Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for August 24, 2021

Czech Republic sends aid money to Lithuania, former Health Minister under investigation, Prague International Marathon is cancelled.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 24.08.2021 10:00:00 (updated on 24.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech Republic sends aid to Lithuania over illegal migration

The Czech Republic will send CZK 13.5 million to Lithuania to help the country cope with a wave of illegal migration from Belarus, Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček said, adding that the cabinet has approved the Interior Ministry’s proposal. CZK 3.2 million in aid was already sent to Lithuania in late July. From January 1 to July, Lithuanian border guards arrested more than 4,000 illegal migrants, compared to 81 migrants last year. Illegal border crossings dramatically increased after the EU imposed new economic sanctions on the regime of Alexander Lukashenko. The Czech Interior Ministry has said that the use of illegal migration as an instrument to put pressure on the EU is unacceptable for the Czech Republic. The financial aid being sent to Lithuania will be used to construct a border wall, increase accommodation facilities, and directly support migrants and applicants for international protection.

Former Health Minister under investigation by Charles University Ethics Commission

The dean of Charles University has initiated procedures of the university’s Ethics Commission over the affairs of Petr Arenberger, the former Health Minister. Arenberger had to step down after only seven weeks in the role after details emerged of his property ownership, his renting of real estate to the Na Vinohradech hospital, and profits flowing from clinical studies to his own private firm. Arenberger has repeatedly denied the accusations and resumed his post as hospital director following his resignation from politics. Earlier, in June, current Health Minister Adam Vojtěch said that a Ministry check revealed no irregularities in the Na Vinohradech hospital, but another check, conducted by the Finance Ministry, uncovered a possible conflict of interest.

Postponed Prague International Marathon is canceled

The Prague International Marathon, which was previously postponed from May until October due to Covid restrictions, has now been cancelled because of ongoing pandemic measures, the organizers have confirmed. “Under the measures currently in place, we cannot guarantee high-quality, secure and problem-free organization of the race, including more than 3,000 runners,” RunCzech said. Under normal circumstances, up to 18,000 people take part in the marathon. Those who registered to take part in the marathon can now transfer their registration to next year’s event, to be held in May 2022. Two other major running events to be held in Prague in September have also been canceled: the half-marathon and the 10 kilometer Grand Prix. Current restrictions would make it necessary for runners to start in smaller groups and to maintain social distancing.

PPF to buy remaining minority stake in Home Credit

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According to the PPF Group’s annual reports for 2020 and 2019, the acquisition of the minority stake in Home Credit held by Emma Omega should be purchased by PPF by the end of 2023. Emma Capital owns 8.88 percent in Home Credit. “Emma Omega will sell all its shares in the Home Credit Group following the due expiration of the agreement on December 31, 2023,” said PPF’s latest annual report. Home Credit, which provides consumer loans worldwide, reported a loss of €584 million last year. The previous year, it made a profit of €400 million. The pandemic and related damage to the global economy was responsible for this downturn in performance.

Czech team remains undefeated at women’s hockey world championship

The Czech women’s hockey team has made a stellar start at the world championships in Canada. The Czech Republic defeated Japan 4-0 in their latest match to extend their winning streak to 3 matches. Dominika Lásková opened the scoring in the first period, before further goals followed in the second and third periods. Klára Peslarová made a total of 24 saves to keep Japan off the scoreboard. The Czech Republic was promoted to the International Ice Hockey Federation’s top division in 2015, and since then they have achieved sixth and eighth place finishes at world championships. The team’s promising start in the group stages of this year’s tournament is raising hopes that a higher finish could be achieved this time around.

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