May 31, 2022
Security Regular siren tests will restart across Czechia
Regular siren testing will begin on Wednesday, June 1. The siren will sound at noon for 140 seconds, preceded by an announcement in Czech explaining that this is only a test. This year, siren tests were canceled from March to May, mainly to avoid panic among Ukrainian refugees, according to the Czech fire and rescue service. In the past, regular siren tests have been canceled during the floods of 2009 and 2013, in 2010 during the meeting of the American and Russian presidents in Prague, or four times in 2020 so as not to create panic during the confinement of Covid.
International relationships Russian ambassador summoned for Czech real estate
Deputy Foreign Minister Martin Dvořák summoned Russian Ambassador to Prague Alexander Zmeyevsky this morning due to doubts about the use of Russian real estate in the Czech Republic, the Foreign Ministry announced on its website . Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said Russia is not respecting the Vienna Convention and local rules and laws. Lipavský recently formed a task force to determine whether the real estate used by Russia in the Czech Republic is still used for diplomatic activities. The ministry currently registers about 50 such properties.
Events Sting arrives at the O2 Arena
Sting will perform at the O2 Arena in Prague on October 28 as part of his My Songs Tour, concert promoter Live Nation has announced. His son, singer Joe Sumner, will appear as a guest. The concert will feature songs from his days with the police as well as solo material. Tickets go on sale June 3. Sting appears relatively often in the Czech Republic. In 2017 he performed at the Metronome Festival in Výstaviště in Prague’s Holešovice, and a year later he and Jamaican rapper Shaggy packed Prague Forum Karlín. He is also set to finally perform a long-delayed concert in the garden of Slavkov Castle on July 31, 2022.
Phone(s) ČTÚ tries once again to regulate the market
The Czech Telecommunications Office (ČTÚ) has prepared a new proposal for regulating the wholesale mobile market. It wants to be able to directly regulate the prices of wholesale services for the three network operators T-Mobile, O2 and Vodafone. The proposal takes into account the comments of the European Commission. The public can now comment on the new proposal. The ČTÚ claims that retail prices for mobile services, especially data, are significantly higher in the Czech Republic than the European average and that the wholesale prices that the three companies offer to other operators are even higher than the prices of retail, making it impossible for virtual operators to offer competitive rates.
Economy Prague spent the most on education and transport last year
Prague ended last year with a budget surplus of around 15.99 billion Czech crowns, more year-on-year. Revenues reached approximately CZK 105.64 billion and expenditures CZK 89.65 billion. The city spent more than CZK 14.7 billion on investments, which is also higher year on year. Most of the revenue came from taxes, which amounted to CZK 70.72 billion, about CZK 13.5 billion more than planned in the approved budget. Prague received the most value added tax money. The second highest amount was money from the state budget, amounting to almost 28 billion Czech crowns. The highest expenditures were on education, at CZK 26.62 billion, and transport, at CZK 22.5 billion.
Finance PPF announces cancellation of bank merger
The merger process of Moneta Money Bank and Air Bank Group has come to an end due to the negative development of the economy. PPF and Moneta Money Bank announced the completion of the merger in a statement. PPF spokesman Leoš Rousek said that the conditions precedent to the preparation of the transaction have not been met. The proposed merger of PPF’s banking division, which includes Air Bank, Czech and Slovak Home Credit, and Benxy (Zonky), with Moneta Money Bank was approved by Moneta shareholders in December 2021. The purchase price of ‘Air Bank was set at 25.9 billion CZK. acquisition value.
Culture Attendance halved in first Covid year
Attendance at cultural events in the Czech Republic has fallen by almost 55% to some 45 million people in the Czech Republic in 2020, the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). The fall in the number of visitors mainly affected historical monuments, libraries, cinemas, theatres, exhibitions, concerts and festivals. Minus grants, the year ended with a deficit of CZK 6.6 billion in 2020, which was 2.2 billion more than in 2019. However, the sum was compensated by operational grants and contributions from sponsors of almost CZK 27 billion in total.
