Czech daily news roundup: Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Netflix release first pics for 'The Gray Man' filmed in Prague, demonstration held outside German Embassy, and more cyberattacks hit Czechia. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 27.04.2022 09:22:00 (updated on 27.04.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

16:20 Zeman approves Czechia's withdrawal from post-Soviet banks

Czechia will withdraw from post-Soviet international banks in the next six months after President Miloš Zeman signed the renunciation of agreements on the establishment of those institutions in Czechia. The banks concerned include the International Investment Bank and the International Bank for Economic Cooperation. Zeman signed a withdrawal request submitted by the government, which will require obtaining a financial settlement of approximately CZK 2 billion from the two institutions.

15:00 Czech Radio gets new chief

Ondřej Suchan, the current editor-in-chief of popular Czech Radio program Radiožurnál, will become the director of Czech Radio's news section from May 1. Suchan's appointment was confirmed at a management meeting today by CEO René Zavoral. Before joining Czech Radio, Suchan worked for Mladá fronta Dnes, Nedělní svět, and Týden magazine. He started working as a reporter at Czech Radio in 2009.

13:03 Zeman meets Polish President Duda in Prague

Czech President Miloš Zeman met with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda in Prague today. The heads of state discussed Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and Zeman expressed full support for Poland as Russia cuts off its supply of gas to the country. Zeman said the Russian move violates existing contracts. At the same time, Zeman expressed his support for Poland in its previous fights with the EU over adherence to EU values, which Zeman described as "interfering in Polish internal affairs."

Security More cyberattacks hit Czechia

The website of the Czech Ministry of the Interior along with the police and fire brigade website are unavailable this morning due to a cyberattack. A ministry spokesperson announced the outage, saying that the sites were overloaded with so-called DDoS attacks in which attackers flood the sites with a large number of requests.

State websites in Czechia faced similar attacks last week, for which the Killnet hacking group claimed responsibility. The Interior Ministry spokesperson said that no data leaks occurred as a result of today's attack; today, the Killnet group stated on its website that it would attack Czechia media too if they do not cease calling the group "pro-Kremlin".

Film Netflix release first "The Gray Man" snaps

Netflix have released the first images for hotly-anticipated blockbuster The Gray Man, large parts of which were filmed in Prague. Shooting of the film, which stars Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans, saw sections of central Prague shut down last summer.

The Gray Man will be released on Netflix on July 22. It's based on the first of a ten-book series by Mark Greaney, and also stars Bridgerton actor Rege Jean Page and Ana de Armas. Filming in Prague took place in various locations including Čechův most (as shown in the released promotional images) as well as on Jan Palach Square in front of the Rudolfinum.

War Activists highlight German shortcomings in support for Ukraine

Activists held a demonstration outside the German Embassy in Prague yesterday, setting up wooden crosses outside the embassy. The event was intended to highlight Germany's slowness in providing heavy weaponry to the Ukrainian army.

The organizer of the demonstration, Julia Levková, said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's speeches on Ukraine "are full of meaningless excuses, such as arguing that he does not want to provoke a nuclear war by providing heavy weaponry to Ukraine." Levková said that Germany's approach would "definitely extend" Ukraine's war with Russia. Germany yesterday made a U-turn on its weapons policy by sending anti-aircraft tanks to Ukraine.

Cost of living Excise duty to be cut for fuels

Excise duty for petrol and diesel will likely fall temporarily by CZK 1.50 per liter, after a government proposal for the tax reduction was approved from the beginning of June to the end of September. The measure is intended to help drivers deal with spiking fuel costs since the war in Ukraine began.

The tax cut was approved by the lower house of the Czech parliament today, although Andrej Babiš's ANO movement failed to push through its demand that the tax cut apply until the end of the year. The proposal will now go to the upper house of parliament for review.


Development Working group established for fifth Prague metro line

A working group has been established by Prague councilors to examine the possibility of constructing a fifth "O" metro line around the Prague capital. With construction starting last week for the new metro D line, the proposed circular metro route would be the fifth metro line in Prague.

Prague deputy mayor for transport Adam Scheinherr said that an "O" line would ensure connections between outlying city districts which are currently difficult to connect without passing through the congested city center stations. The working group will now start considering the outlines of a feasibility study for the project. Scheinherr said this initial project could be completed by the end of the summer, with a feasibility study to be potentially commissioned in the autumn. The first section of the line would be built in ten years' time at the earliest.

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