Daily news summary
Dozens of Czech waterways at risk of flooding
Water levels at several dozen points across the Czech Republic have risen to flood level or near to it after two weeks above-average rainfall, meteorologists have warned.
The greatest threats are along the Smědá River in the Liberec region of northern Bohemia and the Bečva River cutting through the town of Přerov, north Moravia, according to the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute.
Heavy rainfall warnings are in place in the north-eastern tip of the Pardubice Region, the North of the Olomouc Region, and the western part of the Moravian-Silesian Region.
Overall, this has been a dry winter and spring. Czech authorities are more concerned in the long term about drought.
Chamber of Commerce president: Business conditions have worsened since last year
Business conditions in the Czech Republic have gotten worse since the last meeting of the Czech Chamber of Commerce in May 2018, the chamber’s president Vladimír Dlouhý told delegates gathered at its annual meeting on Thursday.
He criticised trade unions for raising their demands in areas such as increases in minimum wages. He also slammed the government for accepting those demands and said that left-wing political parties that were unsuccessful in the last parliamentary elections have too much influence on the country’s economic and social policies.
The meeting was attended by over 250 delegates including Czech President Miloš Zeman, ministers and representatives from parliamentary parties. However, Mr. Dlouhý pointed out that the Social Democrats, who are in government, sent no representative.
Krteček to appear on Formula 1 car
The famous Czech cartoon figure Krteček, known in English as Little Mole, is set to appear on Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team race cars driven by pilots Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi. Team director Frédéric Vasseur told journalists at a press conference that the character could help bring a new audience to the sport, particularly hundreds of thousands of children.
Krteček has achieved global popularity since the character was created by cartoonist Zdeněk Miler in 1956. Czech President Miloš Zeman famously took a Little Mole soft toy figure during his visit to China in 2014 and another Little Mole toy also made it to space in 2011, as part of the mission of space shuttle Endeavour.
Football: First League champs Slavia beat Baník 2-0 to take Czech Cup
Football club Slavia Prague took home the Czech Cup on Wednesday evening, beating Baník Ostrava by a score of 2-0. It marks the first double for the red-and-whites, this year’s First League champions, in 77 years.
Slavia midfielders Tomáš Souček and Lukáš Masopust scored in the 37th and 77th minutes – a symbolic time not lost on fans.
Had Baník Ostrava won the competition, the Moravian-Silesian club would have qualified for the preliminary round of next season’s Europa League.
Slavia had won the Czech Cup four times before (in 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2018). Baník have won it only once (in 2005).
Home Credit hoping to raise at least USD 1 billion in Hong Kong stock exchange IPO
Home Credit Group is set to undergo an initial public offering on the Hong Kong stock exchange after the summer. The Czech-based consumer lender has appointed Citigroup, HSBC Holdings and Morgan Stanley to lead the IPO, Reuters reported on Thursday citing three people with direct knowledge of the matter. The sources said that Home Credit is looking to raise at least USD 1 billion, but cautioned that the final figure could change depending on the valuation.
Home Credit Group’s majority shareholder is PPF group, controlled by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner. The company currently operates in 10 countries and has assets amounting of around EUR 23.6 worldwide. China is its largest country of operation.
New Škoda Auto plant to be set up in Turkey or Bulgaria
A new production factory for multiple Škoda car models, as well as other Volkswagen vehicles, will be created in either Turkey or Bulgaria, the weekly magazine Škodovácký odborář reports. Škoda trade union boss Jaroslav Povšík told the outlet that Turkey is seen as having solid infrastructure, but Bulgaria is another option due to it being a more politically stable location and an EU member.
The trade unions have said they will demand an answer from the company leadership about whether the project will impact employment in the Czech Republic and how it will benefit the company’s business plan.
Archaeologists find pre-historic burial ground in Bohemia
Archaeologists have announced the discovery of a burial site that houses tombs from the Neolithic era all the way to the early Iron Age period near the town of Slaný in Central Bohemia. Items include pre-historic tombs, ceramics, stone arrowheads, copper daggers and dozens of skeletons.
The discoveries were made during one of the largest archaeological excavations conducted in Bohemia, which started in August 2018 and ended in May 2019. The dig took place ahead of the construction of a highway bypass near Slaný.
Temperatures are set to rise to 20 degrees Celsius on Friday with rain expected to stop, but return across most of the country on Saturday. Storms are likely to take place during the weekend in parts of Moravia and the Vysočina Region.