football, Czech club Sparta Prague have been drawn against Spanish team Villarreal in the last eight of the Europa League. The first leg will be held in Spain on April 7 with the return in Prague a week later. Sparta qualified for the quarterfinals after a magnificent 3:0 away win against Lazio Rome on Thursday night. That translated into a 4:1 win on aggregate.
A Czech barge stranded in the Elbe River in Dresden should be towed away on Monday, local newspaper Dresden Neueste Nachrichten reported on Friday. The boat, carrying a cargo of 800 tonnes of salt, has been stuck under a bridge since late Monday, blocking other traffic. Previous attempts to suck the salt from the barge so that it could be moved have failed due to the moist conditions which meant the salt clogged in the tubes. The owner of the ship, the European Water Transport company, has sent in a special excavator and other technology to help unload the barge.
Officers from the organised crime unit this week apprehended two foreign nationals in Prague and accused them of blackmailing, the spokesman for the unit, Pavel Hanták, said on Friday. According to the officers, the men were part of a gang operating in Prague and Karlovy Vary since 2013. The 53-year old Russian has lived in the country since 2012 and according to the officers he was a so-called ‘vor v zakone’, which means that he officially was in charge of the criminal group. The other man is 32-year old Armenian with long-term residency in the Czech Republic. Both men were taken into custody. If convicted, they face up to eight years in prison.
John Mucha, the grandson of the famous Art Nouveau painter Alfons Mucha, has called on Prague City Hall to return the painter’s famous Slav Epic cycle to the family. Before his death in 1939, Alfons Mucha left his cycle of 23 paintings depicting the history of ancient Slavs to the Czech capital on condition that a tailor made building was provided for it. John Mucha argues that the donation is not legally binding since Prague has not met this condition. He is also against the plans of the city to display the paintings in Japan and China as part of a travelling exhibition in 2017 and 2018.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
An Experiment in Vivisection: Czechoslovakia’s Second Republic 1938-1939