Czech news in brief for November 12: Sunday's top headlines

Regions of Czechia blanketed with snow, food-price app in the works for Czechia, and more top headlines for Nov. 12, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 12.11.2023 09:18:00 (updated on 12.11.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

Politics Pirates to run independently in next election

Pirates Party leader Ivan Bartoš announced the party’s independent candidacy in the upcoming parliamentary elections, breaking away from the prior coalition with Mayors and Independents (STAN). Bartoš clarified that Pirates and STAN will contest separately in the next European Parliament elections. He emphasized the likelihood of governing jointly in the present administration but suggested a divergence from a major coalition in the forthcoming electoral cycle.

Reflecting on the previous alliance formed out of concerns about the ANO movement, Bartoš acknowledged the Pirates had borne the brunt due to voter preferences favoring STAN candidates, reducing Pirate MPs to four despite the coalition's third-place finish.

R.I.P. More tributes pour in for Schwarzenberg

Former Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, who passed away in Vienna at 85, was remembered by Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová as a stalwart advocate for democracy and freedom. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer praised Schwarzenberg's dedication to human rights and European values.

Caputová bid farewell, vowing to continue Schwarzenberg's legacy, while Nehammer acknowledged his profound impact on Czech, Slovak, and Austrian politics. Both leaders extended condolences to his family and supporters. Schwarzenberg passed away at 85 in Vienna on Saturday following a recent hospitalization,

In memoriam Former Czech foreign minister Schwarzenberg dies

Former Czech Foreign Minister and TOP 09 Honorary Chairman, Karel Schwarzenberg, passed away at 85 in Vienna after recent hospitalization, confirmed by the party's co-founder Miroslav Kalousek. Schwarzenberg, a pivotal political figure, battled health issues—heart and kidney problems—impacting his public appearances. Despite being airlifted to Vienna for medical care, he succumbed to his condition, surrounded by family.

Schwarzenberg, part of the Schwarzenberg noble family, notably served as Foreign Minister and ran for president in 2013. His political legacy spans decades, including his founding role in TOP 09, leaving a significant mark on Czech politics. His passing marks the end of an influential era in Czech governance.

Weather Snowfall blankets Šumava region

Snowfall blanketed Šumava Saturday, as reported by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. The region anticipates 5-10 cm on mountain ridges, with chances of snow in lower elevations. Cloudy skies and showers prevail countrywide, with temperatures ranging between 3-7°C and spiking to 9°C in Moravia and Silesia.

Šumava, Ore, and Krkonoše Mountains could see 5-10 cm snow persist through the day. Moravia and Silesia expect heavier precipitation in the afternoon. Monday forecasts a thaw, melting the snow cover, marking a brief reprieve from wintry conditions.

Economy Food-price app in the works for Czechia

The Ministry of Agriculture said it's preparing an app to aid consumers in navigating food prices. Agriculture Minister Marek Výborný discussed plans for the app during the autumn food collection, emphasizing the need to address purchasing prices that often fall below production costs. The app would show the current average prices of essential food items, drawing inspiration from successful models in Greece and Austria.

The minister plans to present the initiative at the Brussels Council of Ministers of Agriculture meeting on Nov. 20. The ministry aims to replicate the 18-percent food price decrease observed in Greece upon the implementation of similar technology. Some 4,000 volunteers participated in yesterday's food drive; success of spring's 495-ton collection should be replicated organizers say.

Wine Record number of wines get St. Martin endorsement

Saturday in Brno, winemakers ceremoniously opened the first bottle of St. Martin's wine. A total of 326 wines from 76 winemakers and wineries are heading to the market this year. According to experts, the vintages are fresh and fruity. Although the first wines of the new year matured for a short time, they have already acquired a distinctive character. The Svatomartinská endorsement is given by the Czech Wine Fund.

A record number of bottles met the conditions for the endorsement this year, said the chairman of the fund. According the fund, if all the wine that have successfully passed the evaluation are put on the shelves, some 2.78 million bottles would be sold this year under the Svatomartinská label.

Honors War heroes honored at Prague's Vítkov monument

Defense Minister Jana Černochová commemorated war heroes at Vítkov monument in Prague yesterday urging substantial support for veterans beyond mere words. During the memorial, she awarded the Cross of Merit to soldiers for life-saving actions and honored war journalist Jaromír Štětina. Acknowledging fallen comrades from foreign deployments, she emphasized the importance of preserving the veterans' legacy.

Černochová highlighted the evolving challenges faced by modern veterans, promising changes in aid access to support soldiers' transitions to civilian life. Measures include contact workers and financial aid through the Military Solidarity Fund. This Veterans Day’s observance aimed to enhance support for those who’ve served, highlighting the ongoing commitment to aiding soldiers’ post-service needs.

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