Defense Some 600 soldiers will take part in the Ample Strike war games in Czechia
About 500 Czech soldiers and 100 foreign soldiers will take part in international Ample Strike air training in the Czech Republic this year, the military said on its website. The ninth training will take place between August 29 and September 16. The main objective of the exercise is to harmonize the activities of dispatching air traffic controllers with aircraft crews and ground commanders. The training will be attended by troops from Estonia, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States. It will take place at the airports of Náměšť nad Oslavou in South Moravia, Čáslav in Central Bohemia and Kbely near Prague, and at the Boletice training grounds. and Libavá and near České Budějovice, South Bohemia. For the first time, the National Air Command Center in Stará Boleslav, Central Bohemia, will join the control of air operations.
covid Industry Minister Síkela tests positive for Covid
Industry and Trade Minister Jozef Síkela tested positive for Covid and has been in isolation since Friday, working from his home office, Síkela tweeted. He is among many Czech lawmakers who have contracted the new coronavirus, including President Miloš Zeman and members of previous and current governments. Outside the current cabinet, Prime Minister Petr Fiala as well as Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura, Culture Minister Martin Baxa and Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský had Covid. Agriculture Minister Zdeněk Nekula was infected before his appointment, which had to be postponed as a result.
May 30, 2022
Politics Fiala criticizes EU approach to sanctions
The debate on sanctions against Russia and new financial or military aid to Ukraine awaits European Union leaders, including Prime Minister Petr Fiala in Brussels. On the opening day of the extraordinary two-day summit, they are also expected to discuss replacing energy imported from Russia, while avoiding further price hikes or delays in EU climate targets. Fiala blamed the EU for not taking into account some countries’ heavy reliance on supplies from Russia in the sixth package before leaving for Brussels.
Vrbětice New developments emerge in the Vrbětice case
New facts have emerged in the case of the explosions of ammunition depots in Vrbětice, which, according to the police, were the origin of the Russian secret service GRU. Criminalists suspect Nikolai Shaposhnikov, a Russian businessman and former soldier with a Czech passport, and his wife Elena of spying, sources close to the investigation confirmed to Radiožurnál and Respekt.
Shaposhnikov and his wife are suspected of writing emails about sensitive weapons deals with Russian GRU Major General Andrei V. Averyanov, whose unit allegedly planned and executed the 2014 explosions at Vrbětice. Additionally, the Shaposhnikovs met Averjan in Portugal shortly before the explosion.
refugees Another tent city for refugees settles in Prague
On Monday, Prague firefighters began construction of a tent village for Ukrainian refugees at the site of the Czech Post in Malešice. 150 people will find accommodation there, in particular those who now live at the Central Station. The tent camp will also have a meal tent and showers, said Martin Kavka, spokesman for the fire brigade, and Matyáš Vitík, spokesman for the Czech Post. Firefighters began construction at 8 a.m. and by noon eight tents were already standing at the site.
demonstration Activists condemn abusive treatment of animals at Czech slaughterhouse
Protesters arrived today at the Hrabětice slaughterhouse in the Znojmo region to express their disagreement with the cruel behavior of local employees towards animals. Czech activist group Zvířata nejíme (We don’t eat animals) recently released footage of the brutal treatment of cows or pigs, showing employees kicking, beating, pulling tails or ears. animals and cursing animals. Slow-moving or injured animals are pushed by electric propulsion or pulled by a winch while lying down. The video contains sensitive content that some people may find disturbing.
art Virtual Museum of Disappearing Art opens to support Ukrainian heritage
A virtual museum of endangered art with an exhibition of works by Ukrainian artists has been launched by communication agency VCCP Prague to highlight the need to protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage in the context of the current Russian military aggression, organizers said. Through the web, which presents the works of artists such as Roman Selskiy and Mykola Hlushchenko, visitors can also contribute financially to the reconstruction of museums in Ukraine.
The exhibited drawings and paintings are mainly those with motifs of Ukrainian urban and rural landscapes. The originals are in the Borys Voznytskiy National Gallery in Lviv. On the new website, visitors can open the images in modified variations showing how war has changed people, cities and nature.
the story New Stolpersteine installed in remembrance of the Jews in Bohumín
Twelve Stolpersteine, or stumbling blocks, were erected on the sidewalks of Bohumín today in remembrance of the tragic fate of local Jews during World War II, each with a brass plaque with the name of the victim and the date of birth and death. The stones commemorate the family of Arnošt Smetana, almost 93 years old, and three other befriended families. While Smetana escaped death, his relatives fell victim to the Nazi regime.
A strong Jewish community lived in Bohumín in the past, and there is a Jewish cemetery with tombstones. Now the city also commemorates its Jewish inhabitants through Stolpersteine, joining the project launched in Germany in the 1990s and which the first cities of Czechia joined in 2008.