Several dozen people took part in an event commemorating the victims of the communist regime in the hard-line 1950s in the town of Jihlava on Sunday. Eleven people sentenced to death in political trials were executed in the courtyard of the local jailhouse between 1950 and 1952, hundreds of others were jailed and thousands of families suffered at the hands of the regime. The event was organized by Jihlava City Hall, the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters and the Confederation of Political Prisoners.
The third international Barrel Organ Festival is due to be held in Prague on Tuesday. The event will bring together barrel organ players from the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Switzerland. Performances will take place on the streets and squares of the city centre and will be free of charge. Some of the most popular locations are Charles Bridge, Kampa Island and Old Town Square.
People dependent on care givers have started receiving a higher financial contribution from the state, Czech Radio reported on Sunday. The ten percent increase is paid out automatically by labour offices and people eligible for this type of support do not have to file an official request. People with the highest degree of dependence will thus receive 13,200 crowns a month, that is 1,200 crowns more than before. The state support for this group was increased for the first time in 9 years. An estimated 350,000 people are eligible for it.
The A line of the Prague Metro has been in operation for 38 years. The metro management marked the occasion by putting in operation one of the historic Russian-made trains which launched the line in 1978 and which have not been in use since 2005. Founded in 1974, the Prague Metro has three lines (A, B and C), serving 61 stations and consists of a transit network 65.2 kilometres.
Although the Czech Foreign Ministry on Friday toned down its travel warning for Turkey, the uncertain situation in the country has led many Czechs to change their travel plans. Czech travel agencies say security concerns have cut the sale of package holidays in Turkey by a half. Only around 80, 000 Czechs will be spending their holidays there this year, compared to 162 thousand in 2015. The price of package tours has dropped significantly as a result.
A bus travelling on the D10 motorway between Prague and Liberec caught fire and was completely burnt down despite the speedy arrival of a fire crew in the late night hours of Saturday, the ctk news agency reported. The driver and two dozen passengers all managed to escape to safety. Only one woman was treated for shock. The motorway was closed to traffic for four hours. According to a preliminary report the fire was caused by a technical failure.
Czech medal hopefuls rowers Ondřej Synek and Miroslava Topinková Knapková both performed well in the regatta at Rodriga de Freitase on the first sporting day of the Olympics opening their way to the quarterfinals. Battling against strong winds and choppy waters Synek crossed the finishing line first, Knapková came second.
Nineteen-year-old Vendula Fialková from Prague has won top marks in this yearś International Baccalaureate exam opening the way for an Oxford grant. Vendula was one of 146 students out of 150,000 from 136 states to get top marks in the exam i.e. 45 points. The average was 30 points. The private secondary school Nový PORG from which she graduated had 15 students sitting the exam this year with an average result of 39 points, which is an all-time Czech record. The school said it was immensely proud of its graduates.
South Moravian regional governor Michal Hašek has rejected calls for him to resign from office after it emerged that he had for years been represented by a non-existent spokesperson and had paid a lobbyist 400,000 crowns annually to write laudatory articles about him on the news site Parlamentilisty.cz .The Pirates Party and the Greens called on him to resign over the matter. Hašek´s fictitious spokesperson Lucie Proutníková was a cover for lobbyist Jana Mrencová, who has been found guilty of attempting to bribe journalists. It emerged on Friday that Mrencová very likely also wrote press reports for the Communist Party under a false name.
Medical tourism to the Czech Republic is on the rise, up by 15 percent in the past year, Czech Television reported on Saturday. Foreigners who come to the Czech Republic predominantly request plastic surgery, fertility treatment, weight reduction procedures or spend time at wellness spas. Czech health and wellness facilities are particularly popular with clients from Great Britain, Germany and Russia. Foreign visitors annually spend approximately half a billion crowns for these services. The interest is generated by high quality services at a comparatively low cost. In terms of quality the Czech health sector ranks 13th on a list of 35 European states, ahead of countries such as Italy or Great Britain, yet the cost of treatment is two to three times lower.