Czech daily news roundup: Friday, March 18, 2022

Leaders followed security advice in Kyiv trip, Czechia to answer Klitschko’s fire equipment request, 500 flats to be built in Prague's Holešovice. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 18.03.2022 09:14:00 (updated on 18.03.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

12:02 Czech methamphetamine use is the highest in the EU

Wastewater analysis has shown that pervitín (methamphetamine) use in Czech cities is the highest in Europe. The information was released by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction after analysis of wastewater samples rom 80 cities in 25 European countries. Methamphetamine concentration was highest in the five Czech cities included in the survey: Ostrava had a concentration of 684 mg per 1,000 population per day, Brno had 546 mg, České Budějovice had 507 mg, Karlovy Vary had 339 mg, and Prague had 329 mg. The next highest concentration in Europe was found in Riga, with 226 mg.

11:35 Visegrád Group gives €1 million to Ukrainian refugees

The Visegrád Fund, covering the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary, has earmarked €1 million, or CZK 25 million for programs by NGOs and local organizations to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees. The fund's website says the aims to mitigate the impacts of the war on refugees staying in the V4 countries. The money may be spent on strengthening capacities for local institutions and civic society organizations, especially in programs to ease potential tensions between refuges and locals caused by a lack of information, language barriers and social differences.

Ukraine Leaders followed security advice in Kyiv trip, says Fiala

The leaders of the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia followed all security recommendations during their recent trip to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The Czech leader was responding to claims by the head of the Ukrainian railway network Oleksandr Kamyshin, who called the visit of the three NATO leaders to Kyiv “naïve,” but also important for Ukraine.

Kamyshin expressed surprise that the leaders made details of their trip public before reaching Kyiv. Fiala went with the Polish and Slovenian leaders to the Ukrainian capital to express support for the country’s struggle against Russia, and while the visit was kept a strict secret until the journey began, Fiala posted about it on social media while traveling. Fiala said the release of information about the trip was in keeping with strategic and security recommendations made by experts.

Aid Czechia to answer Kyiv’s Mayor Klitschko’s fire equipment request

The Czech government will urgently answer a request from Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko for firefighting equipment, according to Czech PM Petr Fiala. Klitschko made the request for fire ladders and breathing apparatus in an interview with Czech server Seznam Zpravy. Klitschko said long-extension ladders are needed to save people stuck in high-rise buildings, while the city also needs technical support, masks to protect against smoke, and humanitarian aid.

Fiala said that if the Czech Republic is capable of meeting the request, it will do so as quickly as possible. Concerns have been raised about the state of repair of Czech firefighting equipment; last year, Fire Corps director Vladimír Vlček said almost half of Czechia’s equipment for intervention at heights in outdated.

Developments 500 flats to be built in Prague’s Holešovice

Slovak developer Cresco Real Estate is entering the Czech market with a 500-flat development in Prague’s Holešovice district. The development will take place in the former Tesla Holešovice industrial area, with a total investment of billions of crowns.

Construction on the SO-HO Residence started with an introductory phase in the second half of February focusing on the complete reconstruction of the former Tesla building in V Háji street. The reconstruction will create 148 apartments in an industrial setting, to be taken over by new owners at the start of 2024. Cresco originally planned to build offices in Holešovice, but later decided that a residential development was the preferable option.

Projected SO-HO development / photo via
Projected SO-HO development / photo via

Refugees One in nine dentists in Czechia come from Russia or Ukraine

Refugees coming from Ukraine to the Czech Republic will be able to access dental care in a language they understand, as one in nine dentists working in Czechia is from Ukraine or Russia. Czech Dental Chamber President Roman Šmucler revealed the preponderance of Russian and Ukrainian dentists while answering questions about whether dental care could be secured for refugees.

Šmucler said the only problems which could arise are with providing preventive check-ups for children. The Dental Chamber is reporting new Ukrainian applicants for membership since the war began in Ukraine; membership of the Chamber is mandatory for all dentists working in Czechia. Šmucler said dentists who graduated from a foreign university must have their diploma acknowledged by the Education Ministry and then undergo a Czech-language test in medicine.

Army US military convoy re-crosses Czechia

The first vehicles from a large U.S. military convoy returning to Germany from Saber Strike 2022 exercises in Slovakia entered the Czech Republic last night, according to Czech General Staff spokeswoman Magdalena Dvořáková. Soldiers are spending the night at a tent camp set up for them in Rančírov, South Moravia.

The convoy, split into four separate travel groups, will cross the Czech Republic on the D2 and D1 motorways at night and in the early mornings over the coming days. The last vehicles in the convoy will depart Czechia to Germany on Tuesday, escorted by Czech military and police personnel.

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