Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for October 1, 2021

Czech economy grows in Q2, NGO registered 13,600 domestic violence incidents in 2020, Lobkowicz noble family plans NFT auction to raise funds. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 01.10.2021 09:56:00 (updated on 01.10.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech economy grew by 8.1 percent year-on-year in Q2

Data from the Czech Statistical Office shows that the Czech economy grew by 8.1 percent in the second quarter of this year compared to the same period last year, and by around one percent quarter-on-quarter. GDP fell by 2.5 percent year-on-year and by 0.4 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of the year. Q2 growth was driven by the almost full resumption of economic activity, now at almost 95 percent of its 2019 pre-pandemic level.

Economic growth is expected to continue for the rest of the year, although long-standing problems in the industrial sector may pose problems according to analysts. Household income and consumption rose sharply in Q2, with real income increasing by 3.9 percent compared to Q1. This was the highest quarter-on-quarter increase in income in the country’s recorded history.

NGO registers 13,600 domestic violence incidents in 2020

The White Circle of Safety (BKB) organization, which provides support for victims of domestic violence, registered 13,600 incidents at its eleven centers in the Czech Republic in 2020, ten percent less than in 2019. Its two phone lines for crime victims and people threatened with domestic violence received 6,647 calls, 500 more than the previous year. 1,170 people were banished from their household due to domestic violence by police last year.

According to government data, more than 600 cases of rape and 400 cases of torture of a person living in the same household were reported to the police last year. Around a fifth of people who asked for help said the behavior of their aggressor worsened during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lobkowicz family plans non-fungible token auction

The Czech Lobkowicz noble family plans to hold an auction of unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to raise money for necessary restoration work for its real estate and works of art. NFTs are digital works with a certificate of authenticity which cannot be stolen. Their popularity has risen sharply among collectors.

One of the Lobkowicz family’s planned NFTs will be an animated presentation of the decay and renewal of a painting at the family’s chateau in Nelahozeves, north of Prague, one of the locations return to the family after the fall of Communism in 1989. The Lobkowicz’s real estate and works of art are part of the Czech Republic’s national cultural heritage, which cannot be sold without government consent. Yet the family does not receive public funding and needs to raise funds to care for its possessions.

No agreement on Czech-Polish mine dispute

Although talks had earlier seemed promising, Poland and the Czech Republic have not agreed a solution to the dispute over continued operations at Poland’s Turów coal mine, Polish Environment Minister Michał Kurtyka said. The two countries still differ on the length of the agreement over Turów, which supplies lignite to a neighboring power plant. The PGE group which owns the mine and power plant wants to continue operations until 2044, extending the mining area and depth up to 30 square kilometers and 330 meters.

Local Czech residents living in the Liberec region on the other side of the border complain that doing so would bring about drinking water shortages as well as increase dust and noise. Poland is refusing to comply with a ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union to shut down the mine.

Almost 120,000 people visit Sun Kings museum exhibit ending today

The Sun Kings exhibition at Prague’s National Museum attracted almost 120,000 visitors, a spokesperson said ahead of the closure of the exhibit today. The Sun Kings exhibition presented archaeological findings from Egypt, and was one of the most successful museum experiences in the history of the National Museum and of the Czech Republic as a whole. It was prepared by the museum in cooperation with Charles University’s Egyptology Institute and Egypt’s supreme council of antiquities, presenting 300 exhibits including 80 items uncovered by a Czech expedition to Egypt. It opened to mark 100 years of Czech Egyptology in 2019.

Czechs excessively overuse antibiotics

Czechs’ consumption of antibiotics rose by over a fifth over the last 30 years, while around half of them are administered wrongly, said the head of the National Reference Laboratory for Antibiotics at the National Health Institute. Most antibiotics are prescribed by doctors in GP surgeries. Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the bacteria ceasing to react to their effect, making them more resistant, the head of the laboratory warned.

A campaign to be launched this November will aim to stem the growth in the use of these drugs. Around half of antibiotics are given wrongly because most respiratory diseases are of viral origin, against which antibiotics have no effect. The campaign will call on doctors to be braver in explaining to patients that antibiotics are unnecessary to treat respiratory problems.

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