Trolleybus route to Prague Airport moves a step closer to reality

Plus: Hurricane hits Czechia at the weekend, Mendel University chief resigns after less than a week, Covid protests held in Prague over pandemic law.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 31.01.2022 09:36:00 (updated on 31.01.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

15:56 MPs report disturbing threats from anti-lockdown protestors

MPs have recounted disturbing threats made by opponents of the Czech Republic's pandemic law amid a fevered debate on its extension. Christian Democrat politician Antonín Tesařík reported a convoy of 25 to 30 vehicles arriving at his home in South Moravia, protestors then hurling abuse at him. A spokesperson for the local police said they are investigating the incident. Members of the Open Czechia movement are meanwhile sharing images of the members of the medical committee which approved the amendment on social media, with comments making violent threats against those involved. ANO politician Ivo Vondrák meanwhile discovered a mock gallows with the inscription "traitor" in front of his home in Moravia-Silesia.

14:03 Hundreds of Czechs ripped off by Chinese e-shop

Czechs who bought goods through the Bonky.cz Chinese e-shop are accusing the business of fraud. The site claims to provide almost anything for a low price, but customers report goods either failing to turn up, or turning up damaged. The company makes few promises about deliveries, only proiding a 40-working-day limit for shipments. But when customers realize that they paid for a product they may never receive, the business refuses to cancel the order and return payments. The Czech Trade Inspection Authority has warned against buying goods on the site, saying that Bonky.cz's business model gives the customer very little knowledge or control over their order.

Music Czech wins British songwriting competition

Czech songwriter Tomáš Kympl has won the UK Songwriting Contest for the third time in six years. Kympl won his third gong for the song Wifi, from his album Kernel Panic which focuses on digital technologies, computers and the internet age. Kympl was born in Prague in 1975, writing music ranging from classical to pop music, musicals and film scores. In 2015, he won a UK Songwriting Contest award for his song Ave Maria, and in 2016 he won the Instrumental category with his composition New York. This year's success came in the EDM (electronic dance music) category. The jury included leading British pop music songwriters and producers who have worked for artists ranging from Sting, Robbie Williams and Led Zeppelin to Take That, Boyzone and Kylie Minogue.

13:00 Communists to field presidential candidate for the first time

The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia will put forward a candidate for presidential elections next year. This will be the first time that the party has proposed a name for president in direct presidential elections held since 2013. The Communist Party is now deciding internally whether the candidate will be former Chair Vojtěch Filip or his longtime rival in the party Josef Skála. Filip led the Communist Party until its heavy losses in the last parliamentary elections in October; Skála is part of a hardline faction in the party sometimes referred as "Stalinists."

12:33 Transit company gets permit for electric bus to Prague Airport

An electric trolleybus route to Prague Airport is one step closer to reality. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) has a permit to plan the electrification of bus line No. 119 from Nádraží Veleslavín to Václav Havel Airport. DPP is now preparing a public contract for creating the infrastructure. Construction costs are estimated at approximately CZK 300 million.

Construction should start at the end of this year or the beginning of 2023. Once construction is completed, bus line No. 119 will be renamed trolleybus line No. 59. The route will use large-capacity battery powered trolleybuses. They will run on electric power to the edge of the airport, and will operate on battery power within the airport. Batteries can be recharged at either end of the route. DPP is also completing a public tender for the purchase of 20 large-capacity three-section battery trolleybuses to replace the existing articulated buses on the airport route.

Visualization of the new trolleybus route to Václav Havel Airport / photo via cysnews.cz
Visualization of the new trolleybus route to Václav Havel Airport / photo via cysnews.cz

Politics Academy of Sciences links extreme political views to conspiracies

A new study by the Czech Academy of Sciences has examined the sources of conspiracy theories through a survey conducted in 26 countries including the Czech Republic. The study interviewed over 100,000 people and showed that belief in conspiracy theories strengthens when an individual's favored political party fails in elections.

