Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for Aug. 15, 2021

Covid-19 cases down after eight days of rising, vintage cars arrive in Prague for 1,000 Czechoslovak Miles final, and more headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 15.08.2021 09:52:00 (updated on 15.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

140 new Covid cases reported Saturday, first week-on-week drop in eight days

The Czech Republic reported 140 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, 15 fewer than a week ago, according to data posted by the Health Ministry this morning. The total represents the first week-on-week drop in daily figures in eight days, while the reproduction number, the number of people infected by one Covid-19-positive person, slightly decreased to 1.07.

On Friday, 209 new Covid-19 cases were reported, 38 more than week ago, and the reproduction number was 1.1. Czech hospitals treated 53 coronavirus patients on Saturday, including 16 people in serious condition. The rate of Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days slightly dropped to 12.1 today, down from 12.2 on Saturday.

Classic car lovers greet drivers in 1,000 Czechoslovak Miles race in Prague

Historical vehicles driven as part of the 1,000 Czechoslovak Miles race arrived in Prague on Saturday night after leaving Bratislava on August 11. Roughly one hundred people greeted them at Prague's National Technical Museum, but more spectators gathered later. Rather than the speed, the main criteria of the race is regularity, as contestants are tasked to get as close as possible to an average speed of 45 kilometers per hour. They compete in six categories according to the volume of cylinders in their engine.

"The most challenging thing is to keep the vehicle in operation and the driver on alert," contestant Vratislav Veselý, who drove a BMW 315 dating back to 1934, told CTK. The retro race, started in 2015, has brought back a classic competition from the 1930s. Back then, the 1,600-km race followed the main road from Prague to Bratislava and back. This year, 117 classic cars made before 1939 took part in the competition.

Czech relations with superpowers have gone cold, say political analysts

Czech relations with superpowers have either gone rather cold under the incumbent minority government, or the potential for closer cooperation has not been fully exploited, political analysts approached by CTK have stated. Ties with Russia have seen a historic weakening due to the diplomatic rift over the explosions at the Vrbětice ammunition depot in South Moravia in 2014, experts from the Association for International Affairs told CTK.

When it comes to China, the Czech Republic has failed in its attempts to cultivate relations with the country in general. Ties with the new US administration have not been established yet on a larger scope, but there is the interest in their development, say International Affairs analysts.

History buffs reenact 17th century defense of Brno in Thirty Years' War

History buffs in 17th century uniforms staged various simulations of cavalry attacks, musket fire, and rapid attacks on a makeshift field stronghold in Brno on Saturday to commemorate the successful defense of the city during the Swedish siege in the Thirty Years' War. The event is held annually, but the battle reenactment was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions.

The festival began Saturday morning with a parade that included a wreath-laying ceremony by the tomb of Count Jean-Louis Raduit de Souches, the Field Marshal of the Habsburg Imperial Army who led the defense of Brno. Hundreds of people attended the battle reenactment at Kraví hora hill in the afternoon.

Most Czech political parties back membership in the EU and NATO

Most Czech political parties running in the October general election support Czech membership in the EU and NATO, data from the websites of the parties shows. When it comes to migration, they largely agree that mandatory immigration quotas are not a solution. The overview entails only parties with a reasonable chance to be voted into the Czech lower house, according to election polls.

Only the Freedom and Direct Democracy and Communist parties are pushing for a referendum on Czech membership in the EU. The Together coalition, made up of the Civic Democrats, the Christian Democrats and TOP 09, promotes a foreign policy based on Western values. The coalition is of the view that the NATO and EU memberships are crucial for the promotion of Czech interests. Together will pursue a strategic cooperation within the Visegrad Four Group that brings together the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia.

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