Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for October 5, 2021

Babiš in the international spotlight over Pandora Papers, polls suggest stalemate after Czech election, Czech firm makes reliquary for the Pope. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.10.2021 09:56:00 (updated on 05.10.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Babiš focus of French and international press over Pandora Papers

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš made headlines in a number of important international media outlets over revelations about his use of offshore companies to purchase luxury properties in France. Le Monde put Babiš’s French property front and center in its coverage of the global Pandora Papers scandal, reporting that Babiš’s French chateau is a two-story villa with a billiard room, cinema room, sauna and swimming pool.

Other French media also focused on Babiš, including Ouest-France, Radio France, and others. Other major international news outlets including Britain’s The Guardian and The Independent focused on Babiš’s suspicious financial dealings.

Latest poll before Czech election suggests possible stalemate

The latest opinion poll published before the Czech general election next weekend has suggested the country may be heading for a political stalemate. ANO is set to win the largest vote share, according to a poll conducted by the STEM agency for CNN Prima News, but the ruling party will have a hard time finding coalition partners. The two opposition coalitions Pirates+STAN and SPOLU will meanwhile be unable to form a majority government.

According to STEM’s model, Andrej Babiš’s ANO would win 65 seats, followed by SPOLU with 49 seats, Pirates+STAN with 39 seats and the SPD with 27 seats. Also making it to the Chamber of Deputies would be the Communists with 12 seats, and the Přihasa party with 8 seats. A new government needs to have a majority of at least 101 seats in parliament.

Czech firm Pačinek Glass makes reliquary for the Pope

The Pačinek Glass firm, based in Kunratice, has created a unique crystal glass reliquary containing a bone of St. Zdislava, the patron saint of the Liberec region, for Pope Francis. The project was announced by glass factory manager David Sobotka. The reliquary will be presented to the Pope in November. Until, then its design will remain secret, and during a mass celebrated by Papal Nuncio Charles Daniel Balvo in Kunratice today, the object was covered with a veil.

Cold glass making technology was used to create the reliquary, as the tiny bone of St Zdislava which it contains would not survive the heat of molten glass-making. The reliquary, made of transparent solid glass, took two weeks to complete.

Terezín camp survivor blasts Joe Rogan for viral video

A survivor of the Terezín concentration camp has hit out at U.S. personality Joe Rogan for appearing to draw parallels between atrocities witnessed during the Second World War and the idea of mandatory proof of vaccination against Covid-19. A viral video posted on the podcaster’s Instagram account features footage from the Holocaust accompanied by a voiceover by Rogan condemning the idea of compulsory Covid vaccination.

Gidon Lev, an 86-year-old Holocaust survivor who was taken with his parents to the Terezín concentration camp 50 kilometers north of Prague in 1941, condemned Rogan's video. Lev was kept in the concentration camp from the age of 6 to 10. He gained freedom when the camp was liberated in 1945. Lev posted two videos in response to Rogan’s post, which have been viewed more than 680,000 times on TikTok.

T-Mobile and O2 offer concessions in mobile network competition probe

T-Mobile and O2 have offered concessions after a European Commission assessment found a network sharing deal between the two operators “may restrict competition” in the Czech Republic by reducing the ability and incentives for the companies to “unilaterally invest in network infrastructure.”

After raising concerns about the companies’ continued investment in the Czech Republic, T-Mobile and O2 offered to modernize their mobile networks by deploying multi-standard RAN equipment in certain radio frequency layers. Another proposal would minimize the exchange of information between the two companies to the minimum necessary to operate their shared network. If the proposals are breached after approval by the European Commission, the EC could impose a fine of up to 10 percent of each company’s global turnover.

On this day in Czech history

On this day, Oct. 5, 1936, Václav Havel was born. A Czech statesman, playwright, and former dissident, he served as the last President of Czechoslovakia from 1989 until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1992 and then as the first President of the Czech Republic from 1993 to 2003. Today would have been his 85th birthday.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more