Czech weekend news in brief: top stories for June 13, 2021

Lowest Saturday rise in Covid-19 cases since July, European prosecutor to look into Babiš conflict of interest case, and more headlines from this weekend.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 13.06.2021 09:32 (updated on 13.06.2021)

Czech Republic sees lowest Saturday rise in Covid-19 cases since July 11, 2020

The Czech Republic reported 74 new Covid-19 cases on yesterday, the lowest daily rise on a Saturday since July 11, 2020 and half as many as a week ago, according to data released by the Health Ministry this morning. The rate of infection rate per 100,000 people over the past seven days has now dropped to under 14.

The number of Covid-19 cases has kept declining since an epidemic peak in March, when there were almost 17,000 new cases per day. The daily number of Covid-19-related deaths is falling, too. It has been under ten for more than two weeks, compared to March when around 200 Covid-19-related deaths were reported per day. For Saturday, the Ministry has reported one Covid-19-related death so far.

European prosecutor to deal with Czech Prime Minister's conflict of interest case

The European Public Prosecutor's Office has taken over the conflict of interest case regarding Czech PM Andrej Babiš, writes iROZHLAS.cz. The case concerns subsidies and public contracts won by the Babiš-related Agrofert company. Czech investigators are also investigating whether a crime was committed in this case.

Babiš transferred Agrofert, a giant chemical, agricultural, food and media group, to trust funds in 2017 to comply with an amended Czech conflict of interest law. He denies any conflict of interest in the case. Babiš told TV Nova on Saturday that the Czech authorities did not need any help from EU institutions.

Radio Free Europe celebrates 70 years since first Czechoslovak broadcast

The 70th anniversary of the first Czechoslovak broadcast of Radio Free Europe was celebrated on Saturday at the Karel Čapek Memorial in Stará Huť near Dobříš, Radio Free Europe head Zdeněk Vacek told CTK. The ceremony also celebrated its first director, Czech writer and journalist Ferdinand Peroutka,

Peroutka (1895-1978) was a close friend of writer and playwright Karel Čapek (1890-1938), and one exhibition at the memorial is dedicated to him. Seventy years since Radio Free Europe's first Czechoslovak broadcast passed on May 1; the ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus epidemic until a time when relaxed anti-epidemic restrictions allowed for it.

Czech Republic to give one billion crowns in development aid in 2022

The Czech Republic will donate roughly one billion crowns in bilateral development and humanitarian aid in 2022, according to a Foreign Ministry document that the government will debate on Monday. The total is about 100 million less than was approved for 2021.

Like this year, the Czech aid will primarily target six countries that Czech diplomacy lists among its development aid priorities, which include Bosnia and Herzegovina, Moldova, Georgia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Zambia.

Czech dissident and journalist Rudolf Zeman passes away at age 82

Czech journalist and dissident Rudolf Zeman died at the age of 82 on Wednesday night, Lidovky.cz reported on Friday. Referring to his family, the information was confirmed by the Czech Journalists Syndicate. Zeman was one of the first signatories of the Charter 77 dissident manifesto, and one of the founders of the resurrected samizdat Lidové noviny newspaper.

In the early 1990s, he was the editor-in-chief of the paper, which could only appear legally after the 1989 toppling of the Communist regime. Zeman was born on February 11, 1939. He studied library science before he became a reporter, and also worked in Czechoslovak Radio.

Do you have a story to share with our readers? Find out more