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Acting great and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová dies at 92

The renowned Czech actress and Charter 77 signatory Vlasta Chramostová has died at the age of 92. Chramostová appeared in the classic 1969 film The Cremator, the 1990s movie Sekal Has to Die and in Václav Havel’s film adaptation of his own play Leaving, among other screen roles. The news of her death was announced on Sunday by the Czech National Theatre, where she was a member of the cast for many years.

Vlasta Chramostová was banned from appearing on screen, on TV or on radio following her rejection of the Soviet occupation that began in August 1968. After some short theatre engagements she was restricted to acting in underground productions, often in private apartments, until the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Chramostová was active in the anti-Communist dissent and samizdat publication and was an early signatory of the Charter 77 protest document. In early 1989 she was convicted over her opposition activities.

She said that she had lived three lives: an acting life, a dissident life and a time of returns.

In 1998 President Václav Havel bestowed the Order of T.G. Masaryk on the acting legend for her contribution to human rights and democracy.

Schillerová: Social Democrats’ bank tax proposal could end coalition

The ANO-appointed minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, says that if the Social Democrats put forward a special tax on the banking sector it would be in breach of the coalition agreement.

The latter party’s minister for labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová, said last week that she would submit a bill on a banks tax herself if no agreement was reached with ANO on the matter.

Speaking on Czech Television on Sunday, Minster Schillerová said if her cabinet colleague actually put forward legislation to that effect it could spell the end of the coalition government.

Ms. Maláčová argues that Czech banks are making record profits.

The Czech Banking Association says 15 EU states have a bank sector tax.

Mrkvička, Beňačková and Svěrák honoured at Thálie awards

Actor Ladislav Mrkvička and opera singer Gabriela Beňačková received lifetime achievement awards at the Thálie theatre awards in Prague on Saturday night.

The Czech Theatre Academy also presented a new prize, for extraordinary contribution to the art of theatre, to Zdeněk Svěrák, who is also very famous for his screen roles. Both he and Mrkvička received standing ovations during the ceremony at the National Theatre.

Prizes were also awarded in many other categories during the annual event.

Electronic sick-notes trialled ahead of introduction in January

The Czech Social Security Administration has begun trials of a final version of new electronic sick-notes ahead of their introduction at the beginning of next year. Doctors will be able to connect to the system from next month, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs said.

Electronic sick-notes were originally meant to come in at the start of 2019. The project was then halted by the first Babiš government, which wanted to begin again from 2021. However, when the Social Democrats’Jana Maláčová became social affairs minister the plan was revived.

At present ill employees must present paper sick-notes signed by their doctors at their place of work.

Unique wooden church to be built outside Brno

A remarkable-looking wooden church is to be built at Nesvačilka on the outskirts of Brno, the news site Novinky.cz reported on Sunday. The structure, which resembles a lighthouse, will be constructed without using any nails. The plans earned architect Jan Říčný an award two years ago.

Parishioners began collecting money to erect a church on the site a century ago. The cornerstone was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI a decade ago and the local priest says the church should be completed and consecrated next year, or in 2021 at the latest.

Relatively warm weather expected later in month

The current relatively cool weather in the Czech Republic should give way to warmer temperatures next week, forecasters said in a regular monthly outlook released by the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute. The second half of October ought to see daytime highs above average for the time of year.

Precipitation is likely to correspond to long-term norms over the next four weeks, forecasters said.

Weather forecast

It should be overcast with some sunny spells in the Czech Republic on Monday, when daytime highs will reach up to 9 degrees Celsius. Temperatures should slowly rise through the week, with 15 degrees Celsius forecast for the weekend.