Czech daily news roundup: Friday, March 25, 2022

Government makes app available for refugee benefits, tributes keep pouring in for Madeleine Albright, Czechs fail to reach football World Cup.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 25.03.2022 09:26:00 (updated on 25.03.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

14:41 Poles, Czechs and Slovenes propose steps for ending Ukraine war

The leaders of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia have together drawn up a list of ten steps they argue the EU must take if it wants to end the war in Ukraine. The list was published on the Politico news server by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who said that existing sanctions on Russia "are clearly not enough". Among the measures proposed by the three Central European states are the disconnection of all Russian banks from the international SWIFT payment system, tougher sanctions on the entire business environment connected to Russian oligarchs, sanctions on all members of the ruling United Russia party, and an EU-wide ban on the issuance of visas to Russian citizens.

13:46 CZK 18 million science center opens in Žatec

The town of Žatec has seen the opening of a new science center in the historic building of the municipality's agricultural school. Intended for use by schools and the public, the aim of the center is to popularize science and support tech education. The center cost CZK 18 million to construct, and contains two installations: a Science Sphere and a Digitarium. These are lecture rooms; the first includes the projection of a spherical image of the globe in the middle of the room, and the second acts as a spherical vault, meaning viewers are placed figuratively "inside" a sphere of projections.

Ukraine Government makes app available for refugee benefits

All Ukrainian refugees holding emergency visas issued by the Czech government will be able to use a web application to receive their humanitarian benefit of CZK 5,000 per month. The Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry tweeted about the benefit today. Until now, the money was only available to arrivals granted visas before March 8.

From April 11 onwards, it will also be possible to request the state-issued benefit for households hosting Ukrainian refugees through the online application. Around 300,000 refugees have so far reached the Czech Republic from Ukraine; changes this week made it possible for refugees to work without a work permit and apply for CZK 5,000 a month to cover basic needs.

U.S.A. Tributes keep pouring in for Madeleine Albright

The death of former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has been met with tributes from across the Czech political spectrum. Now, Prague deputy mayor Adam Scheinherr has raised the possibility of a new bridge over the Vltava river being named after the Prague-born politician. The naming proposal for the new bridge to connect Prague 4 and 5 will be discussed by a City Hall commission as well as local authorities.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Prague is today opening a book of condolences for people who want to personally pay tribute to Albright. After opening today, the book will also be available to the public from Monday, March 28 to Wednesday, March 30, from 13:00 to 16:00 each day. It can be found at the American Center next to the embassy’s Malá Strana building. People can access an electronic version of the condolence book here.

Sport Czechs fail to reach football World Cup

The Czech national football team will not play at the next World Cup in Qatar, after losing 1:0 to Sweden in extra time in their semi-final qualification play-off tie. The match was played at the Friends Arena in Solna near Stockholm, with the deciding goal coming in the 110th minute.

The Czech Republic tried in vain to reach the second World Cup appearance in its history as an independent nation; its only previous appearance at a World Cup was in 2006. The Czechs have never beaten Sweden as an independent nation, and the continuation of this poor record means the Czechs will also miss out on a CZK 270 million bonus for participating in the World Cup.

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Russia Prague renames street by Russian Embassy

The name of the section of Korunovační street running by the Russian Embassy in Prague will be changed to Ukrainian Heroes street. Another change will see a nearby railway bridge named after Ukrainian war hero Vitaly Skakun, who died on the first day of the war in the city of Kherson while blowing up a bridge to prevent the advance of Russian troops.

The renaming proposals were supported by a local council commission. The change won’t complicate life for local residents because the section of road being renamed is not inhabited by residents or any legal entity other than the Russian Federation. The move was criticized by the ANO opposition, who called it a “cheap PR stunt.”

Economy Czech crown and stock exchange starts to recover

The drastic impact made on the value of the Czech currency and the value of the Prague Stock Exchange has started to reverse. Although the Czech crown saw a slight weakening on Thursday, it has strengthened in recent weeks after the initial financial shock of the invasion subsided. Yesterday’s decline in value followed news that public confidence in the Czech economy has fallen to the lowest levels seen since 2013.

Meanwhile, the Prague Stock Exchange grew for the sixth time in the past seven days, adding 0.68 percent to reach 1,349.46 points on Thursday. The strengthening came partly as a result of the publication of strong financial results for arms manufacturer Česká zbrojovka.

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