Heavy snowfall forecast in parts of Bohemia tonight

Plus: Czech parliament to debate media ownership law, construction of Metro line D to begin on April 21, VW considers huge factory in Czechia.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 08.04.2022 09:24:00 (updated on 08.04.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

11:58 Snow expected in West Bohemia tonight

Heavy snowfall is expected in parts of West Bohemia tonight. In some areas, up to 15 centimeters of snow is expected by tomorrow morning. Snow will mostly fall at altitudes of above 400 meters, according to the Czech Hydrometerological Institute. Drivers are warned to take snow and reduced visibility into account while traveling. A warning for snow is valid from 18:00 tonight into tomorrow morning for the Plzeň and Karlovy Vary regions, the Rakovník district in Central Bohemia, and Chomutov in the Ústí region. Snow is also expected in the Šumava mountains on Saturday night.

Russia Law being prepared to stop money laundering in Czechia

The Czech Ministry of Justice is preparing a law to prevent the use of Czech bank accounts to house finances of unclear origin. Attempts to combat money laundering come as the U.S. Department of Justice claims some Czech banks have been used by Russian oligarchs to launder money, as part of a system of anonymous offshore companies. It's thought that the son of the former Russian Minister of Transport, Denis Kacyv, for example, used Czech accounts to launder money.

10:07 Explosion kills one in Ostrava

A man died in Ostrava's Mariánské Hory area this morning as a result of an explosion during excavation work. Another man was injured by the blast. It's currently thought the incident was caused by unexploded WWII weaponry. Dozens of local residents have been evacuated within a perimeter of around 300 meters of the explosion. The house situated right next to the blast site is uninhabited due to repair works. Unexploded bombs and ammunition are a relatively common occurrence in the Ostrava region as the Red Army's Ostrava-Opava operation in the spring of 1945 was one of the most important battles taking place in Czechoslovakia during WWII.

Politics Czech parliament to debate media ownership law

The lower house of the Czech parliament will discuss a proposal from the five coalition government parties to tighten laws on conflicts of interest. The amendment would see conditions for media ownership tightened, along with conditions for receiving state subsidies and investment incentives.

The opposition ANO party wants to submit its own proposal and promised to obstruct the government’s proposal. The coalition government made tackling conflicts of interest one of its main priorities in its election campaign last year, due to allegations of conflicts of interest and fraud dogging former Prime Minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš.

Prague Construction of Metro D line to begin on April 21

The Prague public transport company (DPP) will start building the new Metro D line on April 21. The first part of the route from Pankrác to Nové Dvory will be created, with costs totaling around CZK 52.09 billion. Preparations for construction works are now being prepared on-site.

At the end of March, DPP finally obtained a building permit for the metro construction, to be carried out by a construction consortium. After the completion of the first section from Pankrác to Nové Dvory, another section will be implemented to Depo Písnice and later another section from Pankrác to Námestí Míru.

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Industry VW considers huge factory in Czechia

German car giant Volkswagen is considering the construction of a huge electric car battery factory in the Plzeň region. Members of Plzeň’s region management said a former army airport in Líny is one of three European locations being considered by the manufacturer for a major new production plant. The factory would reportedly be an investment of €4-5 billion, or between CZK 98 and 122 billion. It would employ up to 4,000 people.

The negotiations are still at a relatively early stage, but the carmaker’s design team met regional representatives last week and want to present the project in the coming days. The local governor said the factory would be “one of the most modern factories in Central Europe.”

Weather Wind warning continues into weekend after damage last night

Strong winds last night have caused damage throughout Bohemia, with firefighters reporting dozens of fallen trees. A strong wind warning has been in place since Wednesday, and will continue to be valid until Sunday. Damage has already been reported in Ústi nad Labem, Hradec Králové and Prague regions.

The strong wind warning was originally supposed to expire today but it was extended with another warning for potential flooding until Sunday at noon. Windy and unpredictable weather is expected to last until the end of the week, though temperatures are on the rise. Temperatures may peak at 12 degrees Celsius today.

Culture Concert for Europe to mark start of Czech EU presidency

The Czech Republic’s presidency of the EU will be marked with a "Concert for Europe" by the Czech Philharmonic led by its chief conductor Semyon Bychkov, held on the river Vltava in Prague on September 2. Besides the EU anthem, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, musicians will play some of the Czech Republic’s most famous works, by Smetana, Dvořák and Janáček.

The concert will take place on a floating stage accommodating 170 performers and 1,200 audience members. The Prague Philharmonic Choir will accompany the orchestra and soloists. The event will be broadcast live on Czech Television. Floating concerts have been held on the Vltava since 2020.

Climate Rainfall was extremely scarce in March

Last month was an unusually dry March, with an average of two-thirds less precipitation than usually seen in the Czech Republic. In some places the lack of rain was even more extreme: in the Liberec region precipitation was only a fifth of the usual rate. The average monthly precipitation for March was 16 millimeters, only 35 percent of the monthly average for the years 1991 to 2020.

Most precipitation fell in the Moravian-Silesian region, but even here there was less rain than normal. The drought is causing serious problems for farmers at the beginning of the growing season; this problem is reported throughout Europe, adding to fears about food costs brought on by the war in Ukraine and the effects of Covid pandemic restrictions.

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