Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for August 31, 2021

Most evacuated Afghans want to remain in the Czech Republic, Czechs take home Paralympic gold in archery, Czech company to make IPO in London. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 31.08.2021 09:57:00 (updated on 31.08.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Most evacuated Afghans want to remain in the Czech Republic

The majority of Afghans evacuated to the Czech Republic from Kabul want to stay in the country as they are already familiar it after working with the Czech Republic in some form, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Jan Hamáček has said. 152 out of the 169 Afghans who arrived on evacuated flights are seeking international protection from the Czech Republic, while the rest have alternative residency status elsewhere. Admission procedures are now underway for those who applied for protection. Hamáček suggested that the asylum procedure may be expedited in the case of Afghan evacuees, as their circumstances are relatively clear. Afterwards, integration into Czech life should begin, including help with housing and jobs. The Czech Republic sent three special military planes to evacuate a total of 195 people from the country, including Afghans as well as Czech diplomats and citizens.

Miloš Zeman’s presidential campaign violated the law three times

The Office for the Supervision of the Financial Management of Political Parties and Movements found three violations of the law in President Miloš Zeman’s presidential campaign in 2018. They cite Zeman’s trips to the Czech regions as a violation of the rules, with Zeman’s position as President exploited to conduct his election campaign. The findings mean the office can impose fines of CZK 10,000 and 100,000 for each violation. A spokesperson for the President described the decision as bizarre and politicized, noting that the office has chosen to interpret the exercising of the presidential role as an election campaign in and of itself. Zeman’s spokesperson claimed the finding is part of a concerted campaign from the office against the President.

Czech company Eurowag to offer shares on London Stock Exchange

Czech provider of payment and technology services for road hauliers Eurowag is expected to launch an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in September. The offer, worth £1.7 billion (over CZK 50 billion), will be one of the biggest made on the LSE this year. The Czech company has decided to entrust investment banking companies Citigroup and Morgan Stanley with organizing its initial public offering, a decision described in the British press as a boost for the London financial market after multinational mining company BHP, a FTSE 100 index member, decided to withdraw from the LSE. Eurowag, which was founded more than 25 years ago, allows smaller transportation companies to use a single payment system for fuel, tolls and VAT refunds. It also helps them plan efficient routes, reducing drivers’ time behind the wheel and minimizing journeys made with half-empty or completely empty trucks.

Czech takes home Paralympic archery gold medal

Czech archer David Drahoninský won the gold medal in the individual archery competition after winning a silver in the team competition with Šárka Musilová. Drahoninský swept to victory in the quarter-finals and semi-finals before facing Turkish competitor Nahit Turkmenoglu in the final. The final was dramatic: although Drahoninský led from the beginning, the final round saw the Turkish archer move one point into the lead for the first time. The Czech representative responded to the pressure, though, hitting the bullseye with his very last arrow to take home gold. In other news, swimmer Miroslav Smrčka fought bravely in a 200-meter race but missed out on the final. Czech involvement in the competition will intensify over the coming days with handcycling, running, shooting, swimming, and table tennis events. A full program for Czech Paralympic involvement can be found here.

Indian summer? Start of September to see sunshine after showers

After a rainy and cold Tuesday, the rest of the week will be warmer and dryer, according to meteorologists. Weekly average highs of around 20 degrees Celsius are expected until the end of September, suggesting the start of autumn will be warm. Compared to the damp end to August, showers should be rare in September. The improved weather is bound to be a relief after a poor end to the summer, although September is not expected to be unusually hot: the long-term average temperature between August 30 and September 26 is expected to be 14.5 degrees this year, compared to the all-time record for the same period of 17.4 degrees recorded in 1942.

President Zeman signs law on compensation for Vrbětice explosions

Compensation totaling up to CZK 700 million will be open to municipalities, people and the Zlín region as compensation for the explosions in Vrbětice in 2014. President Zeman signed the compensation into law on Sunday. In 2014, two ammunition depots exploded, leading to the deaths of two people and extensive damage. Earlier this year, Czech security services made it known that they have a reasonable suspicion that Russian covert operatives were involved in the explosions. The revelations provoked a diplomatic rift with Russia and the expulsion of embassy staff in both countries. The newly-approved compensation will be divided between the Zlín region, Bohuslavice nad Vláří, Haluzice, Lipová, Vlachovice and Slavičín. The proposal was approved by deputies from all parliamentary parties.

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