Czech daily news roundup: Thursday, March 24, 2022

Fiala heads to mega day of diplomacy in Brussels, Czechs send more equipment to Ukraine, first temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius reported. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 24.03.2022 09:17:00 (updated on 24.03.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

15:43 Czech Senate celebrates 25th birthday

The Czech Senate is celebrating the 25-year anniversary of the start of its activities. The Chairman of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil said at a ceremony that the upper house of parliament acts as a barrier to populism and as a protector of constitutional government and democratic processes.

15:19 wins 'Big Brother' award for violating privacy

Czech online food retailer has been awarded a "Big Brother" award, an annual mock prize awarded to institutions, companies and individuals who violate individuals' right to privacy. The awards are given by the NGO luridicum Remedium. Rohlik "won" the award because it was found to be measuring the step speed of its storage personnel and couriers, checking couriers' driving routes, monitoring their location via GPS, and recording their conversations supposedly in order to improve the efficiency of their work. Another "Big Brother" awards went to the Polish government, for its use of Pegasus spyware software. The awards are inspired by George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four and started in the UK in 1998. They have been awarded in Czechia since 2005.

13:54 Zeman sings Albright's praises after her death

Czech President Miloš Zeman has praised the former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who died yesterday aged 84. Zeman said Albright was the most important American supporter and advocate of the Czech nation, in a letter of condolence addressed to U.S. President Joe Biden today. "Not only the United States, but also I personally and the whole Czech nation respected Mrs. Albright. I even dare to say she enjoyed respect and admiration all over the world. We Czechs considered her one of us, though she left her native Czechoslovakia as a child. Nevertheless, throughout her entire life she kept her excellent knowledge of Czech as well as a love for her native country," Zeman wrote.

Politics Fiala heads to mega day of diplomacy in Brussels

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has flown to Brussels to attend intensive diplomatic discussions with NATO and EU counterparts. This morning, NATO members will hold a summit on the war in Ukraine and the provision of aid to the country, discussing a proposal by Poland to send a peacekeeping mission into the country.

Later on today, Fiala will attend a European Council meeting also discussing Ukraine. EU leaders will try to agree on further sanctions against Russia, with a particular focus on steps to reduce European dependency on Russian energy. Leaders will also address the issue of the Ukrainian refugee crisis, the effects of which are mainly being felt in Central and Eastern Europe.

Ukraine Czechs send ballistic protection and firefighting equipment to Ukraine

The Czech Republic will provide Ukraine with ballistic protective optics and other equipment donated by the police, while firefighters will send six fire engines with ladders and other equipment. The government approved the latest material aid package at a meeting yesterday. Interior Minister Vít Rakušan previously said that the fire service will send protective suits, helmets, and breathing masks to be dispatched within days.

Fiala meanwhile said that for military equipment aid, Ukraine mostly needs anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons. The Czech Defense Ministry has so far sent aid worth CZK 750 million, and last week Defense Minister Jana Černochová suggested additional aid in the value of up to CZK 1 billion may be sent.

Weather First temperatures over 20 degrees Celsius reported

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute reported the year's first temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius in the Czech Republic yesterday. The highest temperature, 22.5 degrees Celsius, was reported in East Bohemia.

Record high temperatures for March 23 were registered at over a third of the nation’s 160 weather recording stations, which have been in operation on a daily basis for over 30 years. Meteorologists pointed out that temperatures in Czechia yesterday were similar to those reported in Egyptian seaside resorts, mostly in the eastern part of the Czech Republic.

Consumer prices Fuel prices fall in Czechia

A liter of petrol is currently being sold at Czech pumps for an average of CZK 44.18 crowns, which is CZK 0.95 less than a week ago. Diesel fell in price by CZK 1.48 crowns per liter, down to CZK 46.21. Despite the drop in prices, fuels remain significantly more expensive than they were before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Russia’s invasion has led to a global spike in energy and fuel prices as uncertainty reigns over the future of supply. Average fuel prices in Czechia grew continuously from the start of the war on February 24 until March 10, when they peaked at a record CZK 47.26 per liter of petrol. A slight decline since then has now leveled off at current high prices.

Scouts Number of Czech scouts grows by three-quarters in 15 years

The Czech Republic’s long-standing interest in scouting has not faded as a result of the Covid pandemic, and the number of scouts in Czechia has grown by three-quarters over the past fifteen years. The scouts now have 73,315 members in total, a spokesperson for the movement said.

The Czech scout movement is the fastest growing in Europe, and it has been the largest organization for children and young people in the Czech Republic for a long time. It has now reported the largest year-on-year increase in its membership for the past 20 years, with 4,513 new members joining last year. Kids and adolescents make up 49,795 of the members while adults account for the remaining 23,520.

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