Thunderstorms followed by tropical heat to hit Czechia later this week

Plus: Former PM hits the campaign trail, Czech man's body found in Slovak High Tatras, and more Monday headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 14.05.2022 11:50:00 (updated on 16.05.2022) Reading time: 9 minutes

Monday, May 16, 2022

Weather Tropical temps, thunderstorms to hit Czechia this week

The current sunny weather in the Czech Republic will turn cloudy and the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI) warns of impending showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures will be as high as 30°C this week. On Monday it will be clear to partly cloudy with temperatures around 28°C. In the evening there may be showers or thunderstorms. Tuesday through Thursday will see lower temps while Friday tropical weather is expected with temps in the thirties.

ELECTION Former Czech PM hits the road in campaign caravan

Leader of the ANO party, former Czech PM Andrej Babiš, set off in a caravan today to meet with voters. Departing from his Průhonice estate, he'll head to South Moravia, and plans to meet people in Břeclav today. Over the next few days, he'll travel to Znojmo, Brno, and Vyškov. Babiš, who hasn't officially announced his candidacy for president, says he intends to connect with people he wants to speak with similar to his parliamentary office in Roudnice nad Labem. Before setting off he told reporters that should he decide to run the trip represents important contact with the voters. The motorhome features the slogan "It will be better again!" 

POLITICs EU Foreign Ministers to meet in Brussels today

New sanctions against Russia, which the European Union has so far failed to agree on due to Hungary's opposition to the oil embargo, will be the main topic of today's meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. Representatives of the governments will also talk about how to further support Kyiv with military or financial aid during the ongoing Russian offensive in the east and south of the country. Details about the current situation and other needs of Ukraine will be communicated to EU ministers by their Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.

tragedy Body of Czech raft rider found in High Tatras

Slovak mountain rescue service in the High Tatras discovered the body of a Czech rafter, 62, who went missing on Saturday while he was rafting the wild Bela River. The man's raft turned over he was carried away by a strong current rescuers said. A woman who also was on the raft managed to get out of the river. The police, firefighters, and rescuers with dog handlers were deployed to search for the man until Saturday dusk. They found only his helmet and the raft. When the rescue mission resumed Sunday morning. A dog handler eventually spotted the body of the man some two kilometers from the scene of the incident.

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CULTURE Near record number of spectators pack Prague venue for Rammstein show

German metal band Rammstein performed a dynamic show full of pyrotechnic and light effects for tens of thousands of fans at the Letňany complex Sunday. According to organizers, nearly 60,000 fans attended the concert in support of the band's latest album "Zeit." The energetic Prague performance inaugurated the band's European tour. A second added concert will take place at the same venue on Monday.

Rammstein was founded in 1994 in East Germany. The band's name comes from the city of Ramstein, where the United States Air Force headquarters in Europe is located and where dozens of people died during an air show in the late 1980s. Sunday's concert saw one of the highest number of spectators in the Letňany complex ever. In 2019, two concerts by the British singer Ed Sheeran attracted 150,000 fans, the first of which was attended by almost 80,000 people. The largest concert to take place in Prague was the Rolling Stones in August 1995, when 130,000 attended their show at Strahov Stadium.

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HISTORY Torah scroll that survived World War II given to Terezín

A Torah scroll that survived the Second World War was ceremoniously given to the Wieser House in Terezín in the Litoměřice region Sunday. The scroll was originally handed over from Olomouc by the London organization Memorial Scrolls Trust, which preserves Czech Torahs, to the Bejt Terezín Museum in Israel, founded by survivors of the Terezín ghetto. The Memorial Scrolls Trust administers 1,564 Torahs that survived World War II and came from the Czech Republic. During the occupation, all Jewish objects were stored in the Jewish Museum in Prague. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Politics Czechia fully supports NATO expansion, says Foreign Minister

The Czech Republic fully supports bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský told reporters as he arrived at an informal alliance meeting in Berlin on Saturday. "Finland and Sweden are warmly welcomed and we support their interest in entering the alliance," Lipavský said. "We consider them as friends. This is the position I will tell my colleagues."

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Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Finland and Sweden both changed their neutral stance and have expressed interest in joining NATO. Germany has laid the groundwork for a quick ratification if the Nordic countries submit an application to join NATO, it's Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters this morning.

Music 60,000 Rammstein fans expected in Prague for Sunday concert

An estimated 60,000 fans of German metal band Rammstein are expected to descend upon Prague for a concert on Sunday evening at Letňany Airport. Prague residents are advised to expect traffic complications on the Metro C line from Letňany, while a large-scale light show with pyrotechnic effects will be visible from many areas of the Czech capital during the evening. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m.

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Rammstein last performed in Prague at the Eden football stadium in Vršovice in 2019. The band will present songs from their eighth album Zeit, which released on April 29, at tonight's concert. While Rammstein has a large following in the Czech Republic, many of the fans at tonight's concert are expected to be foreign visitors coming to Prague specifically for the concert.

Sports Czech team tops Britain in hockey World Cup, faces Sweden today

The Czech Republic's national hockey team defeated Great Britain 5-1 yesterday in Tampere, Finland to kick off the 2022 IIHF World Hockey Championships. After a scoreless opening period, Matěj Blümel put the Czech team on the board and added another goal later on. Team captain Roman Červenka chipped in with three assists, while goaltender Lukáš Dostál blocked 17 of 18 shots on goal.

