Czech news in brief for April 21: Sunday's top headlines

Czech PM commends US House on aid package, Šumava Rally suspended after death of passenger, and more Sunday headlines. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.04.2024 09:05:00 (updated on 21.04.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

Real Estate Prices for older Czech apartments are rising

The housing market in the Czech Republic is seeing a recent resurgence in prices, according to analysis from, with older apartments rising by two percent to an average of CZK 89,552 per square meter in the first quarter of this year. Family houses, about CZK 33,000 per square meter cheaper than apartments, also saw an uptick, as did rents, reaching CZK 302 per square meter. The surge is attributed to limited supply, increased household demand, and favorable mortgage rates.

Economy Health insurance costs up 60 percent in five years

Public health insurance costs in the Czech Republic soared by 60 percent over five years, reaching 456.6 billion crowns last year, according to a new report from the Czech Ministry of Health. Notably, expenses for home care and nursing in social care facilities spiked by over 130 percent. Despite a rise in income, the system faced a deficit in 2023. Future income growth is predicted to slow, with an estimated increase of 7.55 percent by 2024 and 4.03 percent by 2025.

Weather Snowfall blankets Krkonoše mountain range

Recent snowfall on the Krkonoše ridges has left around a quarter-meter of snow, with 15 centimeters falling in the last 24 hours. The Polish Mountain Service has issued a Level 1 avalanche warning, citing potential avalanches in gorges and steep slopes. Hikers are advised to avoid snowfields on steep terrain. Despite the conditions, the cable car to Sněžka on the Czech side is operational.

Music Singer and actor Josef Laufer passes away at 84

Czech singer and actor Josef Laufer has passed away at the age of 84 after a long illness. His daughter confirmed the news to producer Oldřich Lichtenberg. Laufer, known for his hit Sbohem, lásko, já jedu dál, was a multi-talented artist with a professional career as a singer, actor, director, writer, and presenter. Born in France, he spent his childhood in England. His notable roles included appearances in musicals and films, including the comedy series Kameňák.

Art Kupka painting goes to auction at record price

František Kupka's masterpiece Conception/Danae will hit the auction block in Prague today with a record starting price of CZK 85 million. If sold at this price, it will surpass his previous auction record in the Czech Republic. The Adolf Loos Apartment and Gallery auction will also feature works by Josef Šíma, Václav Boštík, and others. Conception/Danae is a machinist abstract work, showcasing Kupka's fascination with machinery and Greek mythology.

Politics Czech PM commends US House on aid package

Czech PM Petr Fiala and other officials have commended the US House of Representatives for approving an aid package for Ukraine and Israel. Fiala, thanking Speaker Mike Johnson, praises the move as crucial for freedom and security. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský stressed the need for collective action against Russian aggression, while Senate chair Miloš Vystrčil highlights the aid's significance for Ukraine. Interior Minister Vít Rakušan underscores the importance of European support. The bills now head to the US Senate for approval.

Sports Šumava Rally suspended after death of passenger

A tragic accident at the Šumava Rally claimed the life of a female passenger, leading organizers to suspend and subsequently end the event prematurely on Saturday afternoon. Alena Krejčíková, navigating with Jaroslav Krejčík, suffered severe injuries during a crash at the opening special stage, succumbing to them later at a hospital. The decision to halt the 58th edition was made after consulting participants, with organizers expressing condolences to all affected. The incident marked the first fatality in the Czech rally championship in nearly 11 years.

Energy Czech investments in solar power sharply rise

In just five years, investments in solar power in the Czech Republic has skyrocketed, with installations of solar panels increasing by thousands of percent. Last year alone, nearly 83,000 new solar power panels were connected, marking a significant leap from just over 3,400 in 2019. The boom, attributed to energy crisis responses and subsidy programs, has seen investment costs drop dramatically. Despite past solar booms, today's focus is on rooftop installations, signaling a new era in solar energy development.

Protest West Bohemia residents protest nuclear repository

Residents of Velky Bor in Western Bohemia protested against plans for a nuclear waste repository on Saturday, demanding municipal consent before construction. Despite legislation granting the government final say, locals expressed disappointment over unmet promises to empower municipalities. Concerns linger over vague compensation terms. The Platform against Deep Repository, comprising 55 members, advocates for clearer legislation.

Sports Czech hockey team tops Austria in World Cup warmup

The Czech hockey team secured another victory against Austria in preparation for the upcoming ice hockey world championships, winning 3-2 in a rematch held in Linz. Forward Jakub Rychlovský, chosen by coach Radim Rulík, showcased his prowess with two goals, while defender Daniel Gazda contributed one. The victory sets a positive tone for the Czechs as they prepare for further challenges, including matches against Slovakia and participation in the Euro Hockey Tour tournament in Brno, ahead of the championships in May.

Europe Key negotiator reflects on Czechia's EU accession

Petr Blížkovský, a key negotiator during the Czech Republic's EU accession talks, reflected on the successful negotiations in an interview with Czech News Agency. As former head of the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, Blížkovský played a pivotal role, particularly in agriculture negotiations. He recounted challenges faced, including the financial crisis, and highlights the Czech Republic's ongoing efforts to promote Czech representation in EU institutions. Blížkovský's tenure concludes this year, with plans for future endeavors.

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