Czech Olympic hockey jerseys named the most beautiful of all time

Plus: Czech mortgage loans fell significantly in January, anti-misinformation hub launches in Prague, Budvar reports record output for second year running.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 11.02.2022 09:44:00 (updated on 11.02.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

16:05 Cyber security agency warns of wave of fraudulent calls

The Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency has warned of a wave of fraudulent phone calls with perpetrators posing as Microsoft technical support staff. The callers try to persuade victims that their computer has been attacked in order to gain access to it. The Agency urged people not to tell unverified individuals any personal information and not to allow them access to their computer. The wave of attacks now being seen involves criminals demanding the installation of the AnyDesk or TeamViewer programs to gain remote computer access. Suspicious phone calls should be reported to the police, the Agency said.

14:03 Prague Mayor to visit Ukraine next week

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib will visit Ukraine on Monday where he will meet his counterpart from Kiev, Vitali Klitschko, along with the Mayor of Warsaw Rafal Trzaskowski. The visit is intended as a show of solidarity with Ukraine amid a Russian military build-up at the Russian-Ukrainian border. Prague is a member of the Pact of Free Towns, established by the Visegrád Four capitals of Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Warsaw. Hřib said Kiev must remain a free capital and bulwark of democracy in the region.

13:18 Czech TV's Olympic coverage hit by technical issues

National broadcaster Czech Television has suffered technical problems during its live transmissions of the Winter Olympics. The Czech-Swiss ice hockey match this morning was interrupted by a pause, quickly solved by Czech TV. A spokesperson said it was not a hacking attack, a likelihood which the broadcaster warned about last week. During the early stages of the Games, Czech TV reported a "truly massive cyber attack," which necessitated the switching of broadcasts to an emergency webpage.

11:11 Czech mortgage loans fell significantly in January

Banks and building societies provided mortgage loans worth CZK 32.6 billion in January, a decrease of more than a quarter compared to December. The lower appetite for mortgage loans was shown in new statistics from the Czech Banking Association's Hypomonitor, to which all banks and building societies providing mortgages in Czechia supply data. The month-on-month decline of almost CZK 12 billion in mortgage loans is much larger than the usual January slowdown. The number of mortgages provided also fell significantly, down 28 percent to the lowest number seen since August 2020.

11:00 Temporary base for US troops to be set up in Czechia

A temporary base for U.S. troops has been set up in Rančířov, near Jihlava, to be used during the transfer of U.S.forces to Saber Strike 2022 exercises in Slovakia in late February. The Czech military is contributing to the exercises by facilitating the transfer of U.S. troops. The base has a capacity of 350, and will also serve as a stopover point when the American convoy returns back across the country in the second half of March. A total of around 1,800 U.S. troops and 700 items of equipment will move across the Czech Republic over the coming weeks.

10:00 Czechia is the EU's ninth most advanced economy

The Czech Republic has been named one of the top 10 most developed economies in the EU by the new Czech Prosperity Index, compiled by joint research from the Europe In Data portal and analysts from Česká spořitelna. The most developed economy in the bloc was found to be Sweden, followed by Germany and Denmark. The Czech Republic scored higher than any other ex-Eastern-bloc state. The study creators encouraged investment in the economy, innovation and education as the best ways to further boost Czech prosperity.

Sport Czech hockey jerseys named the most beautiful ever

International sports daily The Athletic yesterday released a list of the most beautiful Olympic hockey jerseys of all time, and this year’s Czech jersey was named the winner. The creator of the survey praised the rich colors of the Czech team’s kit, and the medieval-looking national coat of arms set in the middle.

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He said that from an aesthetic perspective, the Czech jersey this year is the nation’s best kit ever, although another contributor noted the Czech jersey from 1998, when the team won gold, as another classic. They praised jerseys which pay tribute to the history of the country. The Czech team and their jerseys can be seen again today, in a match at 09:40 against Switzerland.

Prague Praguers bugged by transport, parking and housing availability

A survey conducted by the STEM/MARK agency for the Prague Chamber of Commerce on quality of life in the Czech capital found car transport, including parking, housing availability and affordability, homelessness and drug problems to be the most irksome things about living in Prague.

On the other hand, few people noted care for the elderly and disabled as a problem, while some of the topics being focused on by City Hall, such as pollution and “smart city” digitization, were low down the public’s list of priorities. Respondents could choose three issues from a list of fifteen as the ones they consider the biggest problems in the capital. 

Media Anti-misinformation hub launches in Prague

An EU-funded hub for fighting misinformation throughout Central Europe launched in Prague yesterday, led by a team of researchers and fact-checking journalists. The project was coordinated by Charles University and aims to boost the public’s media literacy while developing artificial intelligence tools to detect misinformation.

The hub is called the Central European Digital Media Observatory, and brings together people from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. The AFP news agency is another partner of the project, as a global leader in investigative journalism.

Religion Prague Archbishop defends former Pope in sex abuse scandal

The Archbishop of Prague, Cardinal Dominik Duka, has defended former Pope Benedict XVI over accusations that he covered up cases of sexual abuse while pontiff. Duka’s letter was published by German daily Die Tagespost today.

The former pope, at that time Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, is accused of failing to punish priests accused of sexual abuse while Archbishop of Munich in the late 1970s and early 1980s. On Tuesday, the former Pope published a letter asking for forgiveness. Duka accused the German bishopric of tarnishing Benedict XVI’s reputation, describing the treatment of Ratzinger as the “second Munich betrayal,” as Ratzinger had no chance to solve the abuse case as the accused priest worked in the Essen diocese.

Business Budvar reports record output for second year running

Czech brewer Budvar has reported record output for the second year running in 2021. In results published on Thursday, the 126-year-old brewery said that its output rose by 4.6 percent to 1.8 million hectoliters last year. Exports were up 11.3 percent year-on-year.

Budvar Director Petr Dvořák said the results “surpassed our expectations.” The company sells beer in 80 countries worldwide, and it said that nearly all its major markets, which include Germany, Britain and Slovakia, contributed to increased sales. Revenues hit a record high of CZK 3,171 billion, with complete financial results to be published later this year.

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