Czech police report steep increase in illegal immigration in 2021

More top headlines for Prague and the Czech Republic for Friday, January 14, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.01.2022 09:24:00 (updated on 15.01.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

15:00 Bear sighted on the loose near Prague again

Municipalities on the eastern fringes of Prague near Stará Boleslav today warned residents that a bear is on the loose in the area. The warning comes weeks after a bear was sighted in the wild in the same location near the Czech capital. Local authorities now say the presence of the bear has been verified and that the forests are being searched by hunters. The bear was sighted this morning between the villages of Konětopy and Čečelice. The police and forest authorities of the Czech Republic have been notified, and people are being urged not to enter local forests. Find out what to do if you encounter a bear in the wild here.

13:15 Large pervitin drugs gang busted by Czech police

A Czech-Vietnamese gang producing large quantities of pervitin (methamphetamine) has been busted by Czech police. The gang operated mostly in northwest Bohemia, selling drugs in the Czech Republic and Germany. The members of the group face up to 12 years in prison. Drug police said they raided six separate production sites simultaneously throughout the Czech Republic, with a large-scale facility uncovered in the westernmost part of the Karlovy Vary region. The operation, codenamed Metha, saw seven kilograms of crystal meth seized along with one kilogram of heroin and around CZK 3 million in cash.

13:00 Rare National Library manuscripts go on display at Klementinum

Prague's Klementinum is displaying rare manuscripts from the Czech National Library in a three-day exhibition starting today. 18 original manuscripts which have not been seen for many years, such as the Velislav Bible and Dalimil Chronicle, are on display. The Velislav Bible is considered the most flamboyantly pictorial manuscript in Central Europe. The manuscript contains 178 of its original 200 pages. The Dalimil Chronicle is similarly richly illuminated. The manuscripts on display are considered priceless, dating back to the medieval history of the Czech lands. Another exhibition on the life of St. Ludmila is also open at the Klementinum until January 30.

12:05 Freight train collision near Přerov causes rail carnage

A collision of two freight trains at the Prosenice station in the Přerov region led to three rail carriages being derailed. No one was injured in the incident, according to the Railway Inspectorate, but the damage amounts to CZK 21 million. The collision led to chaos on the line from Přerov to Ostrava. The collision is now being investigated on suspicion of general negligence. The incident took place late on Thursday night. Replacement buses took over from train services between Prosenice and Lipník nad Bečvou, although it's expected that traffic will start to resume one track at a time this afternoon.

12:00 Police report steep increase in illegal migration in 2021

Czech immigration police last year recorded 11,170 foreigners entering the country illegally, up by more than 50 per cent year-on-year. 4,077 more people entered the Czech Republic illegally than in 2020, and the number was the highest since 2008. It's thought the failure of some arrivals to comply with anti-pandemic restrictions may be in part responsible for the high number, but a Europe-wide migrant crisis may also have played a part; for example, significantly more Afghans were detected this year than previously.

A significant increase was also recorded in the number of migrants looking to reach another country via the Czech Republic: most people in this category were from Afghanistan or Syria. The majority of illegal immigrants were found already residing in the Czech Republic. Most illegal immigrants detained at international airports (also Schengen entry points) were of Ukrainian, Russian or British origin.

Politics Fiala government wins confidence vote

The new Czech government led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala won a confidence vote in the Czech Parliament last night after a marathon 21-hour debate dominated by criticism of the new regime. All 106 MPs in the five-party coalition voted for confidence in Fiala’s government, giving them a majority in the 200-seat chamber.

All of the 87 lawmakers present from the opposition ANO and SPD parties voted against the confidence motion. Seven MPs did not take part for health reasons. After the vote, ex-PM and new leader of the opposition Andrej Babiš approached Fiala to shake hands in congratulation. Babiš’s gesture came after he heavily criticized the new government for making promises he claims are unrealistic.

Sport Krejčíková reaches Sydney tennis finals

Czech tennis star Barbora Krejčíková has made it to the final of the Sydney International tennis competition. Last year’s French Open winner recovered from seven match-points to win her semi-final against Estonian Anett Kontaveit 0:6 6:4 7:6.

Krejčíková now has the chance to win the fourth major title of her career. The 26 year old will play the winner of the other semi-final taking place today between Spaniard Paula Badosa and Russian Darja Kasatkin. Former Czech winners of the Sydney tournament include Petra Kvitová, Jana Novotná and all-time-great Martina Navrátilová.

Cybersecurity Czech Republic records more cyberattacks than world average

The Czech Republic recorded more cyberattacks than the global average last year. Czech companies were the victims of 1,000 attacks in 2021, while around the world the average was 900. Last year saw a steep increase in the number of cyberattacks, up 50 per cent worldwide according to security company Check Point.

Attacks were concentrated on educational and research institutions, which saw a 75 per cent increase. Government and military organizations were the second highest target, seeing an increase of 47 per cent. They were followed by communications companies, internet providers and medical organizations. Attackers’ peak activity was in December after a specific vulnerability in the Log4J logging utility was revealed.

Dukovany Industrial developments for new nuclear project

U.S. company Westinghouse, one of the contenders to build a new nuclear reactor at the Dukovany nuclear power plant, has signed memoranda of understanding with seven companies to potentially bring the company’s AP1000 reactor to the Czech Republic. Westinghouse is one of three companies still in the running to build the new reactor, along with French company EDF and South Korean company KHNP.

Westinghouse is signing MOUs with Czech companies to ensure that if it is chosen to undertake the reactor works, benefits with accrue to the local economy. The company’s AP1000 is a two-loop pressurized water reactor designed to reduce the need for large cooling towers and other expensive equipment. The AP1000 does not require an operator in the event of a design-based accident such as a coolant pipe rupture, as it relies on natural forces such as gravity and natural circulation to keep the core from overheating.

Czech beer Budweiser beer brand celebrates British success

The Budweiser lager brand has announced record sales in Great Britain in 2021. Popularity for the Czech beer brand has grown in Britain followed a marketing refresh which saw Budweiser focus on the quality and heritage of Czech lager. Budweiser has proclaimed itself as the flagship of the Czech “Republic of Beer” in the UK.

Those living in the Czech Republic may have their own favorites, but in Britain Budweiser is portraying itself as the finest example of Czech beer. The company saw 38 per cent growth in sales volumes in the UK in 2021. 80,000 hectoliters were sold, the equivalent of 16 million 500ml bottles. Budweiser is portraying itself as a “beer from a nation, not a corporation” in the UK.

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