Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for September 8, 2021

Czech Republic sends aid to Lithuania border, war of words erupts between President and Prague Mayor, Czechs skeptical about EU membership. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 08.09.2021 09:48:00 (updated on 08.09.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech Republic opposes refugee influx, sends aid to Lithuania

The prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria stand against illegal immigration and do not want to see a repeat of the situation in 2015 when refugees from the Middle East arrived in Europe in huge numbers. This was stated by prime ministers Andrej Babiš, Eduard Heger and Sebastian Kurz after a meeting in Moravia. The leaders commented on developments in Afghanistan, agreeing that it is necessary to help Afghans in their homeland and in neighboring states. Andrej Babiš said that “there is really no more space” in Europe for more refugees. The Czech Republic meanwhile vowed to send €530,000 to Lithuania to help combat illegal immigration encouraged by EU neighbor Belarus in recent weeks, saying Lithuania “defends the EU’s outer border and deserves our complete support.”

President calls on Prague mayor to remedy transport in the capital

Czech President Miloš Zeman has called on Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib to remedy the situation in Prague transport, saying in an open letter that Hřib should consider apologizing for the situation while tendering his own resignation. The Pirate Mayor of Prague responded by saying that City Hall inherited the state of Prague’s roads from the previous ANO administration and that rectifying the problems is a priority. Zeman said the current situation is critical and even endangers the operation of emergency services, while showing a disregard for car drivers who use their vehicles to get to work and perform other necessary tasks.

Czechs most skeptical about EU membership among V4 states

A new poll conducted by the Slovak Institute for Public Affairs has suggested that Czechs are the most skeptical about EU membership of any Visegrád Four country, taking into account attitudes in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Only 41 percent of Czechs who took part in the poll consider EU membership a positive, compared to 57 percent of Slovaks, 59 percent of Hungarians and 68 percent of Poles. Pollsters also said the Czech Republic saw a particularly large share of people who consider EU membership explicitly negative for the country. Opinions between V4 states are also divided when it comes to the USA and Russia. Poles have the highest level of trust in the USA and Slovaks the least, while Russia is perceived the best in Slovakia and the worst in Poland.

Czech Foreign Minister demands release of Belarusian political prisoners

The Czech Republic demands that the Belarusian regime releases all political prisoners and starts a real dialogue with the opposition, Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek tweeted. Kulhánek’s words came after a court in Minsk handed out eleven- and ten-year prison sentences for Belarusian opposition leaders Maryya Kalesnikava and Maksim Znak. The EU said their sentences amounted to an ignorance of human rights and called for their release. The indictment said the two opposition figures conspired in order to seize power, claiming they constituted a threat to national security and were at the head of an extremist group. The EU believes there are currently over 650 political prisoners in Belarus.

Prague summer among the warmest on record

Temperature has been constantly monitored at Prague’s Klementinum since 1775, and this year’s summer was among the hottest ten percent ever recorded with an average temperature of 21.2 degrees Celsius. A very warm June contributed to the high average, more than compensating for an August which was below average in terms of temperature. The average temperature fell to only 19 degrees in the second half of the holiday season. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute issued the data for this year’s summer, which, together with the summer of 2010, ranked as the tenth warmest in the last 60 years. It was also the seventh rainiest in that time period. The warmest summer ever recorded at Klementinum was two years ago, with an average of 22.9 degrees Celsius.

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