Czech industrial production decreased by 5% year on year and by 1.8% month on month in September.
It is the third month of consecutive y/y decline. The value of new orders decreased by 5.2% y/y but increased by 3.4% m/m, the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO) reported.
Analysts quoted by Czech Television (CT) sounded alarm bells, pointing out that a disruption in supply chains in the car industry caused by damaging August floods in Slovenia quickened the September decline of Czech industry.
“Even though part of the weak figures is due to technical influence, drops in energy production and warmer weather, nothing can change the fact that the drop is registered in most sectors in the industry,” analyst of the Czech Banking Association Jakub Seidler was quoted as saying by CT.
The y/y decrease in industrial production was “most contributed to by electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply, manufacture of machinery and equipment, and by manufacture of other non-metallic mineral products,” commented Radek Matejka of CZSO.
Matejka concluded that “industry across all economic activities is confronted with a decrease in production.”
CZSO also highlighted that the result in the energy sector was influenced by planned shutdowns in power plants and by exceptionally warm weather. “A decreased demand from construction continued to influence the production of building materials and manufacture of plastic products for construction,” the CZSO noted.
Y/y production increased only in the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations, manufacture of beverages, and manufacture of wearing apparel and slightly also in other manufacturing.
Non-domestic new orders decreased by 1.5% y/y, and domestic new orders by 12.2%.
The decrease in the value of new orders “occurred in most of the surveyed economic activities,” Veronika Dolezalova of CZSO commented.
She added that “the biggest decrease was recorded in the manufacture of computer, electronic and optical products, manufacture of basic metals, and also by the manufacture of machinery and equipment.”
New orders increased only in the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations and in the manufacture of wearing apparel, while a slight increase was registered manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers.
Thanks to the largest loan ever taken out by that country from the EIB.
Yesterday, the Czech Republic signed a loan agreement to the tune of CZK 24 billion (equivalent to 992 million euros) with the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the aim of drastically modernizing its railway network. The loan is the largest that the Central European country has ever taken out from that bank.
The use of a loan from the European Investment Bank is the most economical and efficient solution to obtain funds for a strategic investment such as the digitalisation and automation of railway transportation, given the current level of the general government budget deficit,” said Czech Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura, giving the reason for the choice of that type of financing.
Making Czech railway transport fit for the 21st century
The stated horizon for the planned modernization of the Czech railways is 2027 and the funds will be managed through the Railway Administration of the country.
According to EIB, modernizing the railway lines will increase both maximum speeds and capacity on sections of the TEN-T network, which is expected to improve connectivity between EU regions.
The initiative will actually consist of about 40 projects in different parts of the Czech Republic. It forms part of the “Unified Railway Framework” plan for 2023-2027.
For instance, the safety of level crossings on the network will be improved, maintenance vehicles will be retrofitted with the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) equipment, and the company’s cyber-security capacity will be strengthened.
The investment also includes works in railway stations and railway buildings to improve their accessibility for people with reduced mobility and people travelling with children.
The signed loan facility with EIB is the first concrete result of a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in November 2022 with the Czech government. That Memorandum also has a provision for technical know-how assistance from the bank.
The Czech government has approved a plan to buy 24 F-35 fighter jets, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday, as the army seeks to boost its capabilities and work more easily alongside NATO allies.
Fiala said the first aircraft would be ready in 2029 and the rest by 2035.
“It is an effective solution,” Fiala said. “[The jet] is a system that has a longer perspective than other types of aircraft.”
Fiala added that the purchase of the Czech military sends “a message to our allies that we take the defense of our country seriously and that they can rely on us.”
Defence Minister Jana Cernochova said the state will pay 150 billion crowns by 2034, which includes 44 billion for base upgrades in the Czech Republic along with fuel, staff training and taxes.
The chief of the general staff, Lt. Gen. Karel Rehka, said that the new jets would ensure “that in the case of need, we’ll manage to effectively defend ourselves against aggression, together with our allies.”
