Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for April 9, 2021

A landmark EU decision rules against Czech anti-vaxxers, Czechia's largest polluter revealed, and an important Czech surrealist exhibit opens in Prague. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 09.04.2021 09:54:00 (updated on 12.04.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Landmark vaccine ruling backs Czech Republic’s requirement to vaccinate children

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) supports the Czech Republic's position on mandatory vaccinations for children, it said in a landmark ruling on Thursday that dismissed Czech parents' complaints that the government violated their rights by insisting on inoculation. Simultaneously, the court recognised that the Czech policy pursued the legitimate aims of protecting individual and public health as well "the pressing need to...guard against any downward trend in the vaccination among children." The case was lodged by Czech families who had children refused admission to kindergarten or had been fined for their refusals to vaccinate their children, with some cases dating back to 2003. Under Czech law, unless medically exempted, children must be vaccinated against nine generally known diseases, like poliomyelitis, hepatitis B or tetanus.

Počerady power plant is the biggest CO2 polluter in the Czech Republic

The lignite-fired power plant Počerady, taken over by the Sev.en Energy group from the state-run CEZ in January, emitted more than 4.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020, the Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth NGOs said. The second biggest polluter, the Tušimice II lignite-fired power plant, emitted 3.7 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, followed by the Vřesová steam-gas power plant with 3.2 million tonnes. Figures are from data by the European Commission. The Počerady plant produces more CO2 emissions than all the trucks and buses in the country together, and uses more coal than any other plant in the country. The high level of CO2 emissions from all ten of the biggest Czech polluters, seven power plants and three industrial firms, have such high CO2 emissions mainly because they fire coal. Last December, the coal commission recommended 2038 as a coal exit date in the Czech Republic. Czech ministries have different views on the coal exit. Environmental NGOs say 2033 should be the latest possible date.

Victims' names read to honour Holocaust Remembrance Day

A three-hour public reading of Holocaust victims was held online Thursday on the occasion of the Holocaust Remembrance Day. The commemoration of Holocaust heroes and victims pays respects to the uprising of Jewish inmates of the Nazi ghetto in Warsaw who tried to defy the deportation to annihilation camps which started on April 19, 1943. The Nazis suppressed the rebellion a month later. Stepkova said by reading the names of the dead, people were creating symbolical tombs and memorials to the Holocaust victims. She also spoke about the dispute that had preceded this year's commemorative act. In the past months, the ITI board decided that the names of Roma Holocaust would not be read this time publicly. Stepkova refused said this year, too, the event would maintain the ten-year tradition of joint reading of the names of Jewish and Roma victims. April 8 was International Roma Day.

Poll: significantly more people drink alone at home during pandemic

People consume alcohol mainly at home with their partners, family, or flatmates and twice as many people than before drink at home due to reduced social contact and restaurant closures, a poll conducted by Nielsen Admosphere shows. The poll, released Thursday, reports that before the pandemic, alcohol consumption was mostly associated with meeting with friends and loved ones. Currently, people drink mostly in company of their household members, 57 percent of respondents say, 17 percentage points more than before the pandemic. Forty-five percent of people see celebrations and family gatherings as occasions to drink alcohol as against 54 percent before the pandemic. Thirty-four percent, mainly young people, cannot imagine meeting friends and close ones without consuming alcohol. Two fifths of people drink alcohol alone now against one fifth before the pandemic.

Prague's National Gallery installs large scale exhibition of Toyen works

The National Gallery (NGP) has installed a large exhibition of works by Czech surrealist painter Toyen (1902-1980) in the Wallenstein Riding School in Prague, but must wait for visitors until galleries are able to reopen. The exhibition "Toyen: the Dreaming Rebel," runs through August 15. Toyen, born Marie Čermínová by her civil name, is one of the most original and well-known Czech artists of the 20th-century, gaining fame in France where she lived from 1947. Her works are among the most expensive at auctions and her exhibits among the most popular with the public. In Prague, the last major Toyen exhibition was in 2000, followed by an exhibit in Saint-Etienne, France, in 2002. The new project, prepared jointly by NGP, the Hamburger Kunsthalle, and Musee d'Art Moderne de Paris, wants to present her work across three exhibitions, the Prague one being the first, and aims to acquaint the European public with Toyen's paintings, drawings, and rich illustrations.

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