Czech daily news roundup: Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Czech police may have made mistakes in Roma man's death, first Czech fighter likely died in Ukraine, and a Czech classic digitally restored for Cannes.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 03.05.2022 07:14:00 (updated on 03.05.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

11:50 Five people detained for bribery in Czech driving schools

Police officers have been intervening in driving schools in the Jablonec region since early Tuesday morning, detaining a total of five people. According to CNN Prima NEWS, their staff and examiners are among them. Forensic scientists suspect them of fraud in issuing certificates of professional competence. If convicted, they face between three and ten years in prison.

11:40 Czechia's fertility rate among the highest in the EU

In 2020, 4.07 million babies were born in the EU, continuing a downward trend that began in 2008 when 4.68 million children were born in the EU. The total fertility rate stood at 1.50 live births per woman in the EU in 2020, a small decrease from the recent peak in 2016 (1.57) but still an increase compared to 2001 (1.43). 

Czechia reported one of the highest fertility rates in the EU with 1.71 live births per woman. The only EU Member States that have bypassed the Czech Republic are France with 1.83 live births per woman and Romania with 1.80 live births per woman.

11:30 Czech manufacturing growth momentum slows

The Ukraine conflict and surging prices dragged manufacturing sentiment lower in the Czech Republic, surveys showed on Monday, as growth in the sector stays under strain. S&P Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for the Czech Republic dropped to 54.4 from 54.7 in the previous month, its lowest level since November 2020.

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“The downside trend is quite apparent, underlying the loss of growth momentum since the beginning of the year,” Erste Group Bank analysts said. Poland's PMI has also fallen from 52.7 in March to 52.4 in April, while in Hungary, it has seen an increase from 57.6 in March to 58.9 in March.

Politics Former Czech president blames wars on differing views

A difference in views leads to wars, former president Václav Klaus said at a ceremony at the former Terezín concentration camp commemorating the victims of anti-Nazi resistance Monday. Turning to the war in Ukraine, Klaus said he believed serious talks on a peaceful solution would start soon. When asked by reporters whether he condemned the massacre in Bucha, Klaus said, "First, it is not my job to look at images. They are certainly tragic. On the other hand, it would be good to know what of this is authentic footage and what is propaganda." In March, Klaus said he would not return the Pushkin medal awarded to him by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2007.

UKRAINE First Czech reportedly died in Ukraine

The first Czech volunteer may have died in Ukraine. The news was reported by the Voxpot server, which was contacted by the wife of a Czech citizen who had been unreachable for several weeks. Reporters identified a car belonging to him, which had been shot at and was covered in blood, with a sneaker that the man had been wearing wedged in the windshield. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told Blesk Zprávy that she could neither confirm nor deny the information about the death.

Prague Firefighters evacuate exhibits from Prague's National Gallery

Firefighters in Prague's Holešovice district removed water from the basement of the National Gallery, they announced on Twitter Monday night. The brigade pumped water out from Dukelských hrdinů street, where the Trade Fair Palace is located. About ten inches of water was removed from the basement, they said along with some exhibits. Two professional and two volunteer units, and a fire brigade from Prague Castle we're involved.

POLICE Czech police called ambulance too late to save Roma man

Czech police made several mistakes in a June 2021 incident in Teplice, North Bohemia, during which a Roma man died, deputy ombudsman, Monika Šimůnková said in a report released by her office Monday. One of the mistakes was calling the ambulance too late. Šimůnková said there were discrepancies in the statements of the rescuers and the intervening policemen. Following the man's death, several demonstrations took place referring to him as the "Czech George Floyd," and a number of Czech and foreign organizations demanded a clarification of the incident.

Police have dismissed any responsibility for the man's death saying the he had attacked them aggressively so they used coercive means to subdue him before calling an ambulance. About 15 minutes later, a doctor in the hospital pronounced the man dead. Drug overdose was given as the preliminary cause of his death, which an autopsy subsequently confirmed.

Culture Digitally restored Czech film to screen at Cannes

A digitally restored version of the film "Daisies" (1966) by Czech film director Věra Chytilová will be presented at the Cannes Film Festival at the end of May, the Czech National Film Archive, told the Czech News Agency Monday. The film will be part of the Cannes Classics section in which digitally restored works of significant personalities of world cinematography are presented every year. Chytilová (1929-2014) was one of the leading figures of the Czech film avant-garde of the 1960s. The digitally restored Daisies will be premiere in Czechia in the Prague cinema Lucerna on June 2.

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