Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for September 9, 2021

SPD lays out election campaign messages, Taiwan donates money to tornado-hit South Moravia, HBO Max to arrive in the Czech Republic next year. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 09.09.2021 09:53:00 (updated on 09.09.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

SPD to oppose migration, lockdown and Pirates in election campaign

The Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) political party will focus its election campaign on opposition to a range of contemporary issues including compulsory Covid vaccination, lockdowns, accepting migrants, the European Union and the Czech Pirate party during its campaign for this October’s Czech elections. SPD leader Tomio Okamura outlined the party’s position, saying the SPD wants a referendum on leaving the EU while promoting sovereign EU states to cooperate closely. On the campaign trail, the SPD will gather signatures for petitions on issues such as maintaining the Czech crown as the national currency and recognizing Covid antibodies as proof that a person is free from infection. Election billboards will bear slogans such as “YES to decent people, NO to parasites,” “Family Comes First,” and “No to migration, No to Islam, No to EU dictate.” In the 2017 elections, the SPD won 10.64 percent of the vote.

Taiwan donates money to help tornado-hit region

The Governor of South Moravia Jan Grolich received a cheque for CZK 6.5 million from Taiwan to help in tackling the impact of the June tornado that devastated the region. The governor said that amid widespread generosity from a large number of sources, the Taiwanese contribution is one of the largest. The money from Taiwan will be spent on the renovation of damaged properties, as other funds must be used to sponsor individuals affected by the tornado. Around 1,200 houses were damaged and six people died as a result of the devastating tornado which swept through the Břeclav and Hodonín regions of Moravia in June. The Taiwanese gift to the region was presented by the head of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office.

HBO Max coming to the Czech Republic next year

WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBO Max is being readied for launch in Europe over the coming months. Six countries will see the arrival of the platform in October, while others including the Czech Republic will be included in 2022. HBO Max was officially launched in the U.S. in May 2020, and has already been made available in Latin America and the Caribbean. In October it will arrive in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain and Andorra. In 2022, in will come to countries throughout Central and Eastern Europe, including the Czech Republic. Pricing and subscription plans will be revealed closer to the official launch date. As in the U.S. and other regions, HBO Max in Europe will feature original content as well as movies and shows from Warner Bros., DC and Cartoon Network.

Czech Republic to buy 52 howitzers from Nexter

The Czech Defense Ministry will sign a contract for the purchase of 52 self-propelled Caesar howitzers from French company Nexter ahead of the elections, Defense Minister Lubomír Metnar has announced. The Minister declined to disclose the sum of the contract: it was initially thought that the new howitzers would cost around CZK 6 billion, but costs subsequently spiraled and it is believed the final sum may be around CZK 8.5 billion. The new Caesar howitzers will replace old DANA howitzers which no longer meet NATO requirements for shooting range and caliber. The Defense Ministry demanded at least 40 percent involvement for Czech firms in the production and delivery of the new weapons. Metnar meanwhile said he also hopes to sign a contract for the purchase of four SHORAD (Short Range Air Defense) systems before the election.

New office for global software company Cigniti in Prague

Cigniti Technologies, a global leader in independent quality engineering and software testing services, has announced the opening of an office in Prague. The company’s CEO described the Czech Republic as “the best country for business in Central and Eastern Europe, with a rich scientific tradition, incredible talent pool, and well-developed research and development infrastructure”. Cigniti helps accelerate the digital transformation of companies including global automotive brands. The company said its expansion with a new Prague office would extend its global footprint in Europe to meet the growing digital needs of local companies.

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