Czech daily news roundup: Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Model accused of drug smuggling has reportedly left Pakistan, Prague Mayor to run for re-election next year, frost and snow returning as Christmas nears.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.12.2021 08:48:00 (updated on 21.12.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Culture Valuable Rubens painting moves from Prague to Brno

Peter Paulus Rubens's painting of St. Augustine has been sent by the Prague National Gallery (NGP) to the Augustinian Monastery in Brno for two years to mark the monastery's upcoming 700th anniversary and the 200th anniversary of the birth of the local monk Gregor Johann Mendel, the founder of genetics. Rubens created the painting in the early 17th century for the St. Augustine Order, which owns the work, the NGP has overseen its care for some 100 years. It shows St. Augustine watching a child using a shell to transfer water from the sea to a lake. The legend has it that the child said he would empty the sea before St. Augustine could comprehend the divine secret. The painting is said to express the importance of humility and permanent search. Experts say it is among Rubens' best late works.

Politics Government to increase number of Security Council members

The new government led by Petr Fiala plans to increase the number of members of the State Security Council from nine to ten. The Minister of Agriculture will not longer be a member of the Council, whereas the Ministers of Labor and Social Affairs, and the Minister for Regional Development will join the Council. This means coalition party leaders Marian Jureček and Ivan Bartoš will be included. The Council will be chaired by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and will continue to deal with the co-ordination of national security issues.

Crime Czech woman accused of drug smuggling has reportedly left Pakistan

Czech media claim that Tereza Hlůšková, who was detained by customs officers at Lahore Airport in Pakistan in January 2018 with nine kilograms of heroin, has finally left Pakistan. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it could not confirm the information.

Hlůšková was released from prison in November after her initial sentence of eight years and eight months in prison was overturned. She was believed to be waiting in Pakistan for a new passport before returning home, but doubts emerged as customs officers filed an appeal against her release, asking to present new evidence to the court. Blesk.cz are now claiming that the lawyer for the customs officers stated in court that Hlůšková has now left the country.

City of Prague Prague Mayor to run for re-election next year

The current Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib will lead the Czech Pirate Party in municipal elections next year. Hřib’s renewed candidacy was agreed by the members of the Prague Pirate group in an online vote. Hřib defeated Jana Komrsková, the Deputy Mayor of Prague 10, to be re-elected as the Pirate Party leader in the city.

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Hřib has expressed a desire to continue the work started during his period leading the city so far, saying “Prague deserves political continuity and stability.” Priorities including planting trees, combating climate change, building more housing and schools, the completion of the new metro line and other infrastructure projects. Prague municipal elections will take place next autumn.

Weather A white Christmas? Frost and snow return to the Czech Republic

Winter weather is returning to the Czech Republic today, and temperatures will remain freezing until Thursday. On December 24, though, a slight warming is expected, with snowfall turning to rain. Temperatures that afternoon are expected to climb in some places to seven degrees Celsius.

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Family house for rent, 161m<sup>2</sup>, 447m<sup>2</sup> of land

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Family house for rent, 161m<sup>2</sup>, 423m<sup>2</sup> of land

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Family house for rent, 180m<sup>2</sup>, 470m<sup>2</sup> of land

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The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has predicted the coming week to be the warmest of the next four, with the coldest temperatures expected in the week starting January 10. Those dreaming of a white Christmas may be disappointed: the rising temperatures expected for later this week are predicted to cause snowfall in the coming cold spell to melt over Christmas.

Car industry Škoda raising prices in India

All Škoda cars produced in India will get more expensive next year. Prices of the Škoda Kusahq, Octavia and Superb will go up by 3% from January 2022. The Indian subsidiary of the Czech carmaker said that the price hike is the result of rising input costs and increased operational costs.

Škoda is among a number of car manufacturers raising prices in India from next month. While raising costs for existing models, the Czech company will also launch its new Kodiaq model and brand-new Slavia sedan the first quarter of next year. The new types are being produced at the company’s factory in Maharashtra, India.

Abroad Russia fines Prague-based media group labeled “foreign agent”

Prague-based media outlet Medium-Orient has been fined in Russia for failing to comply with the requirements of Moscow’s so-called “foreign agent” law. The media group was added to Russia’s list of “foreign agents” a year ago. This meant all materials published by the company were marked as the productions of an outlet on the “foreign agents” registry. The fine now placed on Medium-Orient is thought by the company to have been the result of a failure to add the necessary “foreign agent” mark on its older archive materials.

Russia's controversial law requires NGOs that receive foreign assistance and are deemed by the government to engage in political activity to be registered, subjected to audits, and to clearly show that they are “foreign agents”. At the end of 2020, the legislation was modified to allow individuals to be placed on the list as well as organizations.

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