Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for March 24, 2021

Sprayers deface Old Town Covid-19 memorial, Czech chanson legend passes on, Austria opens five border crossings, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.03.2021 09:44:00 (updated on 24.03.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Police look for sprayers who defaced Old Town Square memorial

The words "For incapable government's victims" appeared spray-painted across the pavement of Prague's Old Town Square Tuesday in the same vicinity as thousands of crosses marked Monday as symbols of Czech lives claimed by Covid-19. Police are now looking for a perpetrator. Some 25,000 small white crosses were chalk-painted on the pavement by the Million Moments for Democracy group with the City Hall's consent to mark a year since the first coronavirus death in the country and to symbolize the epidemic's victims. "Many of them died unnecessarily, the responsibility for the thwarted lives being borne by the government that puts its bargains above its citizens," Million Moments leader Benjamin Roll said on that occasion.

Austria to open five border crossings with Czech Republic, Slovakia

Austria reopened five out of its roughly 45 small border crossings with the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which were closed due to the coronavirus pandemic in January, the APA Austrian news agency reported Tuesday. The change took place at midnight. Four border crossings with the Czech Republic, Alt Prerau/Novy Prerov, Langau/Stalky, Mitterretzbach/Hnanice and Pyhrabruck/Nove Hrady, and one Austrian-Slovak crossing, Angern an der March/Zahorska Ves, will reopen, according to Austrian a new regulation published by Interior Minister Karl Nehammer yesterday afternoon. Since Feb. 10, travelers have been allowed to enter Austria from the Czech Republic with a negative coronavirus test only and after their electronic registration. Cross-border commuters working in Austria must submit a negative test for COVID-19 once a week.

Czech Airlines will increase frequency of European flights

Czech Airlines (CSA) will renew further connections in the coming weeks and increase the frequency of flights to European destinations with flights returning to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Malta. According to ČTK, the airline will expand its operations despite filing for insolvency earlier this month. Currently, CSA operates regular flights to Paris, Stockholm, Kiev, and Moscow, with the new flights coming in over the next few months. From April 2, they plan to resume flights to Odessa, Ukraine, then from April 16 to Amsterdam, from May 1 to Copenhagen, with Malta added in June. The carrier pointed out that the gradual resumption of operations depends on the development of the epidemiological situation in individual countries and the relaxation of travel arrangements. 

Česká spořitelna wins 2020 Bank of the Year competition

Česká spořitelna has won the main prize at the 2020 Bank of the Year competition. The bank received multiple awards with CEO, Tomáš Salomon, named Banker of the Year and also winning a special award for his extraordinary contribution to stabilizing the economy during the coronavirus crisis. In the Insurance Company of the Year category, Generali Česká pojišťovna took first place, while Martin Žáček from UNIQA pojišťovna was given the award for the Insurer of the Year. According to the jurors, Hypoteční banka from the group of the Czechoslovak Commercial Bank has the best mortgage. It received the Bank without Barriers award. The Bank of the Year awards jury is made up of representatives from business, the media, and academia and decides on the winners of the main Bank of the Year and Insurance Company of the Year awards among other prizes given. The 19th edition of the ceremony took place online this year,

Czechoslovak queen of chanson Hana Hegerová dies at 89

Legendary singer Hana Hegerová died at the age of 89 in Prague's Na Homolce hospital Tuesday. Widely considered the "First Lady of the Czechoslovak Chanson," Hegerová recently suffered from a number of health problems after breaking her femur. Born as Carmen Farkašová Čelková, hails she hails from Slovakia where she started her career as an actress in the theater in Žilina. She also had tours abroad, including the Olympia Hall in Paris. Hegerová ended her career in August 2011 due to health issues and withdrew from public life. In April 2013, she was promoted as commander of the French Order of Merit. French Ambassador Pierre Levy granted the medal to her grandson who represented her. In October 2014, President Miloš Zeman bestowed upon her the Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk Order of the First Class. In January 2016, Slovak President Andrej Kiska bestowed her with the Ludovit Stur Order of the Second Class.

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