• 09/28/2021

    It should be mainly overcast in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with an average high temperature of 17 degrees Celsius. Similar weather is expected over the following days.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/28/2021

    The European Commission today sent the Czech Republic its first payment from a special fund aimed at helping the continent’s economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

    More than CZK 23.2 billion is flowing from Brussels to Prague, the EU institution said on its website.

    The Czech Republic will receive a total of CZK 180 billion in the coming years. One condition of this is that the Czech authorities iron out shortcomings relating to senior politicians’ conflicts of interest.

    The country is committed to investing 41 percent of the money in climate-friendly projects and 23 percetn in digitalisation.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/28/2021

    Hungary’s Viktor Orban is set to make a one-day visit to the Czech Republic on Wednesday. He will meet his Czech counterpart, Andrej Babiš, in Ústí nad Labem in North Bohemia, the constituency in which the ANO party leader is standing in next month’s general elections. Mr. Orban will also visit the Czech president, Miloš Zeman.

    The two prime ministers, who met in Budapest last week, share similar outlooks on several issues, including vocal opposition to illegal migration.

  • 09/28/2021

    Czechs are on Tuesday marking Statehood Day, which falls on the Day of St. Wenceslas, the nation’s patron saint. Among the events taking place is the ceremonial opening after extensive renovations of the St. Wenceslas Basilica in Stará Boleslav, the town where St. Wenceslas was murdered in 935.

    An ecumenical service is being held at the Wallenstein Palace in Prague while a guided tour of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul is being offered at Budeč in Central Bohemia; legend has it that St. Wenceslas was taught Latin.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/28/2021

    Some 672 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the Czech Republic on Monday, the highest figure seen since May 24 and around 200 more than on Monday last week.

    The number of people hospitalised with the coronavirus now stands at 206, with 36 of those patients in a critical condition.

    The reproduction number has increased, from 1.06 to 1.12.

    The Prague and Moravia-Silesia regions currently have the highest per capita infection rate.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/28/2021

    Prague Zoo is celebrating the 90th anniversary of its official opening on Tuesday. The zoological gardens, in the city’s Troja district, first welcomed visitors on 28 September 1931. Teacher and ornithologist Jiří Janda was the main driver of efforts to create a facility of this kind and he became its first director.

    The zoo was originally intended for Prague’s Štvanice island, before landowner Alois Svoboda donated a site at Troja to the city, on the proviso that it be built there.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/28/2021

    President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš discussed inflation and the price of emissions permits at a regular meeting at the former’s Lány residence near Prague on Monday evening, the latter said.

    Mr. Babiš told reporters after the meeting that he was in favour of a cap on the cost of emissions permits, saying he would push for this to be discussed by the EU.

    The PM reiterated that he was not in favour of the Czech National Bank raising interest rates in order to reduce inflation.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/28/2021

    Talks between the Czech Republic and Poland about the Turow mine will continue on Wednesday. Participants said after a meeting on Monday that the situation surrounding the mine would again be discussed by the environment ministers of both countries as well as teams of experts.

    The Czechs say the lignite mine, which is on the Polish side of the two states’ joint border, is contaminating water in the Czech Republic, while the Poles say they are reliant on it for power.

    Warsaw rejected an EU order to shut the mine and as a consequence is being fined EUR 500,000 a day.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 09/27/2021

    The Czech government on Monday approved the draft state budget for 2022, despite opposition from the junior Social Democratic Party. The draft budget envisages a deficit of 376 billion crowns, with revenues projected at 1 543.3 billion crowns and expenditures at 1 919.9 billion crowns.

    The Social Democrats voted against because of a disagreement over the proposed increase in the salaries of civil servants. The budget envisages an increase of 1,400 crowns, per month which the Social Democrats say will barely cover inflation. The party had pushed for an increase of 3,000 crowns a month.

    The government is bound to submit the draft budget to Parliament by September 30. However, the Chamber of Deputies will not have time to approve it before the general elections scheduled for October 8-9.

  • 09/27/2021

    The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize for 2021 has gone to the jailed Belorussian opposition activist Maria Kalesnikava. Kalesnikava as is described as one of the three female symbols of the Belarusian opposition and its people’s struggle for civil and political liberties and fundamental rights.”

    Kalesnikava has been in detention in Minsk since September 2020, charged with conspiracy to seize power. The Vaclav Havel Human Rights Prize is awarded every year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Vaclav Havel Library and the Charter 77 Foundation to honor outstanding civil society work in defense of human rights.

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