This Thursday, cyclists in Prague will have a unique opportunity to take a ride through the Blanka tunnel, before it gets filled with cars. The organizers of the annual Velká Jarní Cyklojízda or Critical Mass Bike Ride, the NGO Automat, expect thousands of people to turn up for the event. Vratislav Filler is in charge of the project:
The trial run of Prague’s Blanka tunnel could be launched on September 15, according to the spokesman for ČKD Praha DIZ, company which supplied the cables destroyed during flooding last year. The date has been agreed by representatives of Prague City Hall and the construction company. The 37-billion crown tunnel was due to open after numerous delays in April. However, the opening had to be postponed again due to the faulty cables. It was originally estimated that their replacement might take several months and cost an additional one billion crowns, but now it seems their replacement will be less extensive.
Two of President Miloš Zeman’s closest associates at his Prague Castle office are in line for ambassadorial posts, Hospodářské noviny reported on Wednesday. Mr. Zeman’s head of protocol, Jindřich Forejt, looks set to receive a long-mooted appointment as Czech ambassador to the Vatican, the newspaper said. However, the move is not expected to occur until late 2017, shortly before the president’s term ends. His foreign policy advisor, Hynek Kmoníček, is expected to become the country’s ambassador to Washington in around a year’s time. Hospodářské noviny said the planned departure of two key members of Mr. Zeman’s staff suggested he may not seek a second term.
A new section of Prague metro’s A-line opened to the public on Monday with champagne, a buffet and a concert by the Tap Tap Orchestra. The four new stations –Bořislavka, Nádraží Veleslavín, Petřiny and Motol – have extended the A-line (the oldest line of the metro) from Dejvice to Motol, the site of the biggest hospital in Prague. The new stretch, which cost approximately 20 billion crowns, will also service passengers heading for Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport.
Lori Wyant Selby and Dean Selby are a US married couple who run two popular spots in Prague: burger restaurant The Tavern; and U Kurelů, an old-school pub they have refashioned with great success. Prior to opening their own places, Dean and Lori made a splash with their mobile Lokal burger business, which was involved in the early days of the city’s farmers’ markets.
A shiny new Metro station will from Monday serve travellers using Prague’s Václav Havel Airport. However, the Nádraží Veleslavín station has not been fitted with escalators leading to street level. To get around the problem, porters will be employed to help people with heavy luggage in what is said to be a unique service in Europe.
Members of TOP 09’s Prague branch have called on ANO representative and Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová to resign. Its politicians charge that the mayor broke the law and hurt the interests of the city by opting for a new legal team to represent Prague in a legal dispute over the rental of Škodova Palace, owned by Copa Retail. TOP 09 leaders allege the mayor hired lawyers at the recommendation of the other party and went behind the backs of other city councilors. The mayor has denied the allegations saying the law firm in question was chosen according to rules on public tenders. The three-party coalition as a result scheduled talks to discuss the situation on Monday afternoon.
The first part of an American convoy travelling across the Czech Republic headed for army barracks in an outer Prague district experienced delays on the road on Monday, travelling from Liberec, the Czech Army reported. An unrelated road accident slowed traffic, leading the convoy to transfer to an alternate route. Three columns of US forces are travelling across the Czech Republic from the Baltic states after taking part in the operation Atlantic Resolve. The aim was to highlight NATO and the United States’ dedication to stability in Europe in the face of Russian intervention in Ukraine. The convoy of some 120 vehicles and 500 personnel will regroup in Prague before later continuing the journey to Plzeň and to the army’s home base in neighbouring Germany.
Some of the country’s most popular castles and chateaux opened their doors to the public this weekend, marking the start of the tourist season. Among them are Karlšejn, Křivoklát and Konopište, which annually attract over half a million visitors. Prague Castle also opened its doors to visitors this weekend. The country’s other historical attractions are due to open the season on April 1st or the long Easter weekend with price cuts and special events for visitors.
Prague councillors on Thursday passed a proposal for the division of 240 million crowns in culture funds, awarding 57.5 million to one-year projects and the rest for four-year projects beginning in 2016. The city’s grant commission evaluated almost 650 different projects. Prague’s Archa Theatre and the arts space Meet Factory received the most in funding; some venues including Divadlo Komedie or festivals such as Febiofest were turned down.
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