According to the daily Právo, Czechs most often take loans to buy home appliances, renovate their apartment, pay off earlier debts, or buy a car. But every spring and summer, there is a rise in a number of those willing to take loans to pay for upcoming vacations, by the sea, and sometimes more exotic locations. Experts warn taking loans for vacations is often not a good idea: some two percent of Czechs who do, often find themselves in financial difficulties afterwards, having trouble paying off their debts.
Two Czech children are reported to have been seriously injured in a boat collision off the island of Hvar in Croatia, local media have reported. The two girls, both under the age of ten, are reported to have been airlifted to a hospital in Split in serious condition. The slobodnadalmacia.hr news site says one of them underwent brain surgery and both remain in intensive care.
Gibson’s star guest status at Karlovy Vary has been attacked by Jewish groups in the Czech Republic who highlighted past comments deemed to be anti-Semitic. In an interview at the festival’s launch, Gibson said he had tried to deal with those complaints and dismissed them as ‘just noise.’ The head of the Jewish Community, Petr Papoušek, in a letter to the festival’s organising committee accused Gibson of propagating xenophobic and anti-Jewish sentiments and regretted the film festival had invited him as its star guest. Gibson was criticized for his depiction of Jews in the film, The Passion of the Christ, which he directed and was also caught on tape in an anti-Semitic rant in 2006.
The 49th International Film Festival at Karlovy Vary started on Friday night with Oscar winning Oscar winning actor and director Mel Gibson being awarded a Crystal Globe for his lifetime contribution to cinema. Gibson, who admitted it was his first time in the Czech Republic, mixed with crowds of fans and signed autographs before an open air screening of his cult film ‘Mad Max’ from 1979. His last film, Apocalypto, from 2006, will be shown later in the week. He has just finished the filming of Blood Father, in which he stars as a father of an estranged daughter who is being sought by drug dealers.
Czech holidaymakers may face more complications this summer than in previous years, the minister of foreign affairs, Lubomír Zaorálek, said on Thursday. Mr. Zaorálek said some destinations in North Africa popular with Czechs were not entirely safe at present, adding that would-be tourists should pay close attention to the situation in the states in question. As in previous years, temporary Czech consulates will be opened at resorts in Croatia, Bulgaria and Spain.
The population of the Czech Republic grew by around 5,000 in the first three months of this year, according to figures released on Thursday by the Czech Statistics Office. The slight rise follows a falloff of around 3,700 last year, the first decline recorded in a decade. At the end of March the population of the Czech Republic stood at 10,517,400.
The price of last-minute holidays is currently the cheapest in five years, according to the sales portal Invia.cz. For some destinations the price of a week week-long holidays is at around 5,000 crowns, which presents a 70 percent cost cut. The price drop runs counter to expectations and Invia says it is likely to be short-lived since it is fuelled by the need to fill chartered planes to capacity.
Petra Pospěchová’s recently published Regionální Kuchařka, or Regional Cookbook, is full of interesting recipes from around the Czech Republic, from her native Valašsko in the east of the country to the former Sudetenland in the west and all points in between, with each section introducing readers to a dozen or so local specialities. When I met Pospěchová, one of the country’s best-known food writers, I asked her if it had perhaps taken somebody from outside Prague to put together such a book.
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