It will be the biggest defence contract ever signed by Czechia.
In June, the U.S. State Department approved the sale of F-35 jets, munitions and related equipment to the Czech Republic, which is due to replace leased Gripen fighters from Sweden’s Saab AB.
On September 23, the Fall Equinox will take place and Katarze organizers decided to celebrate this date with a full day/night event – one will be the festivity in front of the Gabriel Loci monastery.
After this, the second part of the event will take place in the crypt below the church. It is up to you if you decide to celebrate with us during the daylight, night, or both!
You can explore a course of mundane existence through music and be ready to let go. Escape the everyday routine, reconnect with your senses and enjoy the fall resurrection.
The mind behind this event is Katarze, a name that comes from the Greek word Katharsis, which means purification, cleansing, or clarification. The aim is to share love, inspiration, and respect for music, leading to the purification of emotions through art or the change in feelings to renewal and restoration.
The goal is to confront emotions such as pity and fear, creating an atmosphere and an area where the attendees can forget about their burdens and leave with feeling inspired and rejoiced by creativity and the heightening of all senses.
Sabura [Alula Tunes|Eulentanz|Waagenbau|Hamburg]
Hans Hammer [Bladehouse|Eulentanz|Waagenbau|Hamburg]
NoName Emma [80%Groove|Stockholm]
Katarze productions will like to notify all guests to please respect each other’s spaces and that this event will be held in a historical landmark, treat all the art and buildings with full respect.
Flavors from far and wide, and tastes you’ve never known before. This is also the characteristic of the new bakeries that have sprung up in Prague in recent months. Will you first try goodies from Korea, Italy, or perhaps Denmark?
Owned by expats Peter and Liudmila, Joy Bakery focuses on artisanal, hand-crafted bread and pastry. Their products are made from the locally-sourced ingredients. Here you can find classic bread and baguettes, croissants and cookies, special bread with seeds and cumin, etc.
Liudmila frequently experiments with new products, such as different “cakes of the week” and adds Danish and French influences into her baking. She also plans on adjusting her menu according to each season.
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A new gem in Vinohrady. Owner and head baker Giacomo Candido always admired his grandmother, who baked bread for the whole village and the wider area in a wood-fired oven. And so here, too, they focus on handmade bread and other pastries.
The selection includes ciabatta and focaccia, but also pane di Pompei. Legend has it that the latter began to be baked in 79 AD after the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano. For a sweet treat, try the cannoli, maritozzo, cornetti, or cantuccini.
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After its success in Dejvice, La Forme expanded to a branch in Vinohrady, only to find a third location after a while. It succeeded, and now you can go also to Nusle for a fresh croissant.
You’ll also get sourdough bread, baguettes, huge danishes, baked sandwiches, and lots of other crunchy goodies.
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Bakery60, Manifesto Market
After the success in Dejvice, they opened a second place in Smíchov Manifesto this spring. The Korean-Nepali couple, Mari and Loki, offer Korean specialties such as the fluffy popular milk bread, but also such goodies as cheese corndog, delicious cakes, various kinds of sandwiches, or donuts filled with red bean paste.
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Beer festivals are nothing new in the Czech Republic, but for the third time, a festival dedicated to ‘flying’ breweries will be held in Prague.
The Nomad Beer Festival will take place on September 8 and 9 in the Prague Market in Holešovice.
Mini-breweries have experienced an unprecedented boom in recent years, but starting your own is a huge investment for most connoisseurs. A shorter path to brewing your own beer lies through the so-called flying breweries.
“A ‘nomadic’ or ‘flying’ brewery – refers to a brewery without its own production facilities. They are usually backed by enthusiasts who either do not have enough funds to build their own brewery or, before investing in their own technology, want to know the process of brewing beer better.
Therefore, they depend on the free capacity of classic stone breweries, in which they brew beer either themselves or with the assistance of a local brewer,” explained Jiří Sedláček, director of the Nomad Beer Festival.
