15:15 Slovak Minister of Health proposes to extend confinement
Slovak Health Minister Vladimír Lengvarský has offered to extend the country’s current two-week lockdown by an additional week, until at least December 16. Any further easing of restrictions would primarily affect the unvaccinated and those who have previously had Covid. Lengvarský said the situation in Slovakia “remains very serious”, arguing that the problem of reducing infection rates does not lie in the current measures themselves, but in the public’s compliance with restrictions. The health minister said “more controls” were called for, suggesting a tougher crackdown on those who break the rules.
14:15 Czech Eurovision Song Contest finalists announced
Czech television announced the seven finalists of the national tour of the Eurovision Song Contest. Voting for the country’s representative at Eurovision will be possible from December 7-15, with Annabelle, Elis Mraz, Jordan Haj x Emma Smetana, Giudi, Skywalker, The Valentines and We Are Domi competing to represent the country. The songs from the competition are being released to digital streaming platforms today, and the live versions of the songs will be released on December 7. The winner of the national tour will be announced on December 16, decided by a jury of experts in tandem with fan votes on the official voting platform of the Eurovision Song Contest. The jury’s verdict will win a 50% share of the total vote, with 25% coming from Czech voters and 25% from overseas voters. The winner will take part in a semi-final in Turin on May 10 or 12, before the final on May 15.
13:40 Record number of Czechs changing energy supplier
The electricity market operator (OTE) recorded a record number of energy supplier changes in November, with statistics showing that 161,721 customers switched electricity suppliers last month. This beats the previous record for changes set in January 2019, when nearly 129,000 people switched providers. Changes in gas supplier were about three times greater than in previous months. The reason for the high number of changes is believed to have been an exodus of customers from so-called “suppliers of last resort” following the bankruptcy of Bohemia Energy in October. Most of the supplier changes were made by individual customers.
13:35 New Minister of Transport sets ambitious highway plans
The candidate for the post of transport minister of the new Czech government, Martin Kupka, said his plans for the post included the construction of around 40 kilometers of new highway per year in the coming years. Civic Democratic politician (ODS) Kupka said his other priorities are the preparation and construction of high-speed railways and their connection to the European rail network. The particular road projects mentioned by the new minister were the D35 and D3 motorways, as well as the Brno-Vienna road link and the Prague ring road. Kupka was addressing reporters after presenting his plans to President Miloš Zeman today.
11:10 Czech Foreign Ministry condemns prison sentence of Aung San Suu Kyi
Outgoing Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek has condemned the verdict of a Myanmar court sentencing former leader Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison for inciting violence and violating anti-coronavirus measures. Kulhánek said the move was another blow to democracy in Myanmar, where a court delivered the first verdicts in a trial of government officials overthrown in a military coup in February. Former President Win Myint was also sentenced to four years in prison. “The lack of a fair trial is proof of a complete disregard for the rule of law. The Czech Republic fully supports Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratically elected representatives,” Kulhánek said. More than 1,300 people have died in Myanmar since the February coup, while an additional 7,750 people are believed to be held captive for political reasons.
MOVIE Hemsworth: the shooting of “Extraction 2” should not have moved to Prague
Australian film star Chris Hemsworth regretted that “Extraction 2” is currently being filmed in the Czech Republic rather than Australia as originally planned. The actor, who is in Prague, said the decision to move filming to the Czech Republic was taken to avoid strict lockdowns in Australia, but an increase in the number of Czech Covid cases has made this decision a bad decision in hindsight.
“This movie was originally supposed to shoot in Sydney, but it was tricky with the blockages and so on, so we moved to Prague. But yeah, Covid cases are pretty prevalent here and so we think now, you know, maybe it was better to stay [in Australia], but it wasn’t my choice, ”Hemsworth said in a TV interview.
Festive fun Mayor of Prague opens ice skating season disguised as St. Nicholas
Today is St. Nicholas’ Day and last night traditional festive celebrations took place in Prague and throughout the Czech Republic. On the eve of St. Nicholas, parties disguised as St. Nicholas (Mikuláš) and his angels and demons visit, distribute candy and (at least according to threats from parents) take naughty children in a bag.
The festive theme was also present at the inauguration of an ice rink at the Ovocný trh in Prague. The guest of honor, the mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib, opened the ice skating rink disguised as Saint Nicholas, accompanied by a faithful angel, as well as children disguised as angels and devils.
criminality Two died after tragic shooting in Plze
A man was shot and killed in Radějovice na Plzeňku early last night, and the perpetrator was later found hanged. The tragic incident was said to have been the result of a family dispute, the shooter having fled the scene and having committed suicide in the nearby woods. Gunfire was reported by people nearby and a police helicopter, along with dozens of armed officers, attended the scene.
Rescuers attempted to keep the assailant’s victim alive, but he died of his injuries. A local criminal server reported that the shooter used a rifle, saying the conflict arose as a result of a land dispute between family members.
Transfer of power The new government wants to reduce the budget deficit
Zbyňek Stanjura, candidate for finance minister in the new Czech government, said the new regime aims to reduce the state’s budget deficit by Kroner 80 billion. He hopes to achieve this significant reduction through a major overhaul of state finances recommended by the National Independent Budget Council.
Stanjura said the current Czech administrative system is too bureaucratic and costly, and that significant cuts in state overhead costs can reduce the budget deficit even without increasing revenue by raising taxes. The new government is expected to present its economic plans in more detail upon taking office.
Story Reconstitution of Austerlitz halted by the Covid
The annual reenactment of the famous Battle of Austerlitz, where 18,000 soldiers died and 4,000 others were wounded, has, for the second year in a row, been canceled due to Covid restrictions. The battle is considered one of Napoleon’s greatest military victories and took place in Slavkov, Moravia.
Annual commemorations typically attract thousands of people from around the world to dress in period military attire and re-enact the conflict. This year, however, all invitations were canceled due to new Covid restrictions, which limited all cultural and sporting events to a maximum of 1,000 attendees.