Czech morning news roundup: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Foreign press enjoy field day with Fiala appointment, farewell to cheap train fares for students, landmarks turn pink for Giving Tuesday. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.11.2021 09:34:00 (updated on 30.11.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Lead story Foreign press have field day with Fiala appointment

President Miloš Zeman’s appointment of Petr Fiala as Czech Prime Minister from inside a sealed Perspex box this weekend has gone down a storm in the international media. German tabloid Bild noted that despite the comic elements of the same “it was a sad ceremony: in the beautiful hall of the Baroque manor Lány near Prague, Zeman had to perform his office from within a plexiglass cubicle.”

Polish news agency PAP meanwhile said the ceremony showed “extraordinary measures of epidemiological security,” while paper Rzeczpospolita said it was like a “scene from a sci-fi film.” While highlighting the bizarre element of the appointment ceremony, the BBC chose to focus on Zeman’s controversial character, eccentricities and long-term health issues.

Travel Students and pensioners to bid farewell to cheap train fares

Students and pensioners in the Czech Republic who have enjoyed train travel at a hefty 75 percent discount under a scheme introduced by Andrej Babiš’s government will likely lose their right to cheap fares under the new government. Prospective Transport Minister Martin Kupka confirmed that the new administration is planning to discontinue the scheme to CNN Prima News.

At the moment, students under 26 years of age and pensioners over 65 can save huge amounts on train fares. But the new government believes discount rates need to be balanced with the financing of public transport infrastructure. Specific plans for future discount schemes have not yet been made public by the incoming administration.

Charity Prague landmarks to turn pink for Giving Tuesday

With Giving Tuesday falling today in the Czech Republic and around the world, people are being invited to give their time or money to a worthy cause. The Giving Tuesday online platform offers a wide range of opportunities in a variety of spheres, from helping the elderly and the homeless, to supporting cultural and sports programs.

To support the event, a number of Prague landmarks will be lit up in the colors of the campaign this evening. As usual, Petřín Tower will be lit pink, while a giant heart will appear on the National Theater; the organizers noted that the theater was built using the proceeds of a public collection in the late 19th century. This year, the Giving Tuesday campaign aims to beat its previous Czech fundraising record of CZK 73.48 million raised last year.

Building Uncertainty for developers with new government to block changes

The Czech Republic’s problems with slow building development processes show no signs of easing after the arrival of the new government. The constituent parties of the new coalition have long opposed the Building Act currently in parliament, providing for a transferal of building authorities to state control, and now they have submitted a proposal to postpone the introduction of the new law.

The parties are concerned about the effects of bringing building administration entirely under the umbrella of the state, arguing this will cripple the construction process and stop ordinary people from having their say. But the new delay to a law which has already been in preparation for years will cause yet more uncertainty for developers already frustrated with slow approval processes for projects.

Weather Heavy snow expected in the Czech Republic this week

The Czech Republic is in for another cold week, with the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute warning against the danger of heavy snowfall on roads at high altitudes. Dozens of centimeters of snow could fall in places, although snow is expected to be replaced by rain later in the week. Strong winds are also expected, with gusts reaching speeds of up to 110 km/h in the mountains.

On Tuesday, heavy snow showers are expected at high altitudes in the west of the country, with up to 20 centimeters expected in places. At lower altitudes the snow will turn to rain, although at night temperatures are expected to fall below freezing. Similar temperatures with a potential for heavy snowfall in places are expected throughout the week.

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