“Since 2012, we have been supporting mini-breweries through the Pivo na Náplavce and Pivo v Tržnice festivals. But now is time to give “flying breweries” their own festival. By organizing one for the first time, we would like to show the nomad brewers that they have a crucial role in diversifying the domestic beer market and have a big potential to become classic big-scale breweries in the future,” said Jiří Sedláček.
The festival will start in the Prague Market Square on Friday, September 8 at 2 pm and will last until 10 pm. It will continue on Saturday when its gates will open earlier at 10 am and close again at 10 pm.
The festival and all accompanying performances will be free to enter. However, to taste test the beer, the purchase of our 0.3-litre glass mug is required.
These mugs will be sold in a set with the festival degustation card and pencil for 100 Kč, or 70 Kč with a senior discount. You can use the same mug for both days of the festival.
Nomadic breweries will be the focus of the festival, but various stalls with snacks and beer delicacies will also be there.
On 4 February, the Czech capital announced that the Municipal Library in Prague (MKP) will soon begin the construction of a new multifunctional building in Petřiny.
The new establishment will replace the existing library building in Prague 6, which was built in the 1950s and no longer serves its purpose.
Part of the building, which will be designed by architects from the monom studio and the Zavadil studio, will be a chamber hall for cultural, educational and community events and will hold the necessary equipment for so-called coworking, study or creative meetings.
The library will be freely connected to the garden and there will be a terrace for outdoor seating as well as a kitchenette for preparing snacks.
While the first and second floors will be dedicated to books and such meetings, the ground floor will act as a space where visitors can obtain information regarding services and events.
The building will also feature a multifunctional hall on an underground level, where events such as film screenings and musical performances can be held without disturbing readers.
The preparation of such a centre has dragged on for more than 10 years.
The construction of the multifunctional building will cost approximately CZK 226 million and end by the autumn of 2023.
By Sarah Duchêne—Anglo American University
Let Petr Sís, the Czech illustrator and writer of children’s books, guide you across his universe in the exhibition “Peter Sís: On Flying and Other Dreams” at the Dox Centre for Contemporary Art.
His drawings will put stars in the eyes of both children and adults who visit this exhibition, which is a retrospective of five of his most famous books, divided in separate rooms to transport you into different worlds of his imagination.
Petr Sís is internationally known for his children’s tales, but behind these stories are hidden deeper messages that will resonate in hearts of any age. His stories are also not always born from his imagination, since some reflect his own life’s journey and particularly his childhood, growing up in Prague during the 1960’s. While he is constantly dealing with his complicated past, present, and future in his books, Czechs relate the most to his early life.
The first room in the exhibition at Dox is dedicated to the book In the Conference of the Birds which is inspired by a Persian myth. It tells the story about birds who are looking for their true king, Simorgh, hidden in the mountain of Kaf. After a perilous journey, the birds that reach the mountain learn a profound lesson; their search is related to the meaning of life.
Visitors then continue their journey through the second room with The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. Far from a mythical story, this book reflects the actual childhood of Petr Sís, which was unfortunately disturbed by the Iron Curtain.
As a child, he quickly understood that freedom was only a dream in Czechoslovakia. He started to draw the whole story of his country, with carefree quotes and drawings, but strong feelings. He always felt as if he would never be able to do what he truly wanted because of the Communist regime. Although he was deeply impacted, his father, a filmmaker, and his artist mother allowed him to experience more freedom and even to travel in this complex era.
He emigrated to the USA, and began living New York City in 1982, then he received his American citizenship in 1988. Since The Velvet Revolution, however, he now constantly returns to his native city and first home, Prague.
In the third room, the book The Three Golden Keys retraces the story of Sis’s life as an adult, who comes back to the city of his youth and rediscovers all of his memories in this city that looks almost like a fairy tale.
His inspiration, once again, comes directly from his feelings towards where he grew up. Visitors can feel the strong bond between his adult life and his childhood, which has had a deep impact on all of his stories.
