Czech daily news roundup: Thursday, January 6, 2022

Man arrested over bomb threat at Prague Castle, mortgage holders can claim emergency energy benefit, Investor Index shows returns for Czech funds in 2021. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 06.01.2022 09:34:00 (updated on 07.01.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

16:10 Skiing conditions improve after cooling

Conditions for skiing in the Czech mountains are improving after a significant cooling in recent days. Earlier this week, ski operators were reporting problems caused by a lack of snow, as well as heavy rain. Snow has now returned to the mountains, allowing most ski resorts to resume operations, although many cross-country trails remain out of action. Around ten centimeters of snow fell on the slopes of the Krkonoše mountains on Wednesday, and ski slopes around the country have re-opened.

14:50 Government wants Czechia to join world's most advanced countries

New Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has said that the Czech Republic should be among the most advanced countries in the world and that it should be a successful competitor on the international stage. He made the comments with reference to the government's policy statement which was passed unanimously today, and which will be published on Friday. Fiala said the policy statement includes tight deadlines deliberately set as a "whip" to inspire the new administration into action.

14:00 State of legislative emergency declared to expedite urgent bills

The head of the lower house of the Czech Parliament Marketa Pekarová Adamová has declared a state of legislative emergency at the request of the cabinet. The move will allow MPs to debate government bills on housing benefits and salary freezes for politicians and judges in an expedited fashion. The government wants to quickly help people badly affected by the current energy crisis by opening up the housing allowance benefit to more potential claimants.

12:20 Czech Foreign Ministry calls for end to Kazakhstan violence

The Czech Foreign Ministry has called on all parties involved in the unrest in Kazakhstan to end the violence which is rocking the country and proceed with respect to law and human rights. The ministry says some 30 Czech nationals are currently in Kazakhstan. The Czech embassy in Nur-Sultan has no information about whether they are in danger. Unrest broke out in the Kazakh city of Zhanaozen on Sunday, a day after the government lifted a price cap on liquified petroleum gas. Protests quickly spread to other cities including the largest metropolis Almaty.

11:00 Salvation Army opens GP surgery for homeless people in Prague

The Salvation Army has opened a general practitioner's office to serve homeless, poor and socially deprived people in Prague. The GP surgery will provide medical treatment even for people without ID documents or health insurance, according to the Salvation Army. The surgery will be located in the Center of Social Services in the Prague 7 district. Doctors will be on site on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while nurses will be available at the clinic every weekday. The surgery will have contracts with health insurers but will also care for uninsured people.

10:50 Czech ambassadors to EU states to meet next week

The Czech Foreign Ministry will host a meeting of Czech ambassadors to EU countries on Monday and Tuesday next week. The main topic for the meeting will be preparations for the Czech presidency of the EU in the second half of this year. The meeting will include an address by new Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, while new EU Affairs Minister Mikuláš Bek will also speak. This will be the first meeting of Czech ambassadors since last August. The Czech presidency of the EU is being seen as a chance to demonstrate the country's credentials to moderate debate and find compromise among EU partners.

Crime Man arrested over bomb threat at Prague Castle

Prague Castle closed early on Tuesday afternoon due to an anonymous bomb threat, it has emerged. Police have arrested a 37-year-old man from Jablonec on suspicion of making the threat. The man may be sent to prison for up to three years for making the threat. Police have asked for the man to be kept in custody, as he planned to make more threats, a spokesperson said.

In the threat made by phone call, the man claimed to be the “King of the World,” promising to detonate a bomb in the premises of Prague Castle. The Castle is a major tourist attraction, as well as the official residence of the Czech president.

Energy crisis Mortgage holders can claim emergency energy benefit

People paying a mortgage can newly apply for extraordinary immediate aid to cover their energy bills. Employment offices will now take mortgage instalments into account when assessing the income and expenditures of applicants for emergency aid, the Labor Ministry said.

The extraordinary energy aid is a material needs benefit, which only people in serious distress are eligible for. Official offices asses not only the income and property of the applicant, but that of all other family members too, to establish whether they really have no other recourse for help. The changes to the rules opening up aid to mortgage owners come into effect immediately.

Economy Investor Index reveals returns for Czech funds in 2021

The Czech Investor Index released by Swiss Life Select and Thomson Reuters has revealed the average returns for Czech investment funds in 2021. The average Czech mutual fund investor enjoyed a return of more than seven per cent. Equity funds performed better, while bond funds lost more than two per cent on average.

The index measures the returns of 750 investment funds in the Czech market. The authors state that last year’s ranking was dominated by funds focusing on energy, particularly oil and natural gas, offering returns of over 30 per cent. The worst performance was seen by funds focusing on Asian equities, especially from China, as well as those from Latin America, with losses in excess of 20 per cent.

Racism Row Slavia Prague reignites Rangers racism row in documentary

Slavia Prague's bitter row with Scottish football side Glasgow Rangers has been reignited in a documentary produced by the Czech team. In the documentary, Slavia players describe Rangers as using aggressive tactics in the match where Slavia defender Ondřej Kúdela was accused of racially abusing Rangers player Glen Kamara.

Slavia keeper Ondřej Kolář described a horror tackle by Rangers player Kemar Roofe, claiming doctors told him he was inches away from dying on the pitch from a challenge which gave him a fractured skull. The documentary does not discuss the allegations made against Kúdela, though, as he is still waiting to hear whether he will face criminal charges in Scotland for racially aggravated conduct.

Transport Lítačka error sees customers buy season ticket twice

An error in the Prague public transport e-system for the Lítačka season ticket led to passengers purchasing tickets twice. The response of the application was too long, meaning public mistakenly bought the season ticket again. The problem occurred on Monday and Tuesday.

Passengers who suffered from the technical mishap will get their money back for the second purchased ticket, according to a spokesperson. The system is now fixed and functioning as normal.

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