• 12/01/2022

    Up to 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers will be able to train in Czechia from next year, after the country’s Senate on Thursday approved legislation to that effect already passed by MPs. The upper house also gave its backing to the deployment of Czech soldiers to train Ukrainian soldiers in other European Union states.

    Czechia has been a major supporter of Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia earlier this year.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 12/01/2022

    Ukrainian refugees in Czechia looks set to be allowed to extend their temporary protection visas until the end of March 2024, Czech Television reported. A bill to that effect has been approved by the government and will now go before the lower house of Parliament, the minister of the interior, Vít Rakušan, said on Wednesday evening. At present temporary protection visas are valid until the end of March next year. However, Czech officials say the current situation in Ukraine does not suggest they will be able to return by that date.

    There are over 350,000 Ukrainian refugees in Czechia at present. More applied for temporary protection but some have since returned to their home country.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    Czech MPs have approved the state budget for next year. The 2023 budget should have a deficit of CZK 295 billion, down from the approved deficit of CZK 375 billion for this year.

    All 96 government members present raised their hands for the proposal during Wednesday’s session, while opposition deputies voted against.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    A volunteer fireman was killed on a call in Nový Bor in North Bohemia on Wednesday. The man, who was 39, was attending to a fire at a log-built house when part of the roof collapsed on him, a police spokesperson said. A search is taking place for a 73-year-old man who lived in the house and is now missing.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    The Czech energy company ČEZ has obtained three tenders for the construction of a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power station, it said on Wednesday.

    As expected, offers have been made by the French company EDF, KHNP from South Korea and Westinghouse from North America. The semi-state ČEZ will now examine the offers before proceeding further.

    The new nuclear unit should be completed by 2036. It should be the biggest investment project in Czech history.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    The Czech prime minister, Petr Fiala, says it was easy to decide to help Ukraine when it was invaded by Russia. Speaking on Wednesday, he said that at a time of multiple crises social reconciliation and helping the needy were more important than the rapid reduction of the state debt.

    He said Czech society had been divided for a long time and that the public sphere was breaking up into various social bubbles, which impacts politics and public sentiment. This was seen during the Covid crisis, he said.

    Mr. Fiala made the comments at a conference in Prague entitled Quo vadis, Czechia/Europe 2022.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    Two of the people whose applications to stand for president were rejected have taken complaints to the Supreme Administrative Court. Businessman Karel Diviš says that the Ministry of the Interior failed to count the number of signatures he submitted correctly and wrongly rejected others. Mr. Diviš was 116 names short of reaching the required 50,000 signatures.

    Another would-be candidate, entrepreneur Karel Janeček, filed a complaint on similar grounds on Wednesday.

    Nine people met the criteria to run for head of state, with seven basing their applications on the support of legislators.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    It should be mainly overcast in Czechia on Thursday, with an average high temperature of 1 degree Celsius. More cloudy weather is expected over the following week.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    A large digital clock highlighting impending climate disaster has been installed by a metronome on Prague’s Letná Plain. The eight-metre high numerals of the Climate Clock show how much time remains to avert irreversible change to the Earth’s climate.

    The clock was installed by the organisers of the recent Festival of Freedom, marking the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, and will remain in place until December 12. The place where it stands was home to a large statute of Stalin during the communist era.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 11/30/2022

    The ruling parties used their majority in the lower house of Parliament to override the president’s veto of an amendment to the civil service law which will open the way to an unlimited number of politically appointed deputy ministers. MPs for the ruling parties defended the bill, arguing that ministers should have the right to appoint a team that would implement a political program for which they are ultimately accountable. President Zeman and the opposition parties claim the amendment goes against long-term efforts to de-politicize the civil service.

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