• 06/24/2022

    The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic has risen for the third week in a row and the infection rate is accelerating. Nearly 3,300 new Covid cases were recorded in the last week, a rise of around 1,100 on the previous week. The seven-day case incidence rate is now at 31 per 100,000, up from 20 per 100,000 a week ago.

    Some 120 people were in hospital with the coronavirus on Thursday, compared to 112 a week earlier.

    The head of the Institute for Health Information and Statistics said the rise was due to the BA.5 variant of omicron, which spreads relatively quickly.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/24/2022

    Police in the Czech Republic are investigating participation by Czech volunteers in fighting in Ukraine, iRozhlas.cz reported on Friday. Investigators are looking into at least 10 cases of Czech citizens who have joined Ukraine’s army in its defence against Russia's invasion without the required permission from the Czech president.

    The head of state granted such permission to around 100 Czechs in May, iRozhlas.cz said. However, scores of other applications have been turned down.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    The Czech prime minister, Petr Fiala, says the mainly state-owned energy company ČEZ could be restructured within two years. Speaking in Brussels on Thursday, he said it was important for the Czech Republic to have a decisive influence with regard to critical and energy infrastructure.

    Mr. Fiala said the restructuring could result in the state running some critical infrastructure through ČEZ. He said this was a matter for debate and that minority shareholders would need to be won over.

    He said the aim of the move was to ensure the country coped better with matters which it was now facing. The Czech Republic is in a relatively very poor situation compared to other states when it comes to energy security, Mr. Fiala said.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    Speaking after a meeting in Brussels with the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, the Czech prime minister, Petr Fiala, said that the Czech Republic had essentially exhausted the supply of weapons that it could donate to Ukraine.

    In Brussels Mr. Fiala is also due to take part in a summit focused on Ukraine’s bid to become a member of the European Union. He told reporters that he expected EU leaders to back Kyiv’s efforts to join the EU as an expression of solidarity with Ukraine.

    Mr. Fiala also said that it was important that EU leaders not only approve the candidate status of Ukraine and Moldova – they should also make progress in negotiations with the Western Balkans, he said.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    Forecasters have warned that there could be strong or even very strong storms in the western half of the Czech Republic on Friday afternoon and evening. The highest rainfall is expected in Central Bohemia, Prague, parts of the Plzen Region, the South Bohemia Region, Vysočina and parts of Northeast Bohemia. Heavy rain may cause rivers to swell in the south of the country, the meteorologists said.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    The European Court of Human Rights says that the disciplinary senate of the Czech Supreme Administrative Court is not sufficiently independent and impartial. The body is responsible for conducting disciplinary proceedings against judges, prosecutors and bailiffs. The court in Strasbourg said the situation meant the Czech Republic was violating the right to a fair trial and called for the situation to be rectified.

    The ruling follows a complaint from a Czech bailiff who argued that the court body’s disciplinary proceedings did not correspond to a proper trial and did not allow for appeals. The European Court of Human Rights awarded him EUR 4,000 in damages.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    A Czech government decree barring the issuing of visas and residence permits to Russians and Belarusians has been extended until the end of March next year. The cabinet approved a Ministry of Foreign Affairs proposal to that effect on Wednesday evening. The government began rejecting visa applications for Russians after their country launched a war on Ukraine in February. It extended the ban to citizens of Belarus later. Exceptions can be made in humanitarian cases.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    It should be mainly clear in the Czech Republic on Friday, with an average high temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. Daytime highs in the 30s Celsius are expected throughout next week.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    The 74th edition of the Strážnice international folklore festival got underway in the South Moravian town on Thursday. It is the first time the event has been held in full since before the Covid-19 pandemic. Tens of thousands are expected to attend the event, which runs until Sunday.

    This year’s programme includes focuses on the traditions of the Sorbs and the folklore of Moravia’s Haná region.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 06/23/2022

    Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has said, ahead of his trip to Brussels for an EU summit, that he expects the EU to agree on Ukraine's candidacy bid as an expression of solidarity, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday. Mr. Fiala will also talk with Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels about further military assistance to Ukraine, defence policy, and further NATO enlargement, with Czechia supporting the accession of Finland and Sweden to the alliance.

    Mr. Fiala declared it important that EU leaders not only approve the candidate status of Ukraine and Moldova, but also that they make progress in negotiations with the Western Balkans. Czechia has long supported the accession of these countries to the EU, but the matter still divides the union. Before the summit, leaders of EU member countries will meet with the leaders of the six Balkan countries seeking to join, but diplomats say they are unlikely to make any major progress because of Bulgaria's veto over opening accession talks with North Macedonia.

    Meanwhile, Ukraine and Moldova's bid for candidacy status is expected to be accepted. However, Mr. Fiala stressed that the subsequent accession process will not be quick or easy, and that no one can say now how long it will take the two countries to meet the conditions for admission. The leaders of Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia and Kosovo are frustrated that the EU is rapidly granting candidate status to post-Soviet countries, while their progress on the road to the union is stagnating.

    Author: Anna Fodor

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