Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for August 13, 2021

German President to visit the Czech Republic, number of tourists visiting Prague nearly doubles, Rock for People Hope festival kicks off in Hradec Králové. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.08.2021 09:56:00 (updated on 13.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Number of tourists visiting Prague nearly doubled in Q2 2021

The number of tourists staying overnight in Prague grew by approximately 90 percent in the second quarter of the year, data published by the Czech Statistical Office has shown. From April to June, 252,427 people used accommodation facilities in Prague. More than three-fifths of the visitors were Czech citizens or people living in the country. At the same time, the number of foreign guests rose by 97 percent compared to 2020. The total number of overnight stays in Czech accommodation establishments hit 4.2 million, 56.1 percent more than in the same period of the previous year. The highest proportion of foreign guests to the country came from neighboring Germany.

Rock for People Hope festival starts at Hradec Králové Airport

The Rock for People Hope festival starts today in the Hradec Králové airport complex and will last until Saturday, August 14. It is a replacement for the Rock for People festival canceled due to Covid restrictions. The festival will be held in the Festival Park across three stages, with the participation of foreign and domestic performers, according to information on the festival’s website. The two-day event is referred to by the organizers as a "light version" of the twice-delayed Rock for People. Performers at the event will include Swedish rockers Mando Diao, Northern Irish singer JC Stewart and Italian rock band Maneskin, the winners of the Eurovision song contest. The Rock for People festival has attracted more than 20,000 people to Hradec Králové in recent years.

Russian School in Prague may close due to diplomatic row

With diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Russia strained over the Vrbětice explosion revelations earlier this year, a new dispute has arisen over staff at Prague’s Russian School. Dozens of Russian embassy staff were expelled from the country in the wake of revelations about Russian involvement in the Vrbětice affair in 2014. Now, the Russian School may not re-open in September as a result of the Czech-Russia rift. The dispute has arisen from the fact that the school insists Russian teachers should have diplomatic status, but the Czech Republic only wants to offer non-diplomatic stays in the country. The school, which is celebrating its centenary, says a solution will continue to be sought to resolve the issue.

German President to visit Czech Republic in late August

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will visit the Czech Republic between August 25 and 27. During his visit, President Steinmeier will speak with Czech President Miloš Zeman and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. The German President is set to travel to the Czech Republic by train, and along with Prague, he will also visit Ústi nad Labem in North Bohemia. Steinmeier wants to use the train journey to meet people for whom Czech-German cooperation is a matter of everyday life. “Germany and the Czech Republic are politically, economically and culturally closely interconnected,” the German Presidential Office said. In Prague, Steinmeier also wants to meet the chairman of the Senate and the head of the Chamber of Deputies. He will also speak with German industry representatives and will visit the Czech-German Research and Innovation Centre for Advanced Industrial Production (RICAIP) in Prague.

Police chase van carrying migrants, driver found in Stromovka

Police chased a van carrying migrants whose driver refused to stop for a routine check on the D1 motorway near Prague on Thursday morning. The driver attempted to escape the police in the capital city itself, leading to an accident in Holešovice, after which the driver fled the scene. The police arrested 23 people, most of them Syria, shortly after the chase stopped, and an additional six migrants were subsequently detained following the intervention of police helicopters. Later, the driver was located in the nearby Stromovka park. If found guilty of transporting illegal immigrants, he faces up to five years in prison.

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