Czech news in brief for April 22: Monday's top headlines

Record low temps hit Czechia this morning, court to hear appeal in Feri rape case today, and Prague protesters perform in Old Town through the weekend.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 22.04.2024 09:02:00 (updated on 22.04.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

DRIVING Police fine over 2,000 motorists in single day

According to spokesperson of Czechia’s police presidium Hana Rubášová, there were 2,166 traffic violations recorded during Friday's nationwide security action. Speeding was the most common offence, accounting for three-quarters of the documented violations. The police collected fines totaling over CZK 3.5 million and checked 4,700 cars in 24 hours during the April 19 Speed ​​Marathon event, with 727 officers participating. In 107 cases, drivers were guilty of using their phones while driving.

health Whooping cough cases rise, but at slower pace

The State Health Institute (SZÚ) has today reported 9,370 cases of whooping cough for the whole of 2024 so far, with 1,476 new cases in the past week. The highest morbidity is in the 15-19 age group and 128 children under one year have been affected. The SZÚ stated on X social network that the number of new cases is stabilizing, but teenagers continue to see a rise due to weakened immunity after vaccination. Over 45,000 people have been vaccinated this year, but new orders cannot be fulfilled due to limited availability. 

PROTEST Food-delivery couriers protest in Prague

Protesting couriers from Wolt and Foodora gathered in Prague's Wenceslas Square to express their dissatisfaction with the reduction in pay due to the introduction of a new dynamic rewards system. Around 15 couriers participated in the protest and signed a petition, but the planned march to the Wolt and foodora headquarters was canceled due to low turnout. Courier Lukáš Červený, one of the organizers, stated that his income has decreased from CZK 5,000 daily two years ago to CZK 3,000 since the change, adding he often works over 12 hours per day.

CRIME Ex-PM's rape verdict upheld

The Prague Metropolitan Court upheld the three-year prison sentence for former member of parliament Dominik Feri for raping two girls and attempting to rape another. Feri, maintaining innocence, said he may appeal to the Supreme Court. Initially elected as the youngest Czech lower house member in 2017, he resigned in 2021 following the accusations. The appeal court noted Feri's actions weakened the victims' positions, despite Feri questioning their credibility in court. Feri denied all claims, saying two sexual encounters never happened and that the third was consensual. 

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Weather Record low temps hit Czechia this morning

Temperatures plummeted to minus 10 degrees Celsius in Šumava this morning, breaking April 22 records, with the Hydrometeorological Institute reporting widespread frost across South Bohemia. The town of Kvilda hit a low of minus 10.6 degrees Celsius. Černá in Pošumaví set a new record at minus 6.6°C, surpassing 2005’s minus 6.4 degrees Celcius. Strakonice dipped to minus 4.1°C, exceeding 1991’s record by 0.2 degrees Celcius. Frost warnings are in place until further notice, with milder weather expected by week’s end. The Karlovy Vary region saw snow through the weekend.

Crime Court to hear appeal in Feri rape case today

The Prague Municipal Court is set to hear Dominik Feri’s appeal today regarding his three-year prison sentence for the alleged rape of three women, one of whom was a minor. Feri, a former TOP 09 member, resigned from his parliamentary seat amidst the accusations but maintained his innocence. Both Feri and the women, who are seeking increased compensation, appealed the verdict. The case involves incidents reportedly occurring in Feri’s Žižkov apartment in 2016 and an attempted assault in 2018.

Protest Prague protesters perform in Old Town

A demonstration in support of Ukraine on Sunday in Old Town Square took the form of a theatrical skit. Organizers staged a performance depicting Ukraine’s oppression by Russia, accompanied by sounds of war. The event aimed to highlight Estonia's defense plan, which suggests allocating 0.25 percent of Western GDP annually to Ukraine’s defense. The initiative was led by the Civil Crossroads group. Ukraine has faced Russian aggression since February 2022.

Accident Man falls from train station retaining wall

A man sustained severe injuries after falling from a high retaining wall near Prague's main railway station Sunday morning, according to police and rescue service spokespeople. Train services between the main station, Smíchov, and Vršovice were temporarily halted after the incident but resumed shortly after noon. The man, approximately 50 years old, was hospitalized in critical condition. Police are investigating the cause of the fall, which did not involve a passing train.

Economy Czechia collects more tax from refugees than it pays

The Czech state collects more from Ukrainian refugees’ labor taxes than it pays them, earning three billion crowns in three months, ČT24 reports. Despite working below qualifications, 72 percent of refugees found employment, contributing to the economy. Most refugees receiving state aid are mothers with small children. According to the Labor Ministry, Ukrainians paid CZK 6.4 billion in taxes, twice what they received in aid. Experts highlight the economic benefits of Ukrainian migrants, refuting claims of job displacement. Many work below qualifications for low pay, hindering their earning potential and the economy.

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