Czech cinemas earned record ticket earnings and the best audience figures in almost two decades in 2010 according to figures released by the Union of Film Distributors on Tuesday. Box office earnings stood at 1,5 billion crowns over the year. That is an advance of around 246 million crowns on 2009. The number of cinema goers climbed to 13.53 million from 12.47 million a year earlier. The 2010 figure for visits is the best since 1993
The Constitutional Court in Brno has opened the way for new elections at the town of Krupka in the north-west of the country after ruling that buying votes is not permitted. Suspicion that votes were bought in October’s local elections surfaced soon after polls closed. But while Czech law was clear that votes could not be bought in parliamentary elections it was less clear as regards local council elections. A regional court even delivered a ruling that paying for votes could be allowed.
Economic confidence has fallen in the Czech Republic according to the latest survey by the Czech Statistical Office released on Tuesday. After advancing over the previous three months, the overall index of business and consumer confidence fell back 0.3 points. But compared with a year earlier, the index is still 11.6 points higher.
The Czech Republic received a record net gain from the European Union in 2010 according to the Ministry of Finance. Last year the country got 47.3 billion crowns more from the 27-national block than it paid in. That is the highest figure since the Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004. The Finance Ministry said payments to Brussels rose slightly to 37.1 billion over the year while the country significant upped its performance in pulling in EU cash. In 2009 the net surplus from the EU stood at 42.3 billion crowns.
Every fifth Czech is seriously overweight according to a survey of over 2,000 Czechs carried out for the country’s biggest health insurer, VZP. The figure of 21 percent is a jump from 10 years ago when only 14 percent of Czechs were burdened by excess bodyweight. The poll confirmed the suspicion that the problem of obesity frequently follows adults from childhood with 43 percent of overweight men and 46 percent of overweight women saying they were overweight children.
Czech President Václav Klaus has sent to his deep condolences to his Russian counterpart over the terrorist attack on Moscow’s main airport. In his letter, the Czech President said the incident was a disgraceful attack which hit at the foundations of freedom and liberty. He said such attacks could never be justified. The bomb attack on Monday at the airport’s arrivals hall killed around 35 people.
Prague airport said that it had stepped up security checks in the wake of the bomb attack at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. Police checks will be increased on flights to Russia as well as direct before boarding the aircraft. Incoming flights from Russia will also be subject to more checks. The moves were decided at a crisis meeting on Monday afternoon and could be reviewed as appropriate. The stepped up security also applies to flights from regional airports such as Karlovy Vary.
The Czech Postal Service is preparing to lay off up to 2 000 employees in the course of this year, in an effort to sustain a sliding profit margin, the daily Hospodarske noviny reported on Tuesday. The state-owned company is also planning to close down close to 1500 local branches which are unprofitable to maintain. A company spokesman said on Monday that in 2010 the Czech Postal Service generated a profit of 280 million pre-tax, down from a 661 million crown profit in 2009.
Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych has made a fast quarterfinal exit from Australian Open. Berdych, seeded six, went down to third seed Novak Djokovic 1:6. 6:7 (5), 1:6. The 25 year old Czech had a chance to take the second set after breaking the Serbian’s serve but his opponent broke back and went on to take that set on a tie break. In spite of the loss, it was the best run in the season opening grand slam tournament for Berdych. Czech hopes will now focus on Petra Kvitová who faces the second seed in the women’s singles quarterfinals.
Petra Kvitová will lead the Czech Republic in the Fed Cup first round tie against Slovakia in Bratislava on February 5 and 6, Czech captain Petr Pala said on Tuesday. Kvitová, the world number 28, will team up with Lucie Šafárová, Barbora Záhlavová-Strýcová and Květa Peschke, number five in the WTA doubles ranking. The Czechs were thrashed 0-5 by Italy in the Fed Cup semifinals last year
The coming days are expected to be partly cloudy with scattered snow showers and day temperatures hovering at between zero and minus 4 degrees Celsius.