Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for October 25, 2021

Senate may convene over President's health, govt. wants to give police more Covid-related powers, Czech birth certificates could change.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 25.10.2021 09:59 (updated on 25.10.2021) Reading time: 5 minutes

Politics Senate may discuss President’s health on November 9

The Czech Senate is considering November 9 as a possible date for an extraordinary session on the health condition of hospitalized President Miloš Zeman, Senate leader Miloš Vystrčil (ODS) said. The Senate session would focus on Zeman’s ability to carry out his presidential duties.

Before any vote on the possible transfer of presidential powers to other constitutional officials, the Senate will ask Prague’s Central Military Hospital (ÚVN) for the latest report on Zeman’s health condition. Vystrčil also said the discussion may be influenced by whether or not powers could be transferred with immediate effect, or whether a court would have to assess the move first. The President is required to accept the resignation of the outgoing government when the new Chamber of Deputies meets for the first time on November 8.

Covid Plans to give police more powers to issue fines to Covid rule-breakers

The Czech government plans to discuss an amendment regulating the powers of the state and municipal police in connection with the Covid pandemic, allowing officers to issue on-the-spot fines for violations of anti-epidemic rules. Such a change has already been rejected by the Senate once, and in June, the Chamber of Deputies did not have enough votes to override the upper house of parliament on the matter.

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The government prepared the amendment as a legal basis for imposing fines on entrepreneurs and companies for violating Covid restrictions at the end of 2020. It would see offenders hit with fines of up to CZK 3 million for failing to follow restrictions issued under the Crisis Act. Senators saw the upper limit for fines as disproportionately high, potentially leading to bankruptcy for offending companies or sole traders.

TRAVEL Gunther of Bohemia footpath opens in Plzeň region

A major new walking route named the Footpath of Gunther has opened in Bohemia, connecting the Plzeň region with Lower Bavaria in Germany. The 162-kilometer route comprises nine one-day stages between locations connected with the life of medieval Bavarian hermit and diplomat Gunther, who is venerated as a saint in the area despite never having been canonized.

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Maps, a mobile app, educational program and comic strip have all been made to support the opening of the new route, which leads from the Niederalteich in Germany to Blatná in the Czech Republic, via Hartmanice and Dobrá Voda. Both the Plzeň and Lower Bavaria regions which plant apple trees while adding statues, benches and information boards along the route. There is also a new exhibition of Gunther in the Simon Adler Museum in Dobrá Voda. 

Business Czech data science consultancy acquired by French firm Atos

French IT company Atos has bought Czech technology consultancy DataSentics, which specializes in data science. DataSentics was founded in 2016, focusing on the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions. The company employs around 100 data scientists and data engineers.

With headquarters in Prague, DataSentics sells solutions to customers throughout Europe, mostly large enterprises in the financial services, retail and media industries. The firms clients include household names such as Allianz, Generali, Microsoft, Nestle, Red Bull and the Vienna Insurance Group. The terms of the acquisition by Atos have not been disclosed.

Culture Eight cultural icons win Ministry of Culture awards

Eight famous personalities in the world of culture received awards from the Ministry of Gala at a gala event at the New Stage of the National Theater. The winners included Miloslav Topinka, who won a prize for literature, translator Alena Moráková, artist Adéla Matasová, and screenwriter, actor and writer Zdeněk Svěrák.

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Ministry of Culture and state prizes are awarded to key cultural figures every on the occasion of the national holiday of October 28, for literature and translation work, as well as for contributions in the fields of theater, music, fine arts, architecture, cinematography and audio-visual work. The awards are given for artists and creators whose works have stood the test of time to become enduring classics.

Sport Czech ice hockey star Jágr wins European career award

Czech ice hockey legend Jaromír Jágr has won the Warrior Career Excellence Award 2021 from the Alliance of European Hockey Clubs. Five other players alongside Jágr were nominated for the award, with public votes deciding the eventual winner.

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Jágr, 49, still plays in the top Czech ice hockey league for Kladno, the club he owns. His career highlights have included a gold medal at the Nagano Olympics in 1998, golds at the world championships in Austria (2005) and Germany (2010), and Stanley Cup victories in 1991 and 1992. He also enjoyed a successful playing career in the U.S.A., where he won multiple NHL player awards.

Business Bees Airline sets up hive of activity at Prague Airport

Ukrainian air travel start-up Bees Airline has opened a new route flying between Prague and the Ukrainian coastal town of Odessa. The first flight from Odessa to Prague landed on Sunday. Flights will run on Thursday and Sunday every work, with the Odessa-Prague route leaving at 09:30 and arriving in Prague at 10:45, and the Prague-Odessa route departing at 11:45 and arriving in Odessa at 15:00.

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All flights will be operated using a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, one of the airline’s four 737s. This will be the only flight operating the Prague-Odessa route, although the line was previously served by Czech Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February this year and has subsequently reduced its network.

Society Gender-neutral “Parent” to appear on birth certificates for same-sex couples

In a change applying only to same-sex couples, birth registries will be able to start issuing birth certificates bearing the terms “parent” to replace “mother” and “father,” accommodating for same-sex couples. Birth certificates for heterosexual couples will not change in any way. The change was announced by the Ministry of the Interior.

The draft amendment, which should enter into force in January 2022, follows a court case in Brno in which two fathers wanted to be registered on their daughter’s birth certificate but were unable to do so as one of them would have to be labelled as “mother.” The Brno court proposed the creation of a new form allowing for designation as “parents.” 

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