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V4 goes high-speed, Michael Caine to advise Wenceslas IV, Slovaks long for a quick dip… What’s new?

Didn’t have time to read the news lately? Kafkadesk’s got you covered: here’s our recap of what’s been going on during these last few days.

Visegrad Four: Ministers ponder over high-speed train project

The four Central European states and members of the Visegrad Group – Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic – have agreed to examine the possibility of building a high-speed line between their countries, report local media. According to the project, the train would depart from Budapest and travel all the way to Bratislava, Brno and Warsaw at a speed of 250 km per hour.

The Transport Ministers of the V4 have launched a feasibility study, expected to be completed next fall, announced Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto from Poland, where he attended the Krynica Forum, known as the “Eastern European Davos”. M. Szijjarto also said that the Hungarian government would be willing to set aside 1.5 billion forints (approximately 5 million euros) for the project.

Czech Republic: British superstar Michael Caine cast as top-advisor to Wenceslas IV

Iconic British actor Michael Caine, 85, is said to have been chosen to star in the upcoming biopic dedicated to legendary Czech warlord Jan Žižka, “Medieval“. He will impersonate Lord Boresh, the trusted advisor of Wenceslas IV, king of Bohemia and king of the Romans.

The movie, directed and written by Petr Jakl, is set to become the most expensive Czech film ever made, with an estimated budget of at least 275 million Czech crowns (13 million dollars). The film should be released next year. Michael Caine will play opposite American actor Ben Foster, cast for the role of the 14th century Hussite general and military strategist.

With 170 credited movies, Michael Caine is one of the most prolific and versatile actors of the last decades. While Zulu (1964) brought him to international attention, his roles in The Ipcress File (1965) and Alfie (1966) are what truly made him a star of the first magnitude. His other most memorable performances include Battle of Britain (1969), Get Carter (1971), Sleuth (1972), John Huston’s The Man who Would be King (1975), and Woodie Allen’s Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) – for which he won his first Oscar. More recently, he’s better known for impersonating Batman’s faithful butler and fixer, Alfred, in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight movies.

For all those of you interested in his remarkable career and achievements, we highly recommend to read his auto-biography “What’s It All About?“.

Slovakia: Longing for the seaside

According to a new survey conducted by Bratislava-based Go4insight during the summer, two thirds of Slovaks consider that relaxing by the water is the main reason for them to go on a holiday. Living in a landlocked country does have its disadvantages. If it’s any consolation, they’re not the only ones to long for the sea.

Only 20% of respondents claim that they wish to discover new places, 14% are looking for a place to have a rest, 13% wish to visit their friends and families… and only 3% want to engage actively in sport activities.

This year, more than half of Slovakia‘s population didn’t go on summer holidays, mainly due to financial reasons or health issues. On the other hand, approximately three-quarters of those who left decided to spend their time abroad. This year’s most popular destinations include Croatia (30%), Italy, the Czech Republic and Greece.

 

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