Czech snowboard star will miss the Beijing Winter Olympics

Plus: Prague considers sending military aid to Ukraine, candle chain created to remember Palach’s legacy, Czech playboy blasted for autobahn ride. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.01.2022 09:38:00 (updated on 20.01.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

14:45 Snowboard star Samková to miss Beijing Winter Olympics

Czech snowboarder Eva Samková, who won gold in the 2014 Winter Olympics, will not compete at the 2022 Beijing Games due to severe injuries sustained in a recent accident. Samková broke both her ankles in a crash at the World cup teams contest in Austria on December 11. Despite an immediate operation by specialists in Austria and intensive rehabilitation attempts, she has not recovered quickly enough to compete at the Olympics. Samková said that the decision not to compete in Beijing was hard, but that she will now concentrate on making a full recovery.

14:05 Czech Republic discussing Ukraine aid in Russia dispute

The Czech defense and foreign ministries are discussing sending aid to Ukraine to support the country's resistance to Russian aggression. Prime Minister Petr Fiala told journalists about the discussions today, saying the Czech Republic is not closing its eyes to the situation at the Ukrainian-Russian border. Fiala mentioned the diplomatic rift between Russia and the Czech Republic which opened up last year, warning that current Russian attitudes do little to defuse tensions. "At the moment, relations between the Czech Republic and Russia are not the best, and the Russian strategy certainly does not contribute to the easing of tensions and improving of the security situation," he said.

13:30 Czech woman in Norway denied custody of sons

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today decided in favor of Norway in the case of Czech mother Eva Michálaková who was seeking custody of her sons, whom the Norwegian social service Barnevernet removed from her care more than ten years ago. According to the ECHR, Norway has not violated the respective article of the European Convention on Human Rights in taking the children from the Michálak couple. Article 8 of the Convention says "everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life" and that "there shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law." Family defense lawyer Dora Boková said that some new facts had emerged upon which the family will base its appeal.

13:00 Accident involving forty cars shuts D5 motorway

Forty cars were involved in a pile-up on the D5 motorway near Žebrák in the Beroun region in Central Bohemia. The accident occurred in the direction of Prague. At least five people were injured, with ambulance services attending the scene. Three of the injured have been taken to hospital for surgery, while two others have moderate injuries and will be flown to Prague for treatment. The D5 in the direction of Prague is impassable at the scene of the incident, with crashed vehicles occupying around 150 meters of road.

12:20 Inflation rises to record levels in the eurozone

Inflation in the eurozone rose to a record 5 per cent in December. In the EU as a whole, inflation reached 5.3 per cent. The bloc's latest inflation figures were released today by official EU statistical office Eurostat. The bloc's level of inflation is still behind that of the Czech Republic; according to Eurostat, Czech inflation is currently at 5.4 per cent. Energy was again the biggest contributor to the rise in prices, though services also became more expensive throughout the bloc.

International tensions Prague considers sending military aid to Ukraine

The new Czech government wants to help Ukraine amid escalating tensions at the border with Russia, Defense Minister Jana Černochová said in an interview with Hospodářské noviny. Černochová said that the Czech Republic is ready to send or sell military equipment to Kiev, but this should be coordinated with allies including the Visegrád countries, Germany, Austria and the Baltic states.

Černochová said the Czech Republic is “historically, politically and in terms of alliances on Ukraine’s side. If Ukraine needs help, we will do our best.” The minister is currently negotiating with Czech army chief Aleš Opata about Ukraine’s possible needs.

Czech history Candle chain created to remember Palach’s legacy

A 700-meter-long chain of candles was created in Zlín in remembrance of Jan Palach yesterday. Palach set himself on fire in the center of Prague on January 16, 1969, in protest against the lack of Czechoslovak resistance to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia to crush Prague Spring reforms.

To mark the 53rd anniversary of Palach’s death, Zlín saw the creation of a huge candle chain. The concept was created by artist Petr Dosoudil six years ago as a one-off event, but it has now become a tradition.

Fast Car German government lambasts Czech playboy for autobahn ride

Germany’s Transport Ministry has criticized a stunt by Czech millionaire Radim Passer on the country’s autobahn public highways. Passer took his Bugatti Chiron supercar to speeds of 414 kph (257 mph) on a 10 kilometer stretch of the A2 highway. Passer is the Czech Republic’s 33rd-richest person, worth CZK 6.6 billion.

Passer said the stunt was filmed last year on a straight section with three lanes and “visibility along the whole stretch.” He insists that safety was a priority and the stunt was only performed because conditions were right. But the video shows Passer's car overtaking several other vehicles, and the German Transport Ministry said that while autobahns often have no formal speed limit it “rejects any behavior that leads to could lead to endangering road users.” 

Politics STAN MP to give up parliament seat to study

Jan Farský, a STAN politician who caused outcry by proposing to leave the Czech Republic to study for six months in the U.S. just after being elected to the nation’s parliament, has given up his seat as an MP. The STAN party board asked him to resign from parliament last night.

Farský said that he does not want to complicate the working of the government and the party. The party leadership said it had underestimated the outcry arising from Farský’s dual commitments. The MP wanted to take up a six-month Fulbright Commission fellowship focusing on a plan to federalize the European Union along similar lines to 250 years of U.S. federalism.

Human rights New government will adhere to Charter 77 philosophy

The new Czech cabinet declared that it will adhere to the traditions of the Charter 77 movement for human rights and democracy in the Czech Republic. The announcement came on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the release of the Charter 77 declaration by Communist-era dissidents including Václav Havel.

Charter 77 was the first and longest-running opposition civic initiative in the then Soviet-bloc. It became an example for other opposition initiatives in other countries. The declaration called for respect for human rights as pledged by Communist Czechoslovakia in the Helsinki agreements of 1975. The Fiala government said it “appreciates all victims of the repressions related to Charter 77 and other independent initiatives of those times, and all who assisted in their activities.”

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