Czech morning news in brief: top headines for July 2, 2021

A three-level-alarm blaze broke out in Prague earlier this morning, "Ova" law moves forward, and massive river gridlock predicted for holiday weekend.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.07.2021 09:03 (updated on 02.07.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Exhibition hall in Prague's Letňany caught fire and partially collapsed

A fire broke out early Friday morning in the entrance hall of the exhibition grounds at Prague's Letňany, fire brigades tweeted. Smoke can be seen tens of kilometers away and firefighters are asking people to keep their windows closed. The third level of alarm was sounded around 5:30 a.m. According to preliminary estimates, the damage could amount to CZK 150 million. The fire broke out in a hall on Beranových Street, where an exhibition of tents and outdoor equipment was taking place. The hall is large, measuring 250 meters in length, of which 150 meters collapsed. Firefighters tweeted earlier this morning that the fire didn't spread and that they managed to save the adjoining hall. Firefighters have four levels of alarm. The third degree is the second most serious. This is followed by a special level of alarm, which is declared if the fire threatens more than 1,000 people or entire communities. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

All Czech women will be able to officially register their surname in the masculine form

All Czech women will be able to have their male surname entered officially. The Senate approved it today in an amendment to the Act on Registries, which is part of a set of amendments related to the new Act on Identity Cards. The norm will now be signed by the president. Only foreigners, Czech citizens with permanent residence abroad, or women whose husbands are foreigners now have the opportunity to apply for the official indication of surnames without the suffix. Czech citizens who have a nationality other than Czech have the same opportunity to not change their surname. The set of amendments to the new Act on Identity Cards contains amendments to two dozen legal regulations, including the Act on Travel Documents.

New investment round gives Czech online grocer 'unicorn' status

Czech online food retailer Rohlik Group received EUR 100 million (approximately CZK 2.6 billion) from investors. The investment values ​​the whole company at EUR 1 billion. The company will use the money to accelerate expansion abroad, it said in a statement Thursday. The new investment comes three months after the company managed to raise EUR 190 million from investors for expansion into Germany. In addition to the Czech Republic, the company operates in Hungary and Austria. It now plans to expand to Romania, Italy, France, and Spain. The new round of financing makes Rohlik a 'unicorn' or start-up company with a value of more than USD 1 billion. Index Ventures is its primary investor. Rohlik was founded in 2014. Last year, the company's turnover was more than EUR 300 million; it has around 750,000 customers.

The 63rd Smetana's Litomyšl Festival began with a concert by the Czech Philharmonic

The 63rd Smetana's Litomyšl Music Festival began with a concert by the Czech Philharmonic in the castle courtyard. Under the direction of conductor Tomáš Netopil, Bedřich Smetana's Overture in D major was performed after the Czech national anthem. The commemoration of the 180th anniversary of Antonín Dvořák's birth was the opening of his violin concerto in A minor, and the gala evening ended with Johannes Brahms's Symphony No. 1 in C minor. The festival will last until July 11, the program has thirty concerts and opera performances. Visitors to the city will also be able to see a series of exhibitions in exhibition halls and in the open-air Smetana's art Litomyšl.

'River jams' predicted as some 20,000 plan to canoe the Vltava this weekend

The biggest Czech canoe rental service Ingetour estimated that up to 20,000 people want to go canoeing on the Vltava River this weekend, but the rental agency is asking tourists to pick another date to prevent river traffic jams. The most popular route is the section between Vyssi Brod and Cesky Krumlov. The first weekend in July is usually the busiest of the summer with two bank holidays falling on July 5 and 6 to form a four-day weekend this year, the weather forecast is good and relaxed government anti-epidemic restrictions bring people outdoors, which creates a high demand for canoes. Rental services fear that the river will be gridlocked like last year. The canoeing season started later this year due to unfavorable weather. However, some 5,000 people went down the Vltava in the past two weeks, according to the Lipno tourists' association. Only 10 percent of paddlers are foreign tourists this year.

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