The results also show a tendency to believe conspiracy theories among people with far-right and far-left views. People from both extreme ends of the political spectrum are far more likely to believe that the world is controlled by malign secret forces operating beyond their control or comprehension.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Office for rent, 207m<sup>2</sup>

Office for rent, 207m2

Pařížská, Praha 1 - Josefov

Warehouse for rent, 32m<sup>2</sup>

Warehouse for rent, 32m2

Jandova, Praha 9 - Vysočany

Apartment for sale, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 80m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 80m2

Liliová, Praha 1 - Staré Město

Apartment for rent, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 179m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 4+kk - 3 bedrooms, 179m2

Pod bateriemi, Praha 6 - Střešovice

Weather Hurricane hits Czechia, cutting off power supplies

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute reported yesterday that a hurricane hit Sněžka, the Czech Republic's highest mountain, on Saturday night, with wind speeds of up to 185 km/h. Gusts of 145 km/h were meanwhile reported in other mountainous areas in north Bohemia. One person died due to high winds in the Czech Republic yesterday and almost 53,000 homes were left without power. Work is now underway to restore damaged power lines throughout the country.

Traffic was also complicated at higher altitudes in north Bohemia on Sunday as a result of snow on the roads as well as fallen trees and branches. Winds are expected to calm down today, with power supplies to be restored and efforts underway to clear traffic problems on road and rail.

Pandemic Thousands protest anti-pandemic measures in Prague

Around 6,000 people opposed to the Czech Republic’s current anti-pandemic measures gathered to protest in Prague’s Wenceslas Square on Sunday afternoon against the adoption of an amendment extending the nation’s pandemic law. They also demanded the lifting of all restrictions currently imposed on the country.

The event was organized by the ÚL Svobody organization and started at 15:00, lasting into the evening. Towards the end of the event one speaker, singer Daniel Landa, led the crowd in the Hussite chant "Who Are the Warriors of God". On Tuesday, the Open Czechia movement will convene another protest outside the Czech parliament to protest against the Pandemic Law.

Academia New Mendel University chief resigns after less than a week

The new rector of Mendel University Vojtěch Adam will resign from his post less than a week after being named the institution’s new chief by President Miloš Zeman. Adam faces controversy over claims that he falsified data in scientific studies, with an expert commission last week pointing out errors in several professional studies led by Adam.

The commission’s criticisms range from “gross negligence in quality control” to “clear indications of data manipulation.” Last week Adam suggested he would not fight the accusations, but in a statement today he said that he did not want to point blame at others involved in his studies and will therefore accept personal responsibility, while denying any deliberate manipulation of data.

Finances Tax exemptions for people and companies to be cut

Amid a general economic belt-tightening in the wake of pandemic closures and spiraling inflation, new Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura has announced that tax exemptions for individuals and companies are likely to be reduced. Exemptions which do not serve a useful purpose could meanwhile be abolished altogether.

Speaking on Czech Television, Stanjura gave assurances that the reduction of exemptions should not include the basic taxpayer discount, which currently amounts to CZK 30,840 per year. Pensions would also be unaffected. The opposition supports the proposal to reduce tax exemptions but demands that no exceptions be made for the basic discount or exemptions for having children. Stanjura said that any major changes to the tax system would come into effect two years into the government’s tenure, on January 1, 2024, so that everyone has time to prepare.

Real estate Huge development to start in Žižkov soon

The Kunovsky development group will soon commence work on its largest construction in Prague to date, with 2,500 flats to be built in the Žižkov district. The investment is currently calculated at CZK 14 billion, with the project to be built block by block, each containing 400 apartments. It’s thought each block will take a year to a year and a half to complete.

Visualization of the new neighborhood / photo via central-group.cz
Visualization of the new neighborhood / photo via central-group.cz

The new neighborhood should be finished within ten years. The developers say demand for new homes in Prague is enormous because people are wary of the economic uncertainty brought about by high levels of inflation.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more