Tributes have been pouring in from members of the cultural sphere on the
death of actress and former politician Táňa Fischerová. Ms. Fischerová
died on December 25th, at the age of 72.
In addition to being a talented film and theatre actress, Ms. Fischerová engaged in politics after the fall of communism, serving as a parliament deputy from 2002 and 2006 and running in the 2013 presidential elections. She also actively engaged in charity.
Ombudswoman Anna Šabatová said Fischerová had been an exceptional woman; brave, wise and caring.
The coal mining company OKD which was hit by a cyber-attack on Monday is
renewing operations in all its mines on Friday after the installation of an
independent internal computer network.
Coal mining was suspended in the wake of the attack for security reasons, despite the fact that methane detectors remained fully operational.
The OKD company’s computer network was hit just two weeks after a similar attack paralysed a hospital in the central Bohemian town of Benešov.
A record number of people took part in the 73rd Alfréd Nikodém Memorial
event, an annual swim in the Vltava River on December 26th. The Polar bear
dip, which takes place near the National Theatre building in the centre of
Prague, has a long tradition: it was established in 1923 by Prague
hardy-man Alfréd Nikodém who propagated winter swimming as part of a
This year the 430 participants could take their pick from the main 750 metre race and the less strenuous 300 and 100 metre races. The winner of the main race was Czech long-distance swimmer Lenka Štěrbová. She covered the distance in 9 minutes 12 seconds.
The oldest participant in the event, who did not race, was 89-year-old Božena Černá. The temperature of the water was 5.6. degrees Celsius, the temperature of the air was 4.7.
In his traditional Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman
praised the country’s economic successes, citing its stable economic
growth, low unemployment, relatively low state debt, growth in salaries and
old age pensions. He criticized the country’s slow courts, lengthy
administrative procedures and the slow pace of infrastructure construction.
The president took a highly sceptical stand with regard to the ongoing debate on climate change, which he said had taken on the form of a new religion. Zeman said temperatures on Planet Earth had fluctuated for millions of years and he was not convinced that this was due to human activity rather than the forces of Nature. He advised a cautious and rational approach, warning that given the measures discussed, Europe could become an environmental skansen with a low living standard.
Commenting on the anti-government demonstrations that have taken place in recent months, the president pointed out that governments “came and went” as a result of free and democratic elections, where the prime minister’s opponents could voice their stand.
In what has become an annual tradition, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib and
other City Hall officials served carp soup to the public on Prague’s Old
Town Square on Monday.
Originally the soup, which is part of the traditional Christmas meal, was intended for the homeless, but with growing interest from the public it became something of a social event with scores of people turning up to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.
Carp soup and other Christmas specialties will also be served on Old Town Square on December 24 between 11am and 1pm and at the bottom end of Wenceslas Square at midday.
Hundreds of people packed Prague’s main railway station on Monday for the
traditional performance of Jakub Jan Ryba’s Christmas Mass, the most
popular piece of Czech Christmas music ever written which resounds in
millions of households during the festive season.
The tradition, launched 19 years ago by conductor Lukáš Prchal, involves musicians and professional singers, but anyone who has a musical instrument or a passion for music can come and join in the performance or simply enjoy the music.
In a commemorative ceremony marking 30 years since the fall of the Iron
Curtain, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček and Bavarian State
Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Albert Furacker symbolically cut
through a small stretch of the Iron Curtain left for posterity at the
Rozvadov -Waidhaus Czech-German border crossing.
The ceremony was reminiscent of the occasion when foreign ministers Hans Dietrich Genscher and Jiri Dienstbier cut through the barbed wire of the Iron Curtain in the tumultuous days of 1989, reuniting the long-divided nations.
At the ceremony Foreign Minister Petříček spoke about how much damage the isolation of Czechoslovakia had caused and how many people had lost their lives at the Iron Curtain trying to flee to freedom.
Czechs' biggest concerns relate to migration, their health and the
state of the environment, according to an end-of-year poll conducted by the
While fears relating to migration have been dropping –from 31 percent in 2016 to 21 percent in 2019 – fears relating to the environment are growing. While in 2016 a mere 2 percent of respondents voiced this concern, this year it was 19 percent. 19 percent of respondents are also concerned about their health.
Other concerns include fear of a terrorist attack, family problems and problems at work.
Benešov hospital in central Bohemia which was hit by a cyberattack a
fortnight ago is slowly returning to normal with all departments, with the
exception of the internal medicine department, now admitting patients.
The attack paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-rays, ultrasound or laboratory instruments and could not exchange information with other hospitals. Police specialists are still investigating the ransomware attack.