Czech weekend news in brief: January 15-16, 2022

Pressure wave from Pacific volcano eruption measured in Czech Republic, armed robbers steal watches in central Prague, and more weekend headlines. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.01.2022 11:39:00 (updated on 16.01.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

Crime Armed robbers steal goods worth millions of crowns in Prague

Armed robbers stole goods worth millions of crowns from a watch shop in the center of Prague early Saturday evening. Police are now looking for the perpetrators, who wore masks, carried firearms, and did not speak Czech, according to Prague Police spokesperson Richard Hrdina.

The robbery happened shortly after 5:00 pm in a shop on Široká street in the center of the Czech capital. "The men subsequently made off with goods worth several million crowns," said Hrdina. "Criminal investigators are collecting evidence at the scene and intensively searching for the perpetrators," he added.

Volcano Pressure wave from Pacific volcano eruption felt in Czechia

A pressure wave emanating from the underwater volcano eruption in Tonga was felt as far as 17,000 kilometers away in the Czech Republic, according to a report from the Czech Hydrometerological Institute on Sunday morning. The pressure wave resulting from the volcano traveled around the world, and was measured in the Czech Republic at two intervals.

“This is not really seen every day! Last night, [we felt] a pressure wave caused by the eruption of the Hunga Volcano near New Zealand, nearly 17,000 kilometers away,” wrote the CHMI. "The pressure wave then came from the other direction, on the other side from the longer way around the globe."

Anniversary Jan Palach remembered on anniversary of self-immolation

Today marks 53 years since Jan Palach, a 20-year-old student at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, set himself on fire near the statue of St. Wenceslas at the top of Prague's Wenceslas Square on January 16, 1969. Palach died from his injuries three days later, and his funeral was held on January 25.


Palach's act of self-immolation was in reaction to the 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led forces, and in particular the lethargic response by the general population to the suppression of freedom and democracy that came after the invasion. Memorials to Palach now stands of the site of his immolation in Prague and elsewhere across Europe. Read more about Palach here.

Politics Czech President denounces politicization of Olympic Games

Czech President Miloš Zeman denounced the politicization of the Olympic Games, including a diplomatic boycott of the games by some politicians, in his message to Czech athletes in advance of the Beijing Winter Olympics next month. Zeman wished the Czech athletes success and good health.

"I am categorically against the misusing of the Olympic idea for political aims. We experienced this a long time ago in Moscow (1980) as well as Los Angeles (1984). At present, there is a softer style of misuse, with boycott being declared only on the part of politicians, not of athletes," Zeman stated.

Hockey Retired Czech hockey star Patrik Eliáš accused of faking documents for dog

Former NHL hockey star and member of the Czech National Team Patrik Eliáš has been accused of providing fake documents to allow him to be able to travel with his dog, according to a report by news server The report follows an investigation by Lufthansa Airlines into the validity of the documents for a Cavapoo mixed breed named Bugsy, who traveled as an assistance dog alongside Eliáš.

Eliáš denied the accusation in a text message sent to iDnes, while a police investigation ultimately found that no crime or misdemeanor had occurred. "I bought the dog in the United States, with all the documents and requisites required by US law. I was not at the Police and did not testify," Eliáš wrote.

Olympics Record number of Czech athletes to participate in Winter Olympics

A record number of Czech athletes will be participating in this year's Winter Olympics in Beijing, as the Czech Olympic Committee approved 113 names on Friday, a number that may grow before the final application is sent on January 21. Previously, the record number of Czech athletes at the Winter Olympic Games was 95 at Pyongyang in 2018.

For the very first time, the Czech women's ice hockey team will be going to the Olympics, after qualifying for the games in November. A husband-and-wife Czech curling team will also become the first Czechs to compete in Olympic mixed pairs curling, and female Czech ski jumpers will also make their Olympic debut. This year's Winter Olympics will run from February 4-20 in Beijing, with Czech star Ester Ledecká looking to defend her 2018 dual gold medals in skiing and snowboarding.

Courts Czech woman fined 250,000 crowns for spreading misinformation

A Czech woman has been fined 250,000 crowns for spreading lies about vaccination on social media. A year ago, Jana Peterková shared videos stating that several elderly people had died after being vaccinated at a senior citizens' home in Měšice, near Prague. The home filed a complaint against against Peterková, and Prague's Municipal Court found in its favor on Thursday .

In addition to the fine, Peterková has been ordered to issue an apology and delete the original videos from her social media profile. She did not appear in court to defend herself, and has stated that she will appeal the verdict. At the time of her original statements, no senior citizens at the home had been vaccinated due to lack of vaccine availability.

Tennis Czech star Krejčíková defeated in final at Sydney Tennis Classic

Czech tennis star Barbora Krejčíková, currently #4 in WTA world rankings, was defeated in the Sydney Tennis Classic final this morning as Spain's Paula Badosa (WTA #9) topped the Czech star 3-6, 6-4, 6-7. The hard-fought match ended in a decisive tiebreak, which saw Krejčíková fight back from a 2-5 deficit only to lose 6-7.

"We both went to the limits today, so it's not easy to lose a match like this," Badosa said after the match. "It's an honor to see Barbora grow as a player and play against her." Both players will head back to the Aussie courts on Monday to participate in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Reigning French Open champ Krejčíková will face Germany's Andrea Petkovic in the opening round.

Money Most Czechs only have three months of savings, says new poll

Most Czechs only have enough savings to provide for three months of expenses if they were to lose their employment, according to a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Mori for Provident Financial and released this weekend. Still, about half of the respondents stated that they had enough left over each month after accounting for basic needs for personal expenses.

About seven percent of respondents stated that they had a large amount left over each month for personal expenses, with men about twice as likely to answer in the affirmative. "These results are not very surprising given the unequal pay of men and women in the labor market," Provident spokeswoman Kateřina Jarošová stated. "Wage imbalances will naturally be reflected in the final amount of available funds. The results may also be affected by the proportion of parental leave that women more often choose."

Work Number of working Czechs over 65 has doubled in past decade

The number of Czechs over the age of 65 who are still working has nearly doubled in over past decade. There are now 148,300 working senior citizens in the Czech Republic, 72,700 more than in 2010, according to a report titled Seniors in the Czech Republic in Data released by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday.

The new government behind Prime Minister Petr Fiala has previously stated that they will introduce efforts to support the employment of people beyond retirement age. As Czech society ages, those over 65 now make up about twenty percent of the total population. Over the past decade, their number rose by roughly 500,000, to 2.1 million people.

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