Czech news in brief for May 21: Tuesday's top headlines

Repair of faculty damaged by shooting complete, German border controls create Czech traffic jams, and govt. party members oppose cannabis reforms. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.05.2024 08:55:00 (updated on 22.05.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

Security Czechia tightens security after attack on Fico

Security measures have been heightened in Czechia following an assassination attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, President Petr Pavel announced during his visit to the Pardubice Region. An attacker fired at Fico after a cabinet meeting in Handlova last Wednesday. Fico, who underwent a lengthy operation, remains in serious but stable condition. The 71-year-old suspect was arrested and charged with attempted murder.

Society One-tenth of young Czechs have depression

A survey by Charles University and the General University Hospital in Prague reveals that 10 percent of young adults in Czechia exhibit severe depression symptoms, with 16 percent showing moderate symptoms. Experts urge increased attention to mental health from politicians, noting a lack of preventive measures and professional services. The study highlights the impact of social media and lifestyle factors, with a call for better mental health programs and public awareness.

Crime Czech police charge 14 with smuggling migrants

Czech police have charged 14 individuals with smuggling over 2,000 migrants from Turkey to Czechia and other EU countries, National Centre against Organised Crime spokesman Jaroslav Ibehej announced. All suspects are in custody and face up to 16 years in prison if convicted. The operation, codenamed HATIN, uncovered that the gang earned at least EUR 2 million. Authorities seized cash, cars, and a house linked to the crimes.

Ukraine Prague allocates 20mn for refugee integration

Prague City Hall will allocate CZK 20 million to support the integration of Ukrainian refugees, Deputy Mayor Jiri Pospisil announced. The funds will be used for projects in social services, housing, and field services, with some still requiring Prague Assembly approval. The program aims to enhance adaptation efforts for refugees, including mental health support and intercultural work.

Shooting Repair of faculty damaged by shooting complete

Vice Dean Michaela Slussareff has announced that repairs to the fourth floor of Charles University’s Faculty of Arts, damaged in last December's tragic shooting, are complete. Teaching will resume next winter semester, except in the most affected wing, which will instead feature a quiet zone and temporary memorial. The decision on using the most affected rooms remains pending, with input from faculty members.

Legislation Govt. party members oppose cannabis reforms

KDU-ČSL members of the government oppose a proposed law allowing personal cannabis cultivation and reject a regulated cannabis market, Deputy Prime Minister Marian Jurečka said. The government aims to decriminalize cannabis cautiously, avoiding widespread market liberalization. Jurečka emphasized the need for gradual steps, considering existing drug and alcohol issues in the country. The National Economic Council recommends a regulated market, potentially generating significant tax revenue. The government will discuss the annual report on addictions on Wednesday, noting high alcohol consumption and increasing cannabis use.

Economy Food prices dropped below March levels in May

Food prices monitored by the Czech Statistical Office fell in May, with plain wheat flour dropping 2.89 percent from March and 9.27 percent from April. Potatoes and apples, however, saw price increases. Overall, most foods became cheaper month-on-month and year-on-year. Seven of the 13 items monitored, including sugar, saw price decreases. The price of eggs rose slightly. Agricultural producer prices fell for the 12th consecutive month in April.

Traffic German border controls create Czech traffic jams

Due to German border controls, long lines of trucks formed on the D5 and D8 highways this morning. On the D5, the queue extended over 30 kilometers, partly due to a German holiday truck ban on Monday. On D8, traffic stretched from the German border to Ústí nad Labem. Repairs near exit 136 on D5 also contributed to the congestion, according to

Education Second-round school exam deadline is Friday

Secondary school applicants who failed initial admissions can apply for the second round via the DiPSy system starting today until May 24 at 11:59 p.m. Zermatt will publish the exact number of vacancies today, with around 25,700 places expected. Based on first-round exam results, applicants can choose three fields without a talent test and two with. Second-round exams will be held June 8-12, with results announced June 21.

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