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

A bill to compensate victims of forced sterilization moves ahead, Moneta Money Bank to acquire Air Bank Group, anonymous caller threatens school shooting.

Expats.cz

Written by Expats.cz
Published on 07.05.2021 09:12 (updated on 07.05.2021)

Czech bill to compensate illegally sterilized Roma women moves forward

A bill to compensate illegally sterilized women passed the second reading in the Czech Chamber of Deputies Thursday. Amendments to the Health Services Act were also passed to help transform infant care facilities and replace them with care in family environments. In Czechoslovakia, guidelines on the performance of sterilizations were adopted in 1971 as part of the state's policy on this practice, and during the time those guidelines were in effect, Romani women were systematically sterilized throughout the country without giving their full and informed consent as a means of controlling the Romani birth rate. Those guidelines were revoked in 1993. Sources say, however, that the most recent case of a Romani woman being given no choice but to undergo sterilization dates from 2007. Read more at Romea.cz

Czech police investigating an anonymous threat aimed at kindergartens

An anonymous caller threatened to attack a Czech kindergarten Thursday. The police organized crime squad (NCOZ) tweeted: "[We are] intensively dealing with an anonymous threat about a planned attack on a kindergarten that has not been specified. In coordination with regional police commands, we have adopted preventive measures and are taking steps towards detecting the threat's author." NCOZ spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej said a number of measures have been taken to strengthen security at schools. Two years ago, threats of a school shooting were made on social media to an unspecified school in Prague by an anonymous perpetrator; police reinforced patrols in the vicinity, however, the most recent threat was aimed at the entire Czech Republic.

Vaccinated Czechs could travel more easily to neighboring countries from May 15

According to remarks made by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš Thursday, the Czech Republic has already agreed with some neighboring countries, as well as with Hungary and Slovenia, to open travel for the vaccinated from mid-May. "From May 15, we can allow their citizens to travel to the Czech Republic with a certificate of vaccination if at least 14 days have passed since the vaccine was administered," said Babiš. "Apart from these neighbors, we will also address the biggest destinations for our citizens, i.e. Croatia, Greece, and Bulgaria," the PM added. At the European level, the "digital green certificate," Babiš said, is not expected to be released until July.

20,000 Czechs have already bought tickets for the summer train to Croatia

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Croatian server Jutarnji List reports that over 20,000 Czechs have already bought a ticket for the RegioJet train which will start bringing the first passengers to the Adriatic coast on May 28. Unlike last year, when Czechs had the opportunity to travel exclusively to Rijeka by train, a line was introduced to Split this year, and the train will pass through Zagreb and Budapest. RegiotJet announced the interest for all their lines, including the one to Croatia, is growing by 25 percent from week to week. Already this week, RegioJet reached the number of passengers they had only in mid-September last year.

Moneta signs agreement to acquire Air Bank Group

In what is being considered one of the largest deals in the Czech banking world, Moneta Money Bank has signed a framework agreement with PPF Group companies regarding the acquisition of Air Bank, the Czech and Slovak Home Credit, and Benxy. The acquisition is conditional on the approval of the bank's shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting to be held in June. Through the merger, Moneta will acquire 100 percent of the shares of the Air Bank group from the PPF group, which recently saw the death of its founder and Czech billionaire Petr Kellner, for a total purchase price of CZK 25.9 billion. With approximately 2.4 million clients, the joint venture will represent the third-largest domestic banking house after Česká spořitelna and ČSOB.

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