Prague gets approval to build unique Cubist bridge over the Vltava

Plus: Czechia seeks out alternative providers of oil, Prague Spring Festival to honor Ukraine, and an iconic tourist attraction goes up in flames.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 06.05.2022 07:34:00 (updated on 06.05.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

14:15 Czech police record a third more homicides this year

From the beginning of the year to the end of April, police officers in the Czech Republic registered 54 murders, 14 more than in the same period last year, said the spokesman of the police presidium, Ondřej Moravčík. Most homicides (19) occurred in April. Police registered 105 homicides throughout the year. Statistics also include attempted murder or preparations for this crime.

13:58 Slavia to close part of stadium for next UEFA game

The football team Slavia Prague will play its next home match in European competitions with its arena being partly closed to the audience due to the behavior of its fans during the UEFA Europa Conference League quarterfinal return match against Feyenoord Rotterdam, the UEFA disciplinary commission has decided.

The UEFA commission also imposed a fine of 15,000 euros on Slavia because the emergency exits of its arena were closed during this match played on April 14. During this match, Slavia fans used fireworks, threw various items on the pitch, and blocked passageways.

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12:15 Reuters: Czechia to get exception from oil embargo

The European Commission (EC) proposed an exception from the embargo on imported Russian oil for Czechia that would be valid until mid-2024, while Slovakia and Hungary would enjoy the exception until the end of 2024, Reuters news agency wrote today, referring to its diplomatic sources. The adjusted proposal for new sanctions against Russia counts on an end to Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.

In an attempt to convince hesitating EU countries to back the new sanction package, the EC came up with several other concessions including support for investments into the oil infrastructure. According to ČTK, the EU executive will now negotiate additional guarantees for Budapest and Bratislava. The ambassadors should meet again at the weekend. For the embargo to take effect, states must approve it unanimously.

12:00 Prague gets building permit for new bridge

Prague has obtained a valid building permit for the Dvorecký most, which will connect Zlíchov on the Smíchov side and Dvorce on the right bank of the Vltava. The bridge will be designed mainly for public transport, including trams, pedestrians, and cyclists. The bridge with Cubist elements, the design of which was chosen in an architectural competition, will lead from Zlíchov from the Lihovar stop to Žluté lázně on the other bank.

Politics Czechia could look to Poland for oil

Poland has presented an offer to transport oil to two Czech refineries, controlled by the Polish PKN Orlen, in two to three years, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said after meeting with Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said that the Czech Republic was prepared to support the ban on Russian oil imports to the European Union if it gets a postponement by two to three years until the oil pipeline capacity is increased.

A postponement of the ban by two to three years would allow Czechia to back the sixth package of EU sanctions against Russia, Fiala added. The European Commission has proposed an absolute ban on imports of Russian oil. However, this must be approved unanimously by all EU members.

Ukraine Czech government pledges further humanitarian aid

The Czech government will give a further EUR 18 million euros for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, for EUR 40 million in total donations, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said at a donor conference in Warsaw Thursday. Along with most world countries, Czechia has strongly condemned the Russian military attack on Ukraine. Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Czechia has provided humanitarian aid of more than half a billion crowns. Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki announced that humanitarian aid worth 6.5 million US dollars was pledged at the conference.

Diplomacy President Zeman invites Qatar Emir to Czechia

Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has accepted President Miloš Zeman's invitation for a visit to the Czech Republic, Prague Castle announced on its website Thursday. Thani accepted the invitation in a personal letter sent to Zeman. The Castle called the visit encouraging, saying such ties rid Czechia of its dependence on Russian gas at a time of crisis in the energy sector. The visit could take place in the second half of the year.

Culture Prague Spring Festival to perform concert for Ukraine

A section of this year's Prague Spring Festival program will be a presentation of the winning design of the Vltava Philharmonic and a concert for Ukraine. The international festival will offer forty concerts in its 77th year. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will open the festival on May 12 with a performance of Bedřich Smetana's traditional "My Homeland." Conductor Daniel Barenboim, who will not perform with the orchestra for health reasons, will be replaced by Thomas Guggeis. 

REGIONS Iconic cottage and tourist attraction goes up in flames

A cottage built on a pillar in the middle of the Radbuza river in Chotěšov near Pilsen has been reduced to ashes. The demolition of the popular tourist attraction, frequently used by filmmakers as Baba Yaga's hut, was immortalized on film for the last time Thursday. Director Tomáš Klein captured the iconic cottage's fiery demise for his film "Sensitive Man," based on a novel by Jachym Topol. A footbridge will be built on the site which draws thousands of tourists annually.

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