Over forty thousand Czech Catholics gathered in the Moravian village of
Velehrad on Tuesday to commemorate Saints Cyril and Methodius. July 5 is a
national holiday in the Czech Republic to honor the legacy of the Greek
missionaries who brought Christianity to the Czech lands in 863. The
open-air mass at Velehrad, once the seat of the Great Moravian Empire, was
celebrated by the Archbishop of Olomouc, Jan Graubner.
Saints Cyril and Methodius arrived in Moravia in 863 on a mission from the Byzantine Empire. To spread the Gospel among the Slavs, they created the Cyrillic alphabet and translated the Bible and liturgical books into Slavonic, which at that time had no written form. The two brothers are considered the founders of Slavic literature.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová will be received by President Václav Klaus on Thursday. Mr. Klaus said that he had followed her winning finale match at Wimbledon closely and that he wanted to personally congratulate the young tennis player on her sensational success. Moreover, she will be granted honorary citizenship by her native town of Fulnek, in the country’s Moravian-Silesian region. Mrs. Kvitová will also be attending the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Thursday, where she will be greeted by the director of the festival, Jiří Bartoška. She won the Wimbledon finale on Saturday, defeating the Russian three-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova. Her win is the first by a Czech player since 1998, when Jana Novotná took the title.
According to an analysis published by the National Institute of Public Health on Tuesday, coliform bacteria that were found in bottled water by the company Aquila are not pathogenic. The kind of E. coli bacteria found in the samples is not the mutated variant that has lead to dozens of deaths in Germany, an employee of the institute said. He added that nonetheless, such bacteria should not be found in bottled water and that the pulling of 33,000 bottles of Aquila from the market will remain in place.
The Liberec-based travel agency VIAVERA has announced that it will not be able to get out of debt and is filing for bankruptcy. VIAVERA is the fourth travel agency in the Czech Republic to go bankrupt this year, The company, which specializes in the destinations Greece and Turkey, will be filing for bankruptcy on Tuesday. Last week, Parkam Holidays had filed for bankruptcy, leaving many of its clients stranded at their holiday destinations.
In its second half, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will feature the Slovak film Cikán, Gypsy, by Martin Šulík, as well as over fifty other films. Mr. Šulík will present his film at the festival on Tuesday, calling it his most personal work yet. The American film and theater actor Martin Donovan also appeared at the festival on Tuesday, together with director Hale Hartley, with whom he has collaborated on many occasions. In its 46th year, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival features over 200 films, many of them by first-time directors.
Two women were killed in a car crash near the town of Domažlice in the Plzeň Region on Tuesday morning. Another two female passengers were injured and are being treated at a Plzeň hospital. The 24-year-old driver and her 22-year-old friend were killed after their car collided with a truck. According to a police spokeswoman, the accident occurred when the driver of the automobile ignored the right of way when she was exiting a gas station parking lot.
Garlic farmers in the Zlín and Litoměřice regions are being targeted by thieves. In a number of cases, perpetrators have entered fields where garlic is grown and stolen the bulbs before the farmers were able to harvest them. Police say that one unknown perpetrator stole 80 kilograms of garlic from a private garlic field, causing damages of around 12,000 Czech crowns. In some parts of Moravia, damages have reached over 40,000 crowns; there, some farmers guard their fields day and night to prevent thieves from targetting them. In the Czech Republic, domestic garlic has been in low supply and currently retails for record prices of up to 229 crowns per kilogram.
Former Social Democrat chairman Jiří Paroubek is considering leaving the party to join the Czech National Social Party. That party has confirmed that it may put Mr Paroubek forward as a candidate for governor of the Ústí nad Labem region next year. According to the daily Hospodářské noviny, the former prime minister is having a public opinion poll conducted in order to sound out how voters would perceive the move. The Czech National Social Party is a centre-left party popular during the First Republic but sidelined during Communism. Attempts to revitalise it since the 1989 have been unsuccessful.
The chairwoman of the lower house of Parliament, Miroslava Němcová, has scheduled a special session of the Chamber of Deputies for Tuesday, July 12, in order to debate health care and pension reform. The session was requested by coalition MPs and will last until July 13. The lawmakers are also expected to pass an amendment to the Czech Television Act, which will modify the rules for broadcasting commercials, and an amendment to the law on public tenders that is intended to particularize rules for defence and security tenders.
Colonel Milan Majer has been chosen to be the new chief of the Foreign Police, filling a four-month vacancy left by the promotion of Vladislav Husák. Colonel Majer, who is 43 years old, has been with the police force since 1990 and was previously in charge of the foreign police in the city of Hradec Králové. The foreign police was restructured in January due to budget cuts; seven district directorates were then cancelled and replaced with a foreign police department at each regional police directorate.