News in brief for July 28: Top headlines in Czechia for Friday

Bohemians lose to Norway in first European Cup match, Barbie hits big at Czech box office, and more top headlines for July 28, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 28.07.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 28.07.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

INCIDENT Czech village removes German graves, sparking anger

Czech Television has reported this afternoon that the village of Heřmánkovice in Hradec Králové (part of the historic Sudetenland) has removed the cemetery of its former German residents, causing some controversy and public criticism.

The reason for the removal of about 50 graves was due to dereliction, neglect, and disrepair, according to the area's mayor Jana Králová. She claimed that the municipality did not violate any regulations by demolishing the cemetery and also that the current state of the site had been dangerous. The village was primarily inhabited by Germans before World War II, but they were later displaced based on decrees by then-Czechoslovak President Edvard Beneš. 

COMMERCE Barbie film causes flood of new toys sold in Czechia

New film Barbie has sparked a significant surge in interest for Barbie and other doll toys in the Czech Republic, including model cars and horses, according to a survey of selected Czech retailers.

Merchants have reported a rise of “tens to hundreds of percent” in sales after the movie's recent release. This trend reflects Czechs' inclination to seek products related to popular series or films, such as the boost in sales of Harry Potter-themed items following the launch of the game Hogwarts Legacy. Notably, e-shop saw a substantial 53-percent increase in Barbie brand sales compared to the previous seven days, with collectible pieces reaching thousands of crowns.

CURRENT AFFAIRS Czech border guards turn away Russian tennis player

An unnamed Russian female tennis player scheduled to compete at a Women’s Tennis Association tournament in Prague has been denied entry at Prague Airport, according to Czech Police today. This is due to the ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from entering the Czech Republic following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The player has already left Prague.

Organizers of the Prague Open have informed all other registered Russian and Belarusian players about the situation, and expect none of them to participate in the event. Russian and Belarusian players play under a neutral flag and without state symbols in tennis tournaments.

BUSINESS French retail group accepts takeover bid from Czech billionaire

Large French supermarket chain Casino has announced on its website today that it has averted bankruptcy by reaching an agreement with main creditors and accepting an offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský and his business partner Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière, backed by British fund Attestor. 

The deal involves a capital infusion of EUR 1.2 billion (around CZK 28.8 billion), aimed at strengthening Casino's financial position. The binding contract is expected to be signed in September, with debt restructuring planned for the first quarter of 2024.

film Czech-Slovak-Ukrainian film to premiere at Venice Film Festival

The film Photophobia – a collaboration between Slovak, Czech, and Ukrainian filmmakers – will make its world premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, the Czech Film Fund (SFK) has said today. It combines elements of both feature film and documentary and will be shown in the Special Screening section.

The SFK provided financial support of CZK 1.9 million for the project. Directed and written by Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčík, both Slovaks, Photophobia tells a story from war-torn Ukraine. The film follows 12-year-old Niki and his family as they arrive at a metro station in Kharkiv to take shelter in the underground from the terrifying war raging just a short distance away. 

AID State gives CZK 300m to help tornado-hit Czech region

The Czech Regional Development Ministry has approved a CZK 300 million subsidy for the reconstruction of South Moravian municipalities impacted by a June 2021 tornado. The money will be used to rebuild local infrastructure, including bridges, public lighting, culture centers, hospitals, schools, and cemeteries.

The program aims to help municipalities and regions cope with natural disasters. Applications for subsidies began on Oct. 1, 2021, and a third call for applications will be open until May 31 next year. The funding, part of the Municipal and Regional Property Restoration after Natural Disasters program, supports 27 projects with a total of over CZK 438 million.

Emergency Two planes make emergency landing in Prague

Two planes made emergency landings at Prague's international airport due to passengers experiencing cardiac arrest, with one incident occurring on Wednesday and the other on a recent date. During the first event, a flight from Belgrade to London was diverted to Prague, and unfortunately, the passenger passed away.

The second incident involved a Turkish Airlines plane en route from Amsterdam to Istanbul. The affected passenger was handed over to paramedics after landing. The Czech immigration police are investigating the case, with no indications of foul play in the passenger's death during the first event.

legal Court to rule on public access to Prague Castle courtyard

Prague Municipal Court is set to decide on Friday whether the courtyard of Prague Castle is a public space. The organization filed an administrative lawsuit, seeking unrestricted access to the Castle area, citing past restrictions imposed by former President Miloš Zeman, including a complete closure during the 2020 pandemic. argues that such limitations demonstrate arrogance and papal behavior. If the court rules in favor of the organization, people would not require permission from the Prague Castle Administration to gather in these areas. The court had previously ruled in favor of, but the case was returned for a new hearing due to a procedural error.

Film Barbie is a big hit in Czech cinemas

The movie "Barbie" is a hit at the Czech box office, with massive ticket sales. In its first week, the film earned CZK 21.5 million and attracted 117,251 viewers. The pink wave of excitement has also propelled the film Oppenheimer to success, with nearly 89,000 viewers in the same period, reports

Barbie has become a worldwide sensation with moviegoers flooding the cinemas to be part of the phenomenon. The success of the film has motivated Mattel to explore creating more movies based on its iconic toys, according to CEO Ynon Kreiz.

TRAVEL Czech tourists safe from fires in Croatia

Czech travel agencies say tourists in the northern regions of Rhodes and Corfu, Turkey, Croatia, Italy, and the Greek islands are safe, according to ČTK. Representatives of the Central Committee said that accommodation is outside of the fire-affected areas and that firefighters have the situation under control. Travel agencies report no fires in resorts such as Alanya, Side, Istria, and the Makarska Riviera.

CK Blue Style confirms the situation has calmed down in Turkey, with no evacuation needed. The state of emergency declared in Rhodes won't affect tourists, rather it expedites repairs in the fire-affected southern part of the island.

sport Bohemians football club lose first European Cup match

The Bohemians 1905 football team suffered a 0-3 defeat against Bodö/Glimt in the opening match of the European Conference League's 2nd preliminary round. The home team secured victory with goals from Albert Grönbaek, Amahl Pellegrino, and substitute Runar Espejord.

Despite the loss, Bohemians made their first European Cup appearance since 1987, thanks to last season's fourth-place finish. The rematch is scheduled at Letná after an agreement with Sparta, as the Bohemians stadium isn't equipped to host European matches. The winner will face Swedish Kalmar or Pjunik Yerevan in the 3rd preliminary round, while the loser's cup campaign ends.

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