Czech news in brief for June 10: Monday's top headlines

Czechia sees record voter turnout for EU parliament elections, bus station closes due to suspicious luggage, and Litomyšl festival opens with Smetana.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 10.06.2024 09:05:00 (updated on 10.06.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

Health Ministry concerned over low vaccination rates

At a press conference in Prague this afternoon, Health Ministry officials and doctors expressed concern over the low vaccination rate against measles in the Czech Republic. Of all children born in 2020, only 87 percent have been vaccinated against the disease, falling short of the required 95 percent. This year, there have been 28 measles cases, with nearly half linked to an unvaccinated child who contracted the disease abroad. Experts warn of further increases and emphasize the potentially severe complications of measles, which has no effective treatment.

incident Roof on Prague 1 building catches fire

This afternoon at around 2:30 p.m, Prague firefighters responded to a fire in the roof of a house on Celetná Street in the city's historic center. The fire was contained from inside, with no reported injuries. The street was closed, and about 20 people were evacuated. Firefighters are searching for hidden outbreaks and have not had to intervene yet, according to the rescue service.

CULTURE Czech Centre to open in Taiwan this week

Czech Centres' PR manager Tereza Šídlová announced that a Czech Centre will open in Taiwan on Thursday and will be led by sinologist Markéta Zahumenská. The center’s opening will feature an exhibition called Short Stories of Czech Photography. Despite applying a one-China policy, the Czech Republic maintains close relations with Taiwan and aims to deepen understanding of Czech culture and create economic opportunities through the new center. President Petr Pavel in 2023 expressed his support for Taiwan.

European Parliament elections ANO MEPs won't back von der Leyen

Jaroslav Bzoch, one of the newly elected ANO MEPs, stated that the group of seven Czech MEPs will not support Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as European Commission president. Other Czech protest groups, including the Czech Communist Katerina Konečná, also refuse to support von der Leyen due to her decisions on the Green Deal and migration pact. However, the Czech government parties (TOP 09, Christian Democrats, and Civic Democrats) will back her, as they ran as the Spolu coalition and won six EP seats together.

Elections Czechia sees record voter turnout

Czechia recorded its highest turnout in European Parliament elections since joining the EU in 2004, with 36.45 percent of eligible voters participating, the Czech Statistical Office reported. The previous record was 28.72 percent in 2019. Prague saw the highest turnout at 42.58 percent, while the Karlovy Vary Region had the lowest at 30.21 percent. All regions reported over 30 percent turnout.

Prague Bus station closes due to suspicious luggage

Prague police closed Zličín bus station for about an hour this evening due to suspicious luggage, but a bomb squad ruled out any danger, police spokeswoman Eva Kropáčová said. Since 7:45 p.m. on Sunday, the station has been operating normally. Metro traffic was unaffected, but access was limited. Increased security measures were implemented following the arrest of a South American man in Prague suspected of an arson attack.

Crime Human wall formed around attacked volunteers

Dozens gathered in Old Town Square tonight to support Prague Maidan volunteers attacked by five foreigners last weekend. Forming a symbolic wall with shields and umbrellas, they showed solidarity with Ukraine. Despite no charges against the attackers, the incident is under further investigation. In Iustitia, a non-profit devoted to highlighting prejudicial violence, including anti-Ukrainian and anti-Russian incidents, said on the X network that the actions should have been considered at least a crime of rioting.

Economy Unemployment falls to 3.6 percent in May

Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell to 3.6 percent in May, down from 3.7 percent in April, driven by seasonal work and the tourist season. The Labor Office registered 274,322 job seekers, a decrease of 5,756 from the previous month. Job vacancies dropped by 1,529 to 266,517. The highest unemployment was in the Ústí Region at 5.9 percent, while Prague and Vysočina had the lowest at 2.7 percent.

Commute Security malfunction disrupts Prague train service

A security equipment malfunction caused by stolen cables disrupted train operations through Prague's Smíchovské nádraží this morning. Trains from Beroun to Prague initially stopped in Radotín and ran on one track from 6 a.m. Czech Railways introduced alternative bus transport between Radotín and Smíchov, with public transport also available. Passengers can use metro lines B and C, with Czech Railways tickets recognized by Prague public transport. The disruption is expected to last until 7 a.m.

Culture Litomyšl music festival opens with Smetana

The Czech Philharmonic, led by conductor Jakub Hrůša, inaugurated the 66th Smetanova Litomyšl music festival on Saturday with a performance featuring works by Bedřich Smetana. The concert, attended by President Petr Pavel and other officials, began with fanfare from the opera Libuše and the national anthem. The festival runs until July 7 and features 51 programs, including all eight Smetana operas and various artistic performances.

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