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Today, the Czech team will face off against Sweden at 7:20 p.m. Prague time. The Czech national team has gone 2-2 against Sweden this year across four Euro Hockey Tour games, but defeated them in last year's World Cup 4-2. This year's World Championships run through May 29 in Tampere and Helsinki.

Science Lunar eclipse to be partially visible from Czechia Monday morning

A total lunar eclipse will take place in the early hours Monday morning as the moon enters into the Earth's shadow, and it will be at partially visible from the Czech Republic before the moon sets shortly after 5:00 a.m., according to local astronomers. The eclipse will be most visible from areas close to the Atlantic Ocean in Western Europe and Eastern North America.

The moon will enter the Earth's shadow from about 3:30 a.m. Prague time, but it will take about an hour for any visible effect to be seen. "At that moment, even if we were already awake, we would not notice anything with our eyes," says Martin Gembec from the Czech Astronomical Society. "Only after quarter to five will the upper left of the Moon seem a bit 'smoky' to us." As the eclipse will be seen as the moon sets in the Czech Republic, areas of high elevation with good visibility will be best to catch it shortly before 5:00 a.m.

Film Israeli film Where is Anne Frank wins Czech animated film festival

The Israeli film Where Is Anne Frank, directed by Ari Folman, has won the top prize at this year's Anifilm festival of animated films in Liberec. The director's 2008 film Waltz with Bashir won numerous awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2009.

The Anifilm festival in Liberec screened more than 500 animated movies this year in and out of competition. Belle, from Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda, was awarded Best Children's Film, while directors Yutaro Kubo and Satomi Maiya won an Audience Award for The Girl from the Other Side, which had its world premiere at the festival.

Culture Prague Castle inaugurates summer 2022 season with Open Day

Prague Castle, one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the Czech Republic, officially inaugurates its summer 2022 season today. For the occasion, some areas normally off-limits to the public are open for the first time since 2019. Prague Castle traditionally holds open days to welcome the summer season, but they did not take place the past two years due to the pandemic and related restrictions.

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Visitors to Prague Castle today can see areas typically reserved for official visits including the Spanish Hall and the Gallery of Emperor Rudolf II. In addition, an outdoor program at the Royal Garden will include appearances by hunting dogs, medieval falconers, and a guided tour of the Falconer's House, which includes a live performance from the castle orchestra. See our article here for more info.

Sports Czechia kicks off 2022 hockey championships against Great Britain

The 2022 IIHF Hockey World Championships begin this weekend, and the Czech national team will kick off the tournament this afternoon with a game against Great Britain from 3:20 p.m. at Tampere's Nokia Arena. The Czech Republic and Great Britain play in Group B alongside top-seeded USA and Finland, as well as Austria, who advanced to the tournament after Russia was expelled.

The Czech Republic (and former Czechoslovakia) is the third-most successful country in the history of the IIHF hockey World Championships since 1920, with a total of 12 gold medals coming in behind Canada and Russia (both 27). Since splitting from Slovakia in 1993, the Czech Republic has won the IIHF World Cup six times. The country's last gold was in 2010, and they haven't finished in the top three since 2012.

Politics Sweden, Finland would reinforce Czech security in NATO, says Ambassador

Czech security will be reinforced should Finland and Sweden join NATO, Jakub Landovský, the Czech Republic's Ambassador to NATO, told local media on Friday. The two Nordic countries have been internally discussing membership, and could join NATO after submitting an application if approved by the other 30 countries.

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Most countries have expressed support for the Nordic countries in joining NATO, but Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed a critical stance yesterday, stating that Finland and Sweden were “guesthouses for terrorist organisations.” It took the Czech Republic two years to join NATO in 1999, but Landovský notes that Finland and Sweden could be approved quicker. "In our case, it took two years, but this was the first wave of expansion after the end of Cold War, a politically sensitive time," he said.

Money Prague Stock Exchange, Czech crown strengthen heading into weekend

The Prague Stock Exchange rose by about 1.4 percent to 1,296.91 points by the close of business on Friday, largely recovering from Thursday's dip, according to the latest indices on the exchange website. Significant rises were seen in shares from energy company ČEZ, Erste banking group, and Komerční banka.

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The Czech crown also strengthened on Friday, rising by about .9 percent against the euro (to 24.76 CZK/EUR) and .6 percent against the dollar (to 23.83 CZK/USD), according to data from Patria Online at close of business Friday. On Thursday, the Czech National Bank announced foreign currency interventions to strengthen the crown, bolstering it by nearly three percent against the euro over the past two days.

Law Complaint filed by Czechs kidnapped in Lebanon dismissed

The Czech Constitutional Court has dismissed a complaint filed by three Czechs who were kidnapped in Lebanon in 2015, according to a decision posted on the website of the court. The three men alleged that the Czech state had failed to prevent the incident in Lebanon, and were seeking compensation of 40 million crowns.

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Aligning with previous decisions, the court found that the kidnappers were solely to blame, and that there was no connection between the reaction of the Czech Republic and the harm the plaintiffs allegedly suffered. The three men were among a group of five people kidnapped at gunpoint and held for 199 days in 2015 following the Czech arrest of arms dealer Ali Taan Fayad.

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