Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for June 7, 2021

Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya visits Czech Republic, air passengers detained over suspicion of invalid Covid tests, govt. to revamp system for foreigners' stays Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.06.2021 09:09:00 (updated on 07.06.2021) Reading time: 4 minutes

Belarusian opposition leader Tsikhanouskaya arrives in Prague

Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya arrived in Prague Sunday afternoon at the invitation of Czech Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil. Tsikhanouskaya will stay in the Czech Republic until Thursday. Her talks with Czech politicians will begin on Monday and she will give a speech in the upper house of parliament on Wednesday. Last year, Tsikhanouskaya ran against long-standing Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko in the August presidential elections. According to official results, she gained 10.1 percent of the vote, but many believe that she in fact gained more votes than Lukashenko, who officially won. The EU has not recognized the results of the election, after which Tsikhanouskaya left for abroad since she is threatened with imprisonment in Belarus. Tsikhanouskaya has found asylum in Lithuania and visited Poland and Germany where she met the two countries' heads of the government. She is calling for a new presidential election in Belarus and says Lukashenko has lost legitimacy by his violent suppression of peaceful anti-regime demonstrations. ČTK

Czechs detained at Prague airport due to uncertified tests

Police detained a group of Czech travelers, children among them, coming back from a holiday in Tunisia, during an entry check at Prague's Václav Havel Airport Saturday. The passengers were detained in the passport control area for several hours according to which reported that officials suspected that holidaymakers returning from a Tunisian package holiday organized by BlueStyle agency did not have valid tests. GHC Genetics which provides passenger testing at the airport tested the passengers who police believe had been given false test confirmation. The travel agency maintains that tests performed before departure to the Czech Republic were in full compliance with current legislation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it will look into the situation. ČTK

Czech govt. to revamp system for foreigners' stay

The Interior Ministry wants to develop a new electronic information system related to foreigners' stays in the Czech Republic as the current system is in paper format, it says in a report that will be submitted to the cabinet on Monday. The ministry says the costs of the development of the new system and its operation for the first five years will be roughly CZK 600 million. It will ask the European Union to cover most of the cost. Foreigners’ stays include the granting and subsequent extending of various types of residence permits in the country for more than 90 days; registration of changes made in connection with childbirth, marriage, and death and providing these data to other institutions should also be updated. The report says more than 500,000 such procedures were carried out in 2020 and 2019. Getting a residence permit can be unclear and complicated for foreigners. The system, which now falls under the police, needs to be made electronic. New digital services for foreigners, who mostly have neither their own data boxes nor electronic signatures, also need to be introduced, the ministry writes. The project documentation of the new system should be worked out this year. The system itself would be completed by 2025. ČTK

Poll: Nearly half of Czech say their economic situation improved

Nearly half of Czechs (44 percent) consider their current economic situation better than it was two years ago, according to a newly released Kantar CZ survey. The survey showed that 39 percent of the people said their economic situation remained unchanged and 17 percent said it worsened compared with 2019. When the same survey was conducted in June 2019, 38 percent of the respondents said their economic situation improved over the past two years. The number of people whose savings are at the level of one monthly salary decreased from 35 to 29 percent over the past two years. On the contrary, the number of those with savings equaling their six-monthly salaries increased from 24 to 27 percent. One-fourth of the respondents had savings equaling two or three monthly salaries. Kantar CZ analysts say mainly people in their 20s, university graduates, people in highly qualified professions, and supporters of the ANO movement declared their economic situation improved. Supporters of the Communists were the least positive in this respect. ČTK

Remains of Czechoslovak RAF bomber crew found in Netherlands

Bodily remains belonging to the Czechoslovak crew of an RAF bomber, shot down near the Dutch municipality Nieuwe Niedorp, were recently discovered, the Czech Embassy in The Hague announced. "The plane wreckage includes the remains of five members of the Czech crew," the Czech Foreign Ministry said. The wreckage is a Vickers Wellington 1c T2990 bomber from the 311th Czechoslovak RAF bombing squadron. It was shot down by a German fighter when returning from an air attack on Bremen on June 23, 1941. Alois Rozum, Leonard Smrcek, Vilem Konstatsky, Jan Hejna, and Karel Valach were the missing members of the six-member crew of the shot-down bomber. Vilem Bufka was the only survivor. He was then captured by the Germans, but survived the war. Previously, no traces of the missing crew were found. Experts are now trying to sort the found human remains of the individual crew members. The analysis will take several months. The work on recovering the wreckage started on May 25. ČTK

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