URKAINE American actor Schreiber speaks about Urkaine initiative
As the first of the announced stars of the film festival, Schreiber told journalists that the Czech Republic, where he filmed “Everything is Illuminated” almost 20 years ago, is to some extent responsible for his involvement in Ukraine. In the story, the main character sets out in search of traces of his Jewish ancestors in Ukraine. “I’m close to it, I’m an American who also has Ukrainian ancestry,” Schreiber said. He added that his grandfather came from Ukraine.
Greater fundraising efforts from influential and wealthy sources are required to assist the people of Ukraine, according to Schreiber, who launched the charitable organization in March. The actor is also of Polish heritage.
SPORTS Krejčíková eliminated in the third round of Wimbledon
Tennis player Barbora Krejčíková did not make it to the third round of Wimbledon after a promising match with Australian Ajla Tomljanović in which she lost 6:2, 4:6, and 3:6 to bid farewell to the tournament. The thirteenth-seeded Czech did not defend last year’s 16 ranking which is her best outing on the grass courts of the All England Club. Krejčíková’s competitor will challenge world no. 1 Iga Šwiateková from Poland or Alizé Cornetová from France in the next round.
WEATHER After Friday’s storms, 1,500 households remain without power
After Friday’s strong storms, around 700 households in South Moravia and South Bohemia were left without electricity before noon today. Another 800 customers are still without power in the Hradec Králové region. In South Moravia, storms caused the greatest damage in the belt between Valtice in the Břeclav region and Bzenec in the Hodonín region.
PRAGUE Jan Graubner installed as archbishop
Jan Graubner sat on a chair symbolizing the archbishop’s see and became the new Prague archbishop after a papal bull was read during a mass in Saint Vitus Cathedral Saturday. Graubner has taken up the office after Cardinal Dominik Duka. Pope Francis appointed Graubner in May. A liturgical procession preceded the mass from the Archbishopric Palace, and the Czech Republic’s biggest bell was rung. Duka headed the Prague archdiocese for 12 years.
CLIMATE Activists disrupt opening concert for the Czech Presidency of the EU council
Two men jumped onto the stage of the opening concert for the Czech Presidency of the EU council Friday evening. The men held one which read “Stop the fossil madness and the solar tunnel.” The police have yet to bring charges.
The Czech Republic started its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union with a joint meeting of the government and the European Commission in Litomyšl on Friday. At the end of the meeting, a concert was held, and the Czech Philharmonic played the works of Bedřich Smetana, Josef Suk, and Antonín Dvořák.
Travel Czech police to help tourists in Croatia, Bulgaria
Czech police officers will once again help Czech tourists in Croatia and Bulgaria in selected tourist destinations this summer. A police spokesman said the assisting officers have been chosen for their language proficiency, a knowledge of the law and procedures of the country. The police have released contacts for the Czech officers with staying in individual recreation resorts.
CULTURE Brussels exhibition to present transformation of Czech design
An exhibition highlighting the history, present days, and visions of Czech design will be installed in the Design Museum and the Prague House in Brussels from September until the end of the year within the Czech EU presidency that started today. Its goal is to show that Czech design means not only Czech cubism, glass items, and Skoda cars.
Apart from the exhibits, it will acquaint the visitors with the stories of 14 selected firms and projects, both those 100 years old and those brand new, with the emphasis on the period of the past 30 years and the transformation of society and the design production. After its Brussels premiere, the exhibition will open in the Moravian Gallery in Brno.
July 1, 2022
european commission President of EC Leyen arrived in Litomyšl for opening of Czech EU presidency
The arrival of the Czech government and representatives of the European Commission was accompanied by roaring applause as several dozen people gathered at the castle. Some of them applauded when the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen arrived, but some the crowd also showed its disapproval by whistling when individual members of the government arrived.
air travel Check-in system partially failed at Prague airport due to global problem
The check-in system was partially down at the Prague airport on Friday morning. Check-in of passengers is now resumed, but it is slower and longer. This can also cause queues, said a Prague Airport spokeswoman. According to the airport, this is a global problem, it is not yet clear how long it may last.
diplomacy Zelensky congratulates PM Fiala on start of Czech EU presidency
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today wished Czech PM Petr Fiala success in carrying out the ambitious priorities of the Czech presidency of the EU, the crucial of which is the support for Ukraine.
POLITICS Czech Republic assumes EU presidency
The Czech Republic has assumed its second six-month presidency of the European Union (EU) Council, taking on the presidency from France. The presidency will open with a meeting of the government of Petr Fiala (Civic Democrats, ODS) and the European Commission (EC) in Litomyšl east Bohemia. The Czech EU presidency will be considerably influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the related economic and energy crisis. The main political priorities of the presidency are tackling the refugee crisis and the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, energy security, strengthening defense capabilities and cyber security as well as strategic resilience of the European Union economy and of democratic institutions.
Prague European summit planned for Czech capital
The informal EU summit will be held on October 6-7 in Prague, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and President of the European Council Charles Michel announced after their talks in the Czech capital today, on the eve of the start of the Czech presidency of the EU. Michel said the summit will focus on closer cooperation of the EU with non-member countries. For the second half of the year, the European Council has planned two summits, for October 20-21 and December 15-16.
