Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for Aug. 29, 2021

Rate of Covid-19 cases remains stable, three Czechs die in small plane crash in Slovakia, and more top headlines for this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK Published on 29.08.2021 09:36:00 (updated on 29.08.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Rate of Czech Covid-19 cases remains relatively stable

The Czech Republic reported 132 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, one less than last Saturday, according to data released by the Health Ministry this morning. The reproduction number, indicating the average number of those infected with Covid-19 by one person, remains slightly above 1.0.

The number of patients hospitalized with Covid-19 has decreased over the weekend. On Friday, there were 65 Covid-19 patients being treated in Czech hospitals, but today that number has dropped to 57, with 11 in serious condition. The incidence rate, or the number of infections per 100,000 people over the past seven days, has remained around 12-13 for the past two weeks. There are still large differences in the incidence rate between individual Czech districts and regions.

NATO must learn lesson from Afghan mission, says Czech ambassador

NATO will have to learn a lesson from the result of the mission in Afghanistan and reflect the experience in its concept of fighting terrorism, Czech Ambassador to NATO Jakub Landovský has told CTK. He also said it suited China and Russia that Western countries had covered all the costs of stabilization in Afghanistan, but now they, too, must get involved in the situation.

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Criticism and a debate about the results of the Afghan mission should follow after some time passes since the current events, Landovský said. He described the development in the country as two wars: the first one a war against terrorism and the second a civil war. The Alliance was at least partially successful in the war against terrorism, as no attacks on its territory were led from Afghanistan and even Osama bin Laden was eventually caught.

Three Czechs die in small plane crash in Slovakia

All three people aboard a small plane died in an aircraft accident in Slovakia on Friday. The three people have all been identified as Czech citizens, following previous reports that the pilot was Slovak and the two passengers were Czech. The four-seat aircraft crashed near the village of Mokrý Háj, close to the border with the Czech Republic. The plane burst into flames after it hit the ground, firefighters reported. The three victims in the plane crash were men aged 29, 47 and 52 years.

Police are investigating the accident on suspicion of endangering public safety. The aviation and naval investigation branch of the Transport Ministry will look into the causes of the crash. Anna Mierna, mayor of the nearby town Skalice, wrote on social media that the plane had technical difficulties. When the plane tried to land outside the airport, it clipped a non-specified vehicle and several explosions occurred.

Czech President calls for savings during talks on 2022 state budget

President Miloš Zeman called for savings in the state budget, but he did not mind the approved deficit of 390 billion crown if there was enough money for investments, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová told reporters after the talks on the 2022 budget draft on Saturday.

Zeman appreciated the amount of investments in the draft budget, amounting to 207 billion crowns, Schillerová said after meeting with Zeman, his advisers, and PM Andrej Babiš at the presidential manor in Lany near Prague. The government approved the basic parameters of the budget with a 390-billion crown deficit in early June. The Finance Ministry estimated the budget revenues, including the EU funds, at about 1.5 trillion crowns, while expenditures would total 1.9 trillion crowns.

Czech Foreign Minister to go to Slovenia, Baltics, attend V4 talks with Egypt 

Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek is scheduled to attend the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia, a conference in Estonia, and Visegrad Four (V4) talks with Egypt in Budapest during the first half of September, according to material from his office that the government will debate on Monday. The V4 group is comprised of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland.

On September 2, Kulhánek will attend the Bled forum, which the government material calls one of the leading regional international conferences. Kulhánek will give a speech in a panel debate entitled Strengthening of Europe against Economic Pressure. A day earlier, PM Andrej Babiš should also take part in the forum.

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