Czech morning news roundup: Monday, November 22, 2021

Row erupts over compulsory Covid vaccine petition, RunCzech announces races in spring 2022, PPF looks to merge Moneta and Air Bank. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 22.11.2021 09:28:00 (updated on 22.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Lead Story Row erupts over petition for compulsory vaccination

A petition has appeared on the server calling for the Covid vaccines to be made mandatory in the Czech Republic. The creator of the petition is the head of a laboratory at the Institute of Microbiology at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Peter Šebo. The petition has so far been signed by around 2,000 people.

The petition criticizes those who refuse to be vaccinated as “blocking a return to normal life for all of us,” citing a “perverse understanding of freedom and democracy” as preventing emergence from the Covid pandemic. Opponents of the petition noted experts’ inconsistency in stating the level of vaccine coverage required, and dismissed the petition as a “political pamphlet” and “propaganda.”

Sports RunCzech announces 2022 races in Prague

Running race organizer RunCzech has announced the return of large races in Prague from next spring, despite the worsening pandemic situation in the Czech Republic. RunCzech wants to bring back the traditional large-format public races which ran until 2019.

Next year, a half marathon is scheduled to take place on April 2, a full marathon on May 8 and the Grand Prix on September 3. The announcement of these dates follows repeated cancelations the last two years. Since the pandemic began, the only races successfully organized by RunCzech have been regional half marathons, with fewer people than usual taking part. RunCzech said they are not concerned about the resurgence of Covid in recent weeks, saying society must learn to live with the disease without lockdown restrictions on sport, while complying with basic hygiene measures. Around 40,000 runners are expected to take part in the three Prague races next year.

Business PPF looking to merge Moneta with Air Bank

The PPF Group is again aiming to take over Moneta Money Bank in order to merge it with the group’s Air Bank Group. The merger would see the creation of the Czech Republic’s third-largest bank group and the largest owned by domestic investors.

PPF have reworked and enhanced their offer to buy Moneta, with new conditions more favorable for existing shareholders, with the share price offer raised from CZK 80 to CZK 90. This partly reflects Moneta’s improved profits over the last year in line with increases in interest rates. PPF already owns nearly 30% of Moneta, and it is expected PPF’s new offer may be accepted by the bank’s shareholders. Under the proposal, Moneta will pay to gain access to PPF’s internet banking system and associated companies, after which PPF would have a majority of the bank’s shares. The proposal will be voted on by Moneta shareholders on December 20.

Charity Czech billionaire Křetínský prepares large charitable foundation

Daniel Křetínský, the Czech Republic’s fourth-richest person, has registered a new company entitled the “EP Corporate Group Foundation” in the commercial register. Headquartered in Prague’s Pařížská street, it is expected to start operating this year. Křetínský is registered as the Chairman of the Board of the new foundation.

The billionaire’s spokesman said the foundation aims to be the largest in the Czech Republic. The specific area of its activities should be known by the end of the year. Křetínský will donate at least CZK 2.5 billion to the charity in the next ten years, according to the spokesperson. The billionaire has not yet registered a charitable foundation, although it is believed he has spent large amounts on charitable activities throughout his business career.


Czech history Unique Celtic kettle goes on display in Brno

Fragments of the famed Maloměřice kettle are currently on display at the Dietrichstein Palace in Brno. The kettle, considered a masterpiece of Celtic art, was probably used as a ritual object in traditional ceremonies. It was found more than 80 years ago on the outskirts of the Moravian capital at one of the region’s largest excavated Celtic burial sites.

The site, discovered in 1941 during the construction of a train station, was dated to between 380 and 250 BCE. Its discovery indicated the existence of a Celtic settlement on the site of present-day Brno long before the city was established. Archaeologists found around a hundred graves at the site along with 18 bronze items, including fragments of a decorated kettle. The artefact is said to represent the essence of Celtic art, containing all the motifs considered essential by scholars of Celtic tradition.

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