ECONOMY Living wage increases from today
From July 1, the living wage is increasing from CZK 4,250 to 4,620 a jump of 8.8 percent. The minimum amounts for adults and children in the household, which are lower, are adjusted in the same way. The subsistence minimum rises from CZK 2,740 to 2,980. Government regulation comes into effect today. Due to the increase in living costs, the government adjusted the minimum amount for living for the second time this year, increasing it for the first time since April.
CRIME Prague police seek man who breaks into homes, watches people sleep
Prague police officers are looking for a man who broke into several family homes, watching residents sleep, and stealing money and small items. The police are searching for the man on suspicion of robbery and trespassing, for which the suspect faces up to three years in prison, said police spokesman Jan Rybanský in a press release on Thursday. The man, who is between 55 and 60 years old, broke into several homes at night and in the early hours of the morning, while their inhabitants were sleeping.
June 30, 2022
ENVIRONMENT Global food makers in Czechia want to recycle soft plastics
Today a new initiative of several global food giants was created in the Czech Republic that aims to support the recycling of soft packaging plastics so that less of the kind of packaging widely used to package products with a low packing weight ends up in incinerators. Those companies, Mondelēz International (Milka, Opavia, Oreo), Nestlé (Lentilky, Orion, Granko, Nespresso), and Unilever (Cif, Algida, Knorr), want to cooperate with public and private sectors to help the country transition to effective recycling of soft packaging plastics.
The news is particularly timely today as the European directive banning single-use plastics has been in effect since July last year. On the same date this year, the transition period during which businesses are permitted to offer these goods from their older stocks will end. The Czech adaptation of the law on single-use plastics still needs approval by deputies in the third reading, discussion in the Senate, and the signature of the president; the adaptation of the law is expected to take place in a matter of weeks.
POLL Support for NATO reaches new high
Czechs are most satisfied with NATO membership since joining in 1999, according to a CVVM poll. Currently, 73 percent of people are in favor of membership, beating the previous high of 65 percent in January 2009. Some 79 percent of people said NATO is a necessary organization, while 15 percent disagreed. The role of NATO is generally perceived more positively by younger people and also by middle-aged respondents, while people over the age of 65 are less likely to see it that way.
Film industry Czech audiovisual production faces slump after record year
The Czech film and TV industry had a record high turnover of CZK 11.87 billion in 2021, but may drop to the level of 2010 when the turnover was CZK 3.58 billion because the film incentives stopped, the Audiovisual Producers’ Association (APA) has said in its annual report. APA head Vratislav Šlajer said other European countries are increasing their incentives and subsidies. The report said the suspension of incentives will cause a loss of foreign projects in the second half of this year and especially in 2023 and 2024. Filmmakers are instead going to Poland, Hungary, and the Baltic states.
Military Army has new chief of general staff
Incoming Chief of General Staff Karel Řehka symbolically took over from his predecessor Aleš Opata at Prague’s Vítkov Hill. Řehka, 47, will officially begin his duties on Friday. He was appointed to the rank of major general by President Miloš Zeman last week. He had been director of the National Office for Cyber and Information Security (NÚKIB). Previously, he led the Special Forces in Prostějov. Outgoing Chief of General Staff Opata thanked the army for its work on Twitter.
Energy EC is checking public support for new Dukovany unit
The European Commission started investigating whether the planned public support for the extension of the Czech Dukovany nuclear plant is in line with European Union rules, it said in a press release. The planned support includes a low-interest state loan that is to cover the costs of the construction, estimated at EUR 7.5 billion. ČEZ Group launched the tender for building a new unit of the nuclear plant in March. The construction is to begin in 2029 and its trial operation is to be launched in 2036.
Politics Taiwan delegation to visit Czechia in July
A Taiwanese delegation led by Taiwanese Parliament Chairman You Si-kun will visit the Czech Republic in mid-July in response to an invitation from the Czech Senate Chairman Miloš Vystrčil. The representatives of Taiwan are expected to meet not only the members of the Czech Parliament but also the government. The mission is likely to be criticized by mainland China, which considers Taiwan its province.
Health EU funds headed for diabetes and cardiovascular research
Over CZK 1 billion from European funds will go to research into diabetes and heart disease in the Czech Republic. The aim is to gain a deeper understanding of the diseases’ causes and also to develop new drugs and treatments. In the Czech Republic, over a million people suffer from diabetes and 22,000 die each year from related complications. Heart disease has long been the most common cause of death, killing 36,000 people a year.
CULTURE Fans line up for tickets to Karlovy Vary
About 300 film fans lined up at the box office before 9:00 a.m. today to buy tickets for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Ticket sales for the first two days of the festival have started. The first people arrived already on Wednesday afternoon. This year’s 56th edition of the festival will begin on Friday. After two years of the pandemic, the festival returns to its traditional format. Those waiting for tickets formed two queues as the main ticket office at the Thermal Hotel which opened today, the day before the festival began.