Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for September 3, 2021

Prague's National Museum celebrates return of the whale, ruling ANO party launches election campaign, more than 700 heritage sites to open in September. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 03.09.2021 09:30:00 (updated on 03.09.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Prague’s National Museum celebrates return of the whale

Prague’s National Museum is opening a permanent exhibition called “Miracles of Evolution” with the Museum’s famous and painstakingly restored skeleton of a fin whale at its center. 1,500 unique objects also feature in the exhibition, which is being called one of the most modern scientific exhibitions in Europe. It has been prepared over a period of five years by the National Museum in cooperation with experts, artists and IT specialists, telling the compelling story of evolution and presenting the world of animals in an interactive and dynamic way. The restored fin whale skeleton which forms the centerpiece of the exhibition was transferred to the National Museum from the Czech Industrial Museum 129 years ago, and has since become a symbol of the institution.

ANO party launches election campaign with pension and benefit promises

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party started its election campaign yesterday in Ústi nad Labem, North Bohemia. The party’s election manifesto includes a commitment to raise the average pension to CZK 20,000 by 2025, to increase parental benefit, and not to raise taxes. Babiš suggested this will be the last election in which he will run, saying the vote in October is “the last chance to vote for Babiš." The party’s pension commitment would be a major increase from the current average of just over CZK 16,000, while the promised parental benefit increase is also significant, up to CZK 400,000 from the current CZK 300,000. The party also said it would increase salaries for teachers, doctors, nurses, soldiers, firefighters and policemen. Babiš underlined ANO’s tough stance against migration, saying that as long he is Prime Minister, the Czech Republic will “not accept a single illegal migrant.” He also said that the party is against the EU proposal to end the sale of combustion-engine cars by 2035.

More than 700 Czech heritage sites to open in European scheme

Hundreds of Czech sites have been registered to open to the public within the European Heritage Days (EHD) scheme to be held from September 11 to 19 under the slogan “Heritage Sites for All”. In the Czech Republic, the heritage days will be accompanied by 220 events. The national EHD opening will be held in Uherské Hradiště, south Moravia, where the Ministry of Culture will present awards for the “bearers of the folk craft tradition,” people who continue to keep old handicrafts and trades alive. This year’s awards will go to Jiři Danzinger, a traditional blue print manufacturer, Ludmila Farkašová, a maker of traditional embroidery, Filip Trunečka, a traditional lime plasterer, Miroslav Vrtěna, a maker of wooden casks and barrels, and the Rautis firm for its glass bead blowing craft and handmade Christmas ornaments. The EHD event has been held in Europe since 1991, and the Czech program for this year can be found here.

Czech mortgage prices increase with country’s largest banks

The Czech Republic’s largest banks have announced a hike in mortgage loan rates due to an increase in the price of money on the banking market. The ČSOB Group is raising interest rates by 0.2 percentage points, with the new prices to take effect on September 13. The interest rate on the most common mortgage will therefore be 2.69 percent. Česká spořitelna meanwhile announced that it would also increase interest rates by 0.2 percent, with the change having taken effect from September 2. The bank’s most common rates will therefore start at 2.74 percent per year. “The era of low mortgage interest rates is coming to an end,” said the a spokesperson from the bank. Moneta Money Bank had already raised its interest rates by 0.25 percent in August, while Raiffeisenbank raised rates in mid-July.

Safari Park Dvůr Králové breeds rare blue-winged geese

Safari Park Dvůr Králové has successfully managed to breed a blue-winged goose for the first time in its history. The success was made all the more remarkable by the fact that two chicks were hatched on the same day, subsequently placed in the breeding area of the bird pavilion. The blue-winged goose is only endemic in Ethiopa. Dvůr Králové, which specializes in African animal species, has had a successful year for breeding. Earlier this summer, the park welcomed two rare Barbary lion cubs, while it has also seen births of spur-winged geese, knob-billed ducks, and other rare species. The arrival of the new blue-winged geese is especially remarkable as there are only around 40 adult specimens of the species in Europe.

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