• 08/12/2022

    Saturday will be overcast with a chance of rain and day temperatures of up to 23 degrees Celsius.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 08/12/2022

    After a 20-day-battle, the fire that broke out in Bohemian Switzerland on July 24 has been declared fully extinguished, and the last remaining section was handed back to the national park administration at 3 pm on Friday, the Czech News Agency reports. Now, according to a statement by the firefighters, there are no visible fires left anywhere in the area of the park.

    Head of the fire service Vladimír Vlček told journalists that 72 volunteer firefighters will stay on site to check for hidden outbreaks that may still appear later on. Six units of professional firefighters will remain in Mezní Louka until the end of August.

    Evacuated residents of the villages of Hřensko, Mezná and Mezní Louka will be able to return from Saturday morning. The Environment Ministry has extended the restrictions on entry to Bohemian Switzerland, which prevent access to selected areas and mean the park will remain completely closed at night between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am, from Saturday until August 31.

    The forest fire was the largest the Czech Republic has ever seen.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 08/12/2022

    The French Court for the Investigation of Serious Criminal Activities has opened a preliminary investigation into suspicions of money laundering and tax evasion in connection with the purchase of real estate in France by former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Friday. The court is investigating the circumstances under which Mr Babiš acquired two properties, including a lavish villa with extensive land in Mougins in southern France. The properties cost 14 million euros. According to the newspaper, Babiš made the purchases in September 2009 through a chain of offshore companies.

    The French media started looking into Babiš's assets last autumn after the leak of the so-called Pandora Papers, confidential documents that revealed that many heads of state and government were hiding their assets behind offshore companies in tax havens. According to Le Monde, the Pandora Papers were the primary reason that Mr Babiš was not successful in last year's parliamentary elections and lost his position as prime minister.

    In a statement to the Czech New Agency on Friday, Mr Babiš repeated his earlier claim that all real estate purchases that he made in France were executed in accordance with the law.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 08/12/2022

    The average interest rate for new mortgages granted in July rose to 5.4 percent from five percent in June, according to statistics from the Czech Banking Association's Hypomonitor, which collates data from all banks and building societies providing mortgages on the Czech market. The last time the interest rate was that high was mid-2010.

    Banks and building societies provided CZK 11.9 billion worth of mortgage loans in July, which is a decrease of more than a third from June. The number of newly granted mortgages also decreased by a third.

    Financial analyst Michal Skořepa told the Czech News Agency that if there is no further escalation of the problems with gas and food supplies, then inflation and national bank interest rates should be close to their peak at the moment, which means that interest rates on new mortgages should also see a slight decline in the coming months.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 08/12/2022

    The payment for delivery of Russian oil to Czechia via the Druzhba pipeline, which passes through Ukraine, has now arrived in the recipient's bank account, the Czech News Agency reports, citing the Russian oil pipeline operator Transneft and Reuters news agency. Deliveries via the pipeline were halted by Ukraine on August 4, because the transit payment from Russia for that month had not been received, although it had been sent. Sanctions against Russia meant that the payment could not be processed, but now it has been unblocked by Dutch bank ING. Ukraine has now confirmed that it has received the money, so oil deliveries to Czechia could resume as early as Friday evening.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 08/12/2022

    The Uherské Hradiště based team FC Slovácko has lost its chance to compete in 2022/2023 Europa League after drawing their home second-leg game with Fenerbahce Istanbul 1:1 in the third round of the qualifiers. The team therefore lost 1:4 on aggregate, having been defeated in the previous game in Turkey 0:3. Fenerbahce went into the lead in the 56th minute after a goal from Serdar Dursun, but Ondřej Šašinka equalised two minutes later.

    Slovácko will now face AIK Stockholm in the play-offs for the group stage of the lesser ranked Europa Conference League.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 08/12/2022

    The latest statistics from the Ministry of Health suggest that the summer wave of Covid-19 infections is receding. Infection rates have been falling in terms of weekly comparison since July 28.

    Whereas there were 12,693 cases detected over the past seven days, during the previous seven day period there were more than 15,000. Deaths were also down during the same period, from 94 to 58. A total of 1,049 coronavirus patients required hospitalisation on Thursday, nearly 20 percent less than on the same day last week.

    However, testing rates fell as well. There were just below 50,000 PCR and antigen tests taken in testing facilities across the country over these past seven days, 7.600 less than during the previous seven day period.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 08/11/2022

    The rapid rise in food prices is not being artificially boosted by the food industry, the President of the Czech Federation of the Food and Drink Industries Dana Večeřová has told news site iDnes.cz. She said that one in twenty bakers and other food related businesses have been forced to quit as prices for some commodities have risen by hundreds of percentage points.

    Ms Večeřová said that she was unhappy with how the government was handling the situation, saying that it is “pretending as if nothing is happening”. Using the example of bread, she added that the prices for some foodstuffs are not actually being increased as much as their production cost has grown, because it would not be possible to sell them otherwise.

    Food production is being affected by the rising energy and fuel prices, which in turn affect transport and storage. Meanwhile, inflation also means businesses have to spend more on employee wages, the news site writes.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 08/11/2022

    Friday will see temperatures range around 25 degrees Celsius with overcast skies and rainfall expected above Eastern Bohemia.

  • 08/11/2022

    Oil deliveries to Czechia via the Druzhba pipeline could be resumed either on Friday or on Saturday, the Chairman of the Board of Mero Jaroslav Pantůček has told Czech Television. Mero is the company that owns and operates the Druzhba and IKL pipelines on Czech territory.

    Transit from the pipeline was halted by Ukraine on August 4, because it had not received the transit payment from Russia for that month. Although Russia had sent the money in July, the payment could not be processed due to sanctions, the Czech News Agency reports.

    Oil deliveries via the pipeline have already been restored to Hungary and Slovakia, after locally responsible companies MOL and Slovnaft sent the transit payment in order to ensure the commodity would continue moving in.

    Mr Pantůček, said that it is necessary to obtain state permission for transit fees to be exempted from EU sanctions, in order to be able to pay for them and resolve the situation. The permit is issued by the Financial Analytical Office of the Czech Ministry of Finance.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe

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