The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and Expats.cz top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Sept. 29, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.09.2022 17:03:00 (updated on 29.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Prague Zoo opens a large new home for gorillas

Prague Zoo has opened its new gorilla pavilion. The Dja Reserve, the largest pavilion in the zoo’s history, takes visitors on a journey through a replica of a Cameroonian forest, where they will encounter lowland gorillas. A pair of gorillas that recently arrived at the zoo, male Kisumu and female Duni, were also shown to the public for the first time. The idea to build the pavilion began in 2013 and plans were ready in 2015, but construction didn't start until 2019.

2 Thousand of protesters call for dismissal of Fiala's government

Tens of thousands of people attended an anti-government rally yesterday on Wenceslas Square demanding the reversal of the political course in the Czech Republic. The protest was organized by the group "Czech Republic First!" They plan to petition President Miloš Zeman on Oct. 10 to demand the dismissal of Prime Minister Petr Fiala's coalition government and call for an early election. Another protest is planned for Oct. 28, the anniversary of the establishment of the First Republic. 

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3 Virtual operators now offering 5G mobile internet

The first virtual mobile network operators (VMNOs) in the country have now started offering 5G network service. Last week, SAZKAmobil came with an offer, and this week Lama mobile followed suit. Both VMNOs are using the infrastructure from Vodafone and said that users will get the upgrade automatically, and that the fees for customers are staying the same.

4 Gas cheapest since the war began

The price of gasoline in Czechia is the lowest it has been since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The average cost is CZK 37.56 per liter. Diesel, at an average price of CZK 43.01 per liter, is the lowest in the last five weeks, according to data from fleet service company CCS, reported by news server Týden. Fuel prices in the Czech Republic have been falling since roughly the beginning of July, with the exception of the end of the holidays. Even with the recent drops, gasoline is about CZK 3.50 more expensive than a year ago and diesel is CZK 11 more.

5 Most Czechs unhappy with their housing

Only 48 percent of people are currently satisfied with their housing, according to a survey by the magazine 5plus2 and news server iDnes. Of the remaining 52 percent, the largest group is thinking about renovating what they have instead of buying something new due to the current mortgage situation. Of those polled, about a third said they felt they would not qualify for a mortgage. Some 92 percent of people said the real estate market was “sick,” and only 8 percent felt it reflected natural economic developments.

6 European Researchers' Night enlightens people about science

The general public can see inside spaces used by the Czech Academy of Science on Sept. 30 as part of the European Researchers' Night. The theme this year is "all the senses." Among other things, a yurt will be built on Střelecký ostrov during the day to mark 100 years of the academy's Oriental Institute. More events can be found in an online list. An app listing all the various events is available on Android and iOS.

7 Prague has closed tent city for Ukrainian refugees

Municipal authorities have closed down a tent city for Ukrainian refugees in Troja due to falling temperatures. The number of people staying there had been decreasing, and the remaining 13 were moved to other centers before the closure. People usually slept in the tent city for one or two nights, before being granted temporary protection. Humanitarian assistance for the Ukrainian refugees continues to be provided by the centers in Smíchov and Florenc.

8 SANANIM opens new rehab center, will hold a gala ball

The non-governmental organization SANANIM has opened a new center for recovering drug addicts in South Bohemia. A new wooden house can accommodate six people in the late stages of recovery. The new structure connects to a former railway house that has a common kitchen and dining room. Together, they create an enclosed courtyard.

SANANIM is celebrating its 32nd anniversary with a black-tie-optional gala on Oct. 8 at Martinický palác, located near Prague Castle. Tickets are available online. Since 2015 the annual gala, which is back after a two-year break, the organization has raised at least CZK 250,000 each year to help fund their projects. People can also support SANANIM directly via the Darujme platform.  

9 Queen Elizabeth II's portrait from Prague Castle on a British stamp

Britain's Royal Mail is issuing four commemorative stamps with portraits of the late Queen Elizabeth II. The portrait on the GBP 2.25 stamp was shot by Tim Graham at a banquet in Prague Castle when the Queen visited the Czech capital in 1996. The castle, though, is not visible in the background. The stamps, the first approved by King Charles III, will go on sale in the UK on Nov. 10.

Queen Elizabeth II on the GPB 2.25 stamp. Photo: Royal Mail.
Queen Elizabeth II on the GPB 2.25 stamp. Photo: Royal Mail.

10 Czechs wary of rocking the wage boat

Czechs are the most reluctant in Europe to ask for raises, Hospodářské noviny reports. One of the main reasons is that they fear for their jobs, according to an international survey by the consulting company PwC, which polled over 52,000 people from 44 countries worldwide. The survey revealed that Czechs, unlike other nations, leave the setting of their wages to either employers or trade unions.

11 Czech Philharmonic kicks off new season

The Rudolfinum concert hall yesterday evening hosted the first concert of the Czech Philharmonic's 127th season. The program included Richard Strauss' Alpine Symphony and Ludwig van Beethoven's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D major. Chief conductor Semjon Byčkov said that although the two pieces were seemingly connected by a nature theme, "everything here functions as a story about experiencing human life." You can see the opening concert on Czech Television's iVysílání service until Oct. 5.

12 Part time work still unpopular in Czechia

The proportion of women doing part-time work in the Czech Republic is lower than in Western Europe, but higher than in eastern EU countries, Hospodářské noviny reports, based on data from EU statistical arm Eurostat. Only around 10 percent of Czech women work part-time, while the EU average is close to 30 percent. Still, the numbers are even lower in neighboring Poland, with 8.2 percent, Hungary with 6.7 percent, and Slovakia with 4.7 percent.

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