Czech alcohol producers are continuing to suffer lean years, Czech news website iDnes reports. The number consuming hard liquor has dropped steadily over the last decade, with the market further suffering in 2009 due to the world economic crisis and in 2012 when the country was hit by widespread methanol poisoning, forcing the government to instate temporary prohibition. Domestic brands especially have suffered with many buyers opting for established imports. While last year the number of those drinking hard liquor went up by three percent, the figure is measured against the year 2012 when the methanol crisis broke - a year producers and drinking establishments suffered losses in the millions.
Czech actress Jana Švandová (66) was taken to a hospital for tests on Saturday to determine whether she had suffered a spinal injury after a traffic accident, the news website iDnes reports. Her vehicle and another crashed head-on, according to the daily. The tabloid Blesk reported that the other motorist had failed to respect weather conditions, skidding on the wet road surface. Police confirmed they were investigating. Jana Švandová is known for roles in dozens of films including The Lovers in Year One and The Garden. In the 1990s, she was the first Czech star to pose for Playboy magazine.
The results of a referendum in Prague 7 which proposed two options on the future of gambling terminals and venues in the district are not valid due to low voter turnout. Only 25.2 percent of locals came to the polls - well short of the minimum 35 percent needed. The referendum presented two options: one of curbing the number of existing venues, the other, of introducing an outright ban. Of those who came to the polls, 3,330 people voted in favor of reducing gambling venues from 26 to 20, while 6,666 voted for ‘zero tolerance’. Even a conclusive result would still have needed approval from Prague City Hall.
The Czech Republic were beaten 3:0 by Finland in the semi-finals of the Ice Hockey World Championship in Belarus on Saturday evening. The Czechs conceded a single goal in the first and second periods before a strike from the Finns late in the game ended all hope of a Czech comeback. Vladimír Ružička's team will now face Sweden in a game to decide third place.
The European elections are seen as second ranking by Czech voters, political scientist Tomáš Lebeda said in response to the apparent record low turnout. Speaking to the Czech News Agency, he said another factor was that part of the country's political elite were opposed to the European Parliament, which resonated with part of the electorate. Pundit Bohumil Doležal said the low turnout reflected the fact the elections had little impact on events in the Czech Republic. He added that they could however provide an indication of how local elections later in the year will go.
Polls have closed on the second and final day of elections to the European Parliament in the Czech Republic. On the two previous occasions that Czechs could vote in European Parliament elections fewer than 30 percent of voters took part; this time it could be less than one fifth, the Czech News Agency reported, quoting election officials. Almost 850 candidates are in the running for 21 seats with results set to be announced late on Sunday.
Speaking after voting in the European Parliament elections on Saturday morning, former Czech president Václav Klaus described the ballot as inauthentic and redundant. Mr. Klaus, a noted Eurosceptic, said he had voted with “great unease” and hesitated about going to the polls for the first time since the fall of communism. He said the low turnout was proof that more and more people were aware that attempts to centralise Europe were a mistake.
The West Bohemian city of Plzeň is preparing a tour of buildings designed by the world renowned architect Adolf Loos. The tour, which also takes in interiors, will be available to visitors from the start of next year, a spokesperson said. Loos, who was born in Brno, received his first commission in Plzeň in 1907 and carried out other projects in the city until his death in 1933. Plzeň will be European City of Culture in 2015.
Eva Samková has become the first snowboarder to win the King of the White Piste, an award voted on by members of the Czech Ski Association. Samková took gold in boardercross at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February. Speaking at the awards ceremony at Prague’s Žofín on Friday, Samková, who is 21, said she was glad to see that snowboarding was developing in the Czech Republic.
The Ministry of the Interior said that the law on elections was broken when Monika Babišová, the partner of Finance Minister Andrej Babiš, was allowed to cast her ballot twice in the European Parliament elections on Friday. When she placed a ballot paper in a box without an envelope, making it invalid, the chairman of the relevant electoral commission allowed her to cast a second ballot. In addition, Mr. Babiš helped his partner the second time, which is also illegal.