Czech gas prices down for first time since Russian invasion

Also: former PM Andrej Babiš hospitalized with undisclosed issue, Czech tennis stars advance to third round in Indian Wells, and more weekend headlines

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 12.03.2022 11:46:00 (updated on 13.03.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

Economy Czech gas prices fall for first time since Russian invasion

The average price of gasoline in the Czech Republic fell for the first time since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Saturday, down .14 crowns to 47.12 crowns per liter, according to data from CCS, which monitors fuel price in the country. The price of diesel, however, continues to rise and has now hit 49.53 crowns per liter.

Gas prices in the Czech Republic have steadily risen over the past two weeks since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The cost of Natural 95 is now about 9.60 crowns per liter higher than it was before the war. The highest gasoline prices are seen in Prague, at an average of 47.37 crowns per liter. Diesel prices have risen even more significantly over the past two weeks, and are now up over 13 crowns per liter since the Russian invasion.

Health Czech flu rates significantly down due to pandemic restrictions

The Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions have had a large impact on the spread of flu in the Czech Republic, according to former Health Minister Roman Prymula. The requirement to wear respirators in public spaces has had the largest impact, says Prymula, and the decision to remove the requirement for the spring months makes sense. From Monday, face masks are no longer mandatory in public spaces.

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"Wearing respirators certainly has led to a decrease in the spread of the common flu," Prymula said, adding that the Covid-19 pandemic is in a decline. "A smaller wave may appear, after all, the decline has practically stopped. But I do not expect that the recent trend will be reversed." According to Prymula, the spread of respiratory viruses, including the flu and Covid-19, is generally lower during the spring and summer months.

Politics Former Czech PM hospitalized with undisclosed health issue

Former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is currently undergoing a series of examinations at the Prague's Institute of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, according to Radio Frekvence 1. Prague. Babiš has been hospitalized since Friday, and an update regarding his condition is expected later today.

"I'm being examined, CT, X-rays, etc. I haven't had any surgery," Babiš, who was still in the hospital late Saturday night, wrote Radio Frekvence 1. "We will see how it turns out." According to ANO spokesperson Martin Vodička, it is a minor medical condition. Babiš has cancelled his work schedule through at least the middle of next week.

Sports Czech tennis stars advance to third round at Indian Wells

Petra Kvitová, Markéta Vondroušová, and Marie Bouzková have advanced to the third round at the annual BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. Kvitová, seeded 27, defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich on Saturday and will match up against sixth-seeded Finn Maria Sakkari on Monday. Sakkari eliminated Czech Kateřina Siniaková from the tournament on Saturday.

After defeating American Jessica Pegula on Saturday, Bouzková will play Veronika Kudermetova in the round of 32 on Monday. Vondroušová will face fourth-seeded Estonian Anett Kontaveit. In men's competition, Tomáš Macháč was eliminated from the tournament yesterday after a loss to first-seeded Daniil Medvedev, current ranked first worldwide by the ATP.

Environment Competition begins for Czech Tree of the Year

The annual competition for Czech Tree of the Year, now in its 21st year, has officially begun. Those interested in the competition can nominate their favorite tree in the Czech Republic at the Tree of the Year website through April 22. A jury will narrow nominations down to 12 finalists, and online voting will determine the winner later this spring. The top Czech tree will advance to European Tree of the Year competition later this year.

New to this year's competition, a separate prize of 50,000 crowns will be awarded to the best project that seeks to improve the surroundings of a tree.  "It will be up to the winners to build a new bench under the tree, add lighting, or have landscaping done," says Kateřina Ceralová from the mineral water company Ondrášovka, which supports the project. "Our goal is not only to improve tree care, but also to support the community of neighboring communities in the locality we care about."

Sports Czech tennis players advance at Indian Wells

Czech tennis players Kateřina Siniaková, Tomáš Macháč, and Marie Bouzková have all advanced to the second round of competition at the annual Indian Wells tournament in California. Seventh-seeded Karolína Plíšková, however, lost in an opening round upset to Montenegro's Danka Kovinić and will not advance in the tournament.

Siniaková defeated Romania's Irina Begu 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 yesterday and will match up against sixth-seeded Finn Maria Sakkari later today. Bouzková will play American Jessica Pegula, while Macháč will face first-seeded Russian Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev surpassed Novak Djokovic as the the ATP's world number one earlier this week, and his match against the Czech will be his first defense of that ranking. Czech star Petra Kvitová, who had a bye in the first round, will also play in the second round today.

Safety Traffic accidents involving animals on the increase in the Czech Republic

The number reported vehicle collisions with animals in the Czech Republic increased in 2021 compared to the previous year, according to statistics released by the Police of the Czech Republic. According to the data, the number of accidents with animals rose by about 800 to 15,349 in 2021. Collisions with animals resulted in one human death last year.

Officials warn that seasonal changes will lead to increased animal activity heading into the spring months of 2022. "There are two extraordinary things that both sides have to get used to," says Petr Stýblo from the Czech Union for Nature Conservation. "On one side is ever-increasing traffic. On the other side is that in addition to searching for food near the roads, animals are also beginning to migrate or look for a partner [in the spring months], so they are much more active than in the winter when their only priority is foraging."

Economy Czech Republic's Orlen Unipetrol has sufficient fuel reserves

The Czech Republic's Orlen Unipetrol group has enough oil reserves and its fuel production is sufficient to cover current demand in the country, the company stated through a press release on Friday. Orlen Unipetrol, which operates oil refineries in Kralupy nad Vltavou and Litvínov, added that it was prepared for a possible halt in receiving oil supplies from Russia.

According to representatives from Unipetrol, its refineries continue to operate according to long-term plans. "In addition, we make additional spot purchases outside Europe," said company spokesman Pavel Kaidl. According to Kaidl, the company is monitoring current events to ensure its refineries in the Czech Republic, Poland, and Lithuania will continue operations even in the most drastic of scenarios.

Crime Czech Attorney General orders investigation into handling of river poisoning

Czech Attorney General Igor Stříž has ordered an investigation into the way in which a criminal report on the conduct of investigators in the Bečva river poisoning case was handled, reports iRozhlas.cz. The investigation follows a criminal complaint filed by current Minister of Education Petr Gazdík last year. The findings of the investigation are expected to be released within two months.

In September 2020, cyanide was released into a 40-kilometer stretch of the Bečva river near Zlín, killing all wildlife in the area including over 32,000 tons of fish. Last June, Czech police proposed charges against the Energoaqua company after a nine-month investigation; the company refuted the charges based on scientific evidence, and they were ultimately never filed.

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