Czech daily news roundup: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022

Czechia is ready to take in Ukrainian refugees, Ledecká misses out on second Olympic gold, above-average temperatures expected this week.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.02.2022 09:31:00 (updated on 15.02.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

16:20 National Bank chief refuses to rule out more rate rises

A further increase in the base interest rate by the Czech National Bank can't be ruled out in March, according to Bank chief Jiří Rusnok. But any rate rise would not be huge, as was the case for previous rate hikes at the end of 2021. The bank may use higher interest rates as a tool for tackling inflation, which rose to 9.9 percent in January after the largest month-on-month jump in consumer prices in the history of the independent Czech Republic.

12:58 Czech men's hockey team knocked out of Winter Olympics

The Czech men's ice hockey team has been knocked out of the Winter Olympics in Beijing after losing 2:4 to Switzerland in their playoff match. The team won't compete in the quarterfinals, making this year's performance the worst in Czech Olympic history. The team performed well until their loss against Switzerland, winning two out of their three matches. But the team performed poorly against Switzerland, leading to despondency from players and coach Filip Pešán.

11:49 MPs to vote on releasing Babiš for prosecution

Members of Parliament will vote today on whether to release former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for prosecution over the Čapí hnízdo affair of suspected EU subsidy fraud. Parliament is expected to approve his release for prosecution as advised by its mandate and immunity committee last month. Babiš has sent a letter to other MPs asking them to thoroughly consider the question of whether or not to release him for prosecution, claiming that an MPs mandate should be protected from actions by law enforcement bodies which "regularly impose a sort of preliminary presumption of guilt on politically and publicly active people."

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11:45 More strong winds headed to the Czech Republic

Strong winds will hit the Czech Republic from Wednesday evening until Friday night, according t new predictions from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. Gusts with speeds of between 70 and 100 km/h will hit the country, with the strongest winds expected on Thursday. High winds will start in the western part of the country as well as northern Moravia on Wednesday night, before expanding to the rest of the country on Thursday and intensifying to around 110 km/h.

Ukraine-Russia Czechia is ready to take in Ukrainian refugees, says Fiala

The Czech Republic would be ready to take in refugees coming from Ukraine if tensions at the country’s border with Russia turn into conflict, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced yesterday after a meeting of the State Security Council. No other steps regarding aid for Ukraine are currently being planned.

Nonetheless, the Czech Republic is ready to respond if Ukraine requests any more help. The Czech government has already sent over 4,000 artillery shells to Ukraine to assist in its defense. It’s also possible that the Czech Republic would send a police contingent to the Slovak-Ukrainian border in the event of conflict.

Sport Ledecká apologizes for missing out on second Olympic gold

Ester Ledecká missed out on a second medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics after making a mistake in the closing stages of her run in the woman’s downhill skiing race. The slip-up put her down in 27th place overall.

After winning her third Winter Olympic gold in the snowboard parallel giant slalom last week, hopes were high that Ledecká would pull off another historic double, after becoming the first ever Winter Olympian to win two golds in two different disciplines using different equipment in 2018. But the snowboard champion ended up apologizing to Czechs who woke up during the night to watch her compete.

Weather Above-average temperatures expected this week

The coming week will bring above-average temperatures and windy weather, according to forecasts from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. On Thursday, temperatures in some parts of the Czech Republic could rise as high as 15 degrees Celsius.

Sunny weather will continue in most parts of the country today, but cloud and rain will arrive later in the week. Stiff winds are also expected in most areas. Rain is expected to arrive throughout the country on Wednesday, becoming heavier on Thursday, with snow to fall at high altitudes.

Expats Ukrainians dominate the foreign population of Czechia

Official new statistics show the prevalence of Ukrainian migrants in Czech Republic. The number of employees from Ukraine working in the Czech Republic grew in the last two years despite the effects of the Covid pandemic, rising by 35 percent from December 2019 until the end of last year.

About 51,000 Ukrainians arrived as workers in the Czech Republic in that time frame, taking the total Ukrainian workforce to nearly 200,000. Ukrainians make up more than a quarter of the foreign workforce of the Czech Republic. At the same time, pupils and students with Ukrainian citizenship are the largest foreign group in elementary and secondary schools in the Czech Republic, and the third largest foreign group in universities.

Business Kofola reports large sales increase last year

Popular Czech beverage brand Kofola reported sales growth of 7.5 percent year-on-year for 2021. Total sales rose to CZK 6.636 billion. Preliminary results showed increased profits, rising 9.2 percent to CZK 1.125 billion.

Following on from this success, Kofola has announced that it is considering selling nearly five percent of its shares. The proceeds from selling shares would be used to finance development activities and further growth. In December, the brand announced that it would become a co-owner of a Slovak manufacturer of forms for PET bottles.

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