The next room is possibly the most “childlike” one, based on his book, Robinson, which is also a memory of his boyhood. His mother who was an artist, designed for him a costume of Robison Crusoe for a party at school. But his friends, who were all dressed up as pirates and expected that Petr would be as well, made fun of him. He was so disappointed that he left the party, and dreamed about an adventure on an island, where he found a companion. The illustrations in the book are made to make you feel as if you were dreaming, and it works.
The last room on the main floor of the exhibit tells the story about Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the famous creator of The Little Prince. Petr Sís’s book The Pilot and the Little Prince pays tribute to little Antoine, who wants to be a pilot. The illustrations, similar but not identical to The Little Prince, celebrate one of the most loved stories in the world.
Beyond these five rooms, the exhibition includes a series of works that have been hidden for years in Petr’s childhood house in Prague, finally exposed for the first time. This contains Diaries which are collages that bring together pieces of travelling, illustrations and postcards. Petr Sís describes them as “mysterious notions about unreachable destinations from the time before the internet when everything was possible.”
The exhibition “Petr Sís: On Flying and Other Dreams” offers a unique perspective of the magical universe of his children’s books. It is truly an exhibition that will transport you, no matter your age, into another world, full of adventures, freedom, dreams, and even more….
The exhibit closes on 20.01.2020.
For more information, visit the website
The exhibition delivers an overview of the remarkable career of Alberto Giacometti, a peculiar artist who has marked the world of modern art.
By Sarah Duchêne – Anglo American University
From Paris to Prague for the very first time ever, an impressive exhibition of Alberto Giacometti is taking place at the National Gallery Prague until the 1st of December. In collaboration with the Foundation Giacometti, more than 170 works trace the history of the artist including not only his sculptures but also paintings and drawings.
Through this chronological exhibition, viewers will discover his earliest works, and then follow his progress in Paris after his encounter with the Surrealists there. The outstanding number of works also reveals the artist’s polymath and perseverance.
Since his early childhood, Giacometti (born 1901 in Switzerland) was raised in art by his father, Giovanni Giacometti, who was an Impressionist painter. While most children play with toys at this age, Alberto made his first sculpture at the age of 13. He also made many Neo-Impressionist paintings in his youth. In 1922, he moved to the City of Lights to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where his sculptures revealed his new interest in Cubism.
His entry into André Breton’s Surrealist circle was the turning point in his career. After this, Giacometti gained attention for one of his most famous sculptures from this time, Suspended Ball (1930-31). This floating ball on a crescent locked in a cage was described by Salvador Dali as the prototype for “an object with a symbolic function.” This unusual sculpture mixes dream and eroticism, and it is one of the centerpieces of the current exhibit in Prague.
Giacometti’s Surrealist phase ended a few years later. He became more concerned with the question of the human head and the model’s gaze, and less interested in movement. For him, the mystery of the human head became the seat of a human being from his perspective.
For models, he mostly used his younger brother Diego, or close friends only. His fascination with the head also appeared in many drawings and paintings. At this point, his shift from Surrealism seemed to be philosophical, as an Existentialist more focused on the human being. Jean-Paul Sartre even wrote essays about Giacometti’s art and his question of perception.
Besides the head, the size of the sculptures remains a special trait of Giacometti’s art. His early works were sometimes so tiny that they fell apart. One of his most famous tiny sculptures is the figure of Isabelle Delmer, one of his close friends, placed on a pedestal. The fact that they are so tiny reflected the distance he instituted between him and his models.
Giacometti once said, “But wanting to create from memory what I had seen, to my terror the sculptures became smaller and smaller.” His sculptures changed after World War II when he started to create the taller and highly slender figures that he is most famous for today.
Alberto Giacometti was not a typical artist; he lived only for his art. He had an unusual determination, a passion for his sculptures to the point that he almost lived in his studio. It looked like a mess; it was tiny and dark, but he liked it that way. To carefully look over his many sculptures, paintings and drawings is the only way to understand, or maybe not, the career of one the most influential artists of his century.
For more information about the exhibition, see the website for the National Gallery Prague.