Daily news summary

Bulgarian-Greek road comedy wins main award at Karlovy Vary

The Bulgarian-Greek road comedy “The Father” won the main prize at the 54th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, picking up the Crystal Globe at the closing gala ceremony on Saturday night.

The jury also singled out the German psychological family drama “Lara” by Jan-Ole Gerster for which Corinna Harfouch took the Best Actress Award. Milan Ondrik won Best Actor for his lead role in the Slovak-Czech family drama “Let There Be Light”, while Belgian director Tim Mielants won the director’s prize for his film “Patrick”.

The viewers’ award went to Olga Sommerova’s document “Jiří Suchy – Tackling Life with Ease”.

One of the main celebrities at the festival Patricia Clarkson got a standing ovation as she received the Crystal Globe for contribution to world cinema, as did Julianne Moore at the opening of the festival.

Two more Czech sites added to UNESCO list

Two more Czech attractions have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. One is the uniquely preserved mining landscape Krušné hory – Erzgebirge for which the Czech Republic made a joint bid with Germany, the other is the national stud farm in Kladruby in Central Bohemia.

Founded in 1579, the farm is known for its Kladruber horses, one of the oldest breeds in the world. The first Czech sites to be included on the list were the historic centre of Prague, Telč and Český Krumlov in 1992. The overall number of Czech sites has now reached 14.

Symbolic blockade at Chvaletice plant

Several dozen environmental activists engaged in a symbolic blockade of the coal power plant Chvaletice in north-east Bohemia to protest against an exemption that will allow it to remain in operation, despite the fact that it does not comply with all EU environment norms.

The three-day peaceful protest outside the plant’s gates ended on Friday. Protesters did not try to disrupt the plant’s operation allowing workers and traffic free passage. They argue that the plant is a serious polluter in the region and was to have closed in 2016.

The plant’s spokeswoman said on Friday that it was undergoing a modernization worth billions of crowns and already fulfilled 23 out of 25 strict EU requirements.

Culture minister attacks party boss

Culture Minister Antonín Staněk has lashed out against Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček, saying on Twitter that the party leader had betrayed him by asking him to resign in connection with public protests to the sacking of two heads of cultural institutions.

Staněk wrote on Twitter that Hamáček had gone back on his word, driven by fear and weakness. The Social Democratic Party’s demand for a change of guard at the culture ministry has brought the government to the brink of collapse after President Zeman refused to dismiss Staněk and appoint the party’s new nominee for the post.

The president has called a meeting on July 12th at which he hopes to effect a reconciliation, but the Social Democrats have said that unless their condition is met they will walk out of the government.

Record high interest in visas to Czech Republic in 2018

The Czech Foreign Ministry registered a heightened interest in visas to the Czech Republic last year, receiving over 722,000 requests overall. The biggest interest was in so-called Schengen visas which give foreign visitors 90 days of free movement around Schengen.

The number of requests for long-term or permanent residence in the country doubled to 37,000 in 2018, according to Foreign Ministry sources.

Ed Sheeran to perform in Prague

English singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran will perform two concerts in Prague within his Divide 2019 tour. His first concert at Letnany airport on Sunday, July 7th, was sold out within hours leading the organizers to add a second concert on Monday.

The police have warned drivers to expect traffic restrictions in the vicinity of the concert and strict security measures will be in place for concert-goers.

Weather forecast

Monday should be partly cloudy to overcast with day temperatures between 19 and 23 degrees Celsius.