Czech daily news roundup: Monday, March 28, 2022

Refugee wave in Czechia slows down, state of emergency should last until June, dispute endangers Metro D construction. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 28.03.2022 09:33:00 (updated on 28.03.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Ukraine Refugee wave in Czechia slows down

According to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the wave of Ukrainian refugees arriving in the Czech Republic is slowing and the numbers will keep falling if the conflict in Ukraine does not expand further. However, the Czech Republic will still ask the EU for financial aid in dealing with the migration crisis, Fiala said.

In a TV discussion, Fiala said that “what is happening in Ukraine cannot leave anyone indifferent.” Yet the Prime Minister adopted a cautious tone when discussing the possible provision of heavy weaponry such as fighter planes and tanks to Ukraine, saying it is necessary to send vehicles and equipment which Ukrainians know how to use. Fiala meanwhile said Ukraine can impose its own no-fly zone over the country if it has the necessary weapons.

Politics State of emergency should be extended until end of May

The state of emergency in the Czech Republic should last until the end of May, according to proposals tabled by the Czech government. Petr Fiala defended the proposed extension on television, after former prime minister Andrej Babiš described the government’s attempts to secure a longer emergency state as “unbelievable arrogance.”

The lower house of the Czech parliament will discuss the extension request on Tuesday. Constitutional lawyers are split on the issue, because it is unclear whether a prolongation by more than 30 days is in harmony with Czech law. But Fiala said it is clear that the Czech Republic will not be able to deal with the refugee crisis in a mere 30 days.

Prague Dispute endangers Metro D construction

Prague’s largest construction project, for the creation of a new Metro D line running from Náměstí Miru to Písnice and costing CZK 98 billion, is scheduled to begin this week. But a dispute rumbling in the background already threatens complications. A company carrying out technical supervision of the metro claims the Prague public transport company owes it money, and is therefore trying to withdraw from its role in the Metro D construction.

Regulations stipulate that construction cannot begin without technical supervision, so if the company stays true to its threat, the start of works could be delayed. The public transport company has refused to comment on the case. It’s not clear why the dispute has arisen now, but the two parties have been engaged in arguments throughout the history of planning for the Metro D line.

Diplomacy Russian ambassador summoned over intimidation of Czechs

The Czech Foreign Ministry announced on Twitter that Russian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Alexander Zmeevsky has been summoned for discussions over provocations towards Czech diplomats in Moscow by the Russian authorities. “We have fiercely protested against the behaviour of the Russian authorities towards our representatives in Moscow,” said a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry.

For security reasons, no details of the Russian provocation were revealed, but the Czech Foreign Ministry called on Moscow to comply with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. The Czech and Russian embassies in Prague and Moscow operate with pared-back staff due to diplomatic expulsions last year. Meanwhile, red paint was yesterday splashed on steps in front of the Russian embassy in Prague, with four suspects detained by police on the spot.


Traffic Czechia’s busiest road to be repaired

Repair works on the Barrandov Bridge, the busiest road in the Czech Republic, will start on May 15. The repair works are expected to cause major traffic complications as a detour route will see drivers redirected around the outskirts of the Czech capital.

Around 145,000 cars drive over the Barrandov Bridge flyover every day, including Praguers as well as tens of thousands of drivers from elsewhere who use the bridge to traverse the capital when passing through during longer-distance journeys. It’s warned that rush hours could see delays of more than an hour with the vital transport route closed.

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