The Czech weather office has warned of high temperatures and the possibility of violent storms across the country on Monday. Temperatures could rise to up to 33 degrees Celsius, the office said. The heat wave will be broken by violent storms coming in from the west with the likelihood of hail and possibility of flash floods. Winds could reach speeds of up to 75 kilometres an hour.
In an interview on Czech Television Sunday, Lech Walesa repeated warnings about the lack of solidarity in dealing with worldwide and European problems. The situation in Belarus and willingness to tackle ecological and climate problems, were examples, he said. Walesa also attacked the level of democracy in his own country saying that a democratic framework was in place but apathy reigned and the supplementary steps to make the democratic system work well were lacking. Former Czechoslovak prime minister and leader of the Czech Senate Petr Pithart echoed some of the criticisms, highlighting for example the Ukraine crisis and France’s willingness to sell large warships to Russia and Germany’s former approval for gas pipelines from Russia that would bypass Poland.
The traditional Ride of the Kings took place Sunday in the south-eastern town of Hluk. The ride takes place every year and is part of traditional folklore in the region where a young by dressed in traditional costume and his retinue enter the town. The tradition has been included in UNESCO’s list of cultural events. Hluk, like most similar towns, holds the event every three years with the town of Vlčnov the only one to hold it annually. The tradition is sometimes said to date back to the flight of a Hungarian king in the 15th century disguised in women’s clothes after losing a battle.
Commemorations are taking place on the 599th anniversary of the execution of Bohemian church reformer Jan Hus in Constance, Germany, in 1415. July 6 is a national holiday in the Czech Republic. A sermon will be read in the Bethlehem chapel in central Prague, where Hus preached, with events taking place at his birthplace, Husinec, and at Constance. Hus was tried and burnt at the stake for alleged heresy against the Catholic Church, where a new exhibition about him has been prepared. The main target of Hus’ attacks were the sale of indulgences and corruption in the Catholic Church. Religious wars followed the execution as Hus’ followers attempted to safeguard their religious beliefs.
Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka is to launch a summer tour of ministries starting with the Ministry of Culture on Tuesday. The series of visits is expected to check on how they are performing and fulfilling the coalition programme around half a year after he was sworn into office and the government was formed. The visit to the Ministry of Culture will be followed by inspections at the education and transport ministries. In spite of rumours that Minister of Justice Helena Válková might be for the chop if further problems occur at her ministry, the prime minister is not believed to be preparing any changes in his Cabinet team for the moment.
Czech fish farms and anglers’ associations say hot weather and insufficient rain are devastating stock. Some fish have had to be transferred to other pons in the south of the country because they are suffocating where they are, the news server Novinky.cz reported on Sunday. The low levels of ponds and rivers are also leaving fish easy prey to cormorants. Low water levels have also resulted in the fast spread of a parasitic infection of fish which causes dark spots on their skin and leaves them open to other infections.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues on its second day with the spotlight perhaps on the world premiere screening of the director’s cut of Andrzej Wajda’s film ‘Walesa: Man of Hope’. The version of the film will be screened in the presence of former Polish dissident and leader of the Gdansk shipyard strikes that helped to topple the Communist regime, Lech Walesa. As well as the former Polish president the lead actors of the film will also be present. Later on Sunday, French actor and director Fanny Ardent will present her latest film ‘Obsessive Rhythms.’
Around 400 military enthusiasts with horses and field guns re-enacted the 1866 battle of Chlum u Sadov, north of Hradec Králové, on Saturday. The original battle pitted a 215,000 strong Austro-Saxon army against a slightly stronger Prussian army. The battle gave the Prussians a decisive win in the campaign and the leadership of German-speaking nations in Central Europe for the following decades. Participants in the re-enactment came from across Europe and as far away as the United States. The 1866 battle was the second biggest held on European soil during the 19th century.
Petra Kvitová thanked her back up team and family which turned up to witness her triumph. She said her team had worked out a strategy for the final and it paid off. She admitted in the post match interview that she had struggled after her first Wimbledon win in 2011 but hoped that after the second it would be easier. The final was watched by Czech-born nine times Wimbledon singles winner Martina Navrátilová and 1998 Czech singles winner Jana Novotná. Kvitová should move up to fourth ranked women’s player in the world following the Wimbledon win.
Petra Kvitová won her second women’s singles title with a 6:3, 6:0 demolition of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard on Saturday in less than an hour. The win is the 24-yer-old Czech’s second Grand Slam success after triumphing at Wimbledon in 2011. Following that win her form has been intermittent. Kvitová went into the final as the favourite against the young Canadian who was in her first Grand Slam final. Kvitová, who was seeded sixth for the championships, dominated the match, in particular thanks to powerful forehand crosscourt winners.
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