Czech daily news roundup: Thursday, April 14, 2022

Plastics ban set for approval today, Czech senators heading to Ukraine, forest fire in Bohemian Switzerland extinguished. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.04.2022 09:20:00 (updated on 14.04.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

14:27 Briton with exploding backpack expelled from Czechia

A British man whose backpack, containing part of a hand grenade, caught fire at Prague Airport on Tuesday has pleaded guilty to charges of illegal arms possession and has therefore been expelled from Czechia for a period of three years. The man suffered light burns in the incident caused by the military grenade fragment in his luggage. The fire caused the evacuation and closure of the corridor linking terminals 1 and 2 at Prague Airport, as well as the closure of all individual transport access roads to the airport for about an hour and a half on Tuesday.

Environment Plastics ban set for approval today

The Czech parliament is expected to approve a ban on the use of disposable plastic cutlery, plates, and straws today, as required by EU regulations. The draft law submitted for approval by the government would also regulate the obligations of manufacturers of certain plastic products, and has been supported by a parliamentary committee for environmental protection.

Along with cutlery, plates, and straws, the law will also ban plastic in cotton buds, sticks for holding balloons, and drinking cups made of polystyrene or oxo-degradable plastics. The Ministry of the Environment estimates that the ban should cut out the use of around CZK 1.77 billion items of plastic per year.

War Czech senators heading to Ukraine

Miloš Vystrčil, the Chairman of the Czech Senate, is heading to Ukraine by train accompanied by other Czech and Polish senators, at the invitation of the head of the Ukrainian Supreme Counil Ruslan Stefanchuk. Other senators heading to Ukraine are deputy head Jiří Růžička and Pavel Fischer.

Vystrčil released a photo of the group of senators together on board a train with a comment that “there are some invitations that you cannot decline.” The meeting follows a similar trip by heads of government of Czechia, Poland and Slovenia in March to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.

NAture Forest fire in Bohemian Switzerland extinguished

A forest fire raged through the Bohemian Switzerland National Park last night, affecting the “Gabriela’s Trail” hiking route linking Pravčická brána and Mezní Louka. The fire has been extinguished with the help of a police helicopter from Prague. The hiking area is now closed.

Concerns remain about the effects of the blaze on the habitat of endangered peregrine falcons which nest around 300 meters from the site of the fire. Police are investigating the blaze because witnesses claim to have seen people starting the fire intentionally with pyrotechnics and matches. An area of around 10,000 square meters was affected. An area about four times larger was affected in another forest fire in Bohemian Switzerland last June.

Diplomacy Russia announces expulsion of Czech deputy ambassador

In response to the Czech Republic’s expulsion of a high-ranking Russian diplomat presumed to have been the Russian deputy ambassador to Prague in March, Russia has expelled the Czech deputy ambassador to Moscow. The Czech diplomat will have to leave Russia by the end of April 16, according to the Russian Foreign Ministry.

Czech Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lenka Do said the Russian move is inappropriate, as the Czech designation of a Russian diplomat as “persona non grata” was due to clear links to Russian intelligence services. Yet the Czech move met with immediate anger from Moscow, where Czech ambassador Vítěslav Pivoňka was told that “this hostile step will not be left without a response.”

Cost of living Fuel prices fall significantly

The cost of fuel in the Czech Republic has fallen significantly since last week. Average petrol prices have fallen by CZK 1.18 crowns to CZK 42.70 per liter, while diesel prices have fallen by CZK 1.52 to CZK 45.10 per liter. Nonetheless, fuels are still much more expensive than a year ago, when petrol was CZK 11.27 cheaper, and diesel was CZK 15.57 cheaper.

Prices at gas stations rose to record highs in early March as a result of global supply uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the weakening of the Czech crown. Prices for petrol topped CZK 47 per liter around March 10. Since, then, prices have started to fall as a semblance of market stability returns.

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