Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Feb. 10, 2021

Czech President meets V4 leaders to mark 30 years of Visegrad Group, unique vending machine for meat lovers, and no monument protection for Prague icon. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 10.02.2021 09:47:00 (updated on 10.02.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

CENTRAL EUROPE: Visegrad Group presidents commemorate 30th anniversary

The presidents of the Visegrad Group marked the 30th anniversary of this regional alliance comprised of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia with a two-day meeting hosted by Polish President Andrzej Duda at the Polish president's residence on the Hel peninsula. Czech President Milos Zeman flew to meet his V4 counterparts on Monday. Along with Zeman and Duda, Slovak president Zuzana Caputova and Hungarian President Janos Ander were in attendance. The presidents discussed energy security and climate policy, economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and the 30th anniversary of the V4 Group. The group is an important engine of regional cooperation in Central Europe and contributes significantly to political cooperation with the EU and NATO, Duda told AP. Poland holds the V4 presidency in the first half of 2021. Read more here.

FOOD: Czech farm debuts unique meat vending machine

In Prosečné in the Trutnov region, local farmers have installed a unique self-service dispenser. Stocked with mature beef, ribs, and minced meat, the Czech Republic's first meat vending machine is the creation of the Basař family farm. The machine is located in the yard of a farmhouse in Prosečné near Hostinné. The farm vending machine accepts card or cash 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The products have been classified as authentic Krkonoše regional goods. The meat vending machine is regularly restocked. Read more here.

TECH: Operators will switch off 3G mobile networks this year

The Association of Mobile Network Operators announced it will switch off 3G mobile networks, also known as UMTS, in the Czech Republic this year. For the small percentage of users who currently use mobile internet in the 3G network, this will mean the need to get a new phone. The third-generation mobile network was the first to bring fast mobile internet to the Czech Republic. Today the technology is obsolete, which is why operators will replace it with more modern technologies that allow for improved coverage and faster internet. Replacement of obsolete 3G technology is planned in 2021 and 2022 in other countries around the world and Europe including Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Read more here.

CULTURE: Czech film shortlisted for Oscar

On Tuesday the American Film Academy announced a newly expanded list of contenders for the international feature film category. The Czech film "The Charlatan" directed by Agnieszka Holland was on a shortlist of 15 films (the Academy usually selects 10 films) vying for the nomination. Ninety-three countries entered their films in the 93rd annual Oscar race. Films from France, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Norway, Denmark, and Russia, Chile, Guatemala, Iran, Mexico, and Tunisia, will compete with Holland's film for a statuette. Charlatan is based on a screenplay by Marek Epstein and follows the life of the healer and herbalist Jan Mikolášek, who treated hundreds of thousands of people but was persecuted by the Nazis and Communists. The list of top five Academy Award candidates in all categories will be revealed on March 15. The Oscars will be held on April 25. See the full shortlist here.

PRAGUE: Intercontinental Hotel fails to get monument protection

The Ministry of Culture has decided that the Intercontinental Hotel on Prague’s Pařížská Street will not receive monument protection. The decision can be appealed. According to the ministry, the National Heritage Institute’s NPÚ proposal overlooked the problematic aspects of the building. The NPÚ claims the hotel is unique example of its type of architecture in the city center, and they filed a motion to declare of the hotel several years ago, but the ministry did not start dealing with it until the beginning of last year. Since January 2019, the hotel has been owned by the group WIC Prague, a part of investment fund R2G, which is renovating it and planning to modify the surroundings. This includes building a shopping and office center on the square next to the hotel, which has been criticized by some locals and politicians.

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