Daily news in brief for Oct. 18: Top headlines for Czechia on Wednesday

No-confidence debate drags on in Czech House of Representatives, Czechia sees coldest autumn night so far, and more top headlines for Oct. 18, 2023.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 18.10.2023 08:54:00 (updated on 18.10.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

municipality Prague 1 City Hall ends lease for ham stand on Old Town Square

The Prague 1 City Hall decided on Tuesday to end the lease of the stand selling ham on Old Town Square. The lease agreement allows the stand to operate for up to two more years. The municipality receives CZK 2,000 per day from the foundation for renting the location.

The town hall found the permanent operation of the ham was in violation of the contract's purpose, justifying its termination. The city district will work with the municipality and the Institute of Planning and Development to develop a concept for the land's future use.

survey President Pavel is the most trusted Czech politician

According to a recent survey by the Czech Academy of Sciences, 55 percent of Czech people trust President Petr Pavel, while 38 percent do not trust him. He was the only politician in the survey who had the trust of a majority of respondents, while for everyone else, mistrust prevailed.

Andrej Babiš received the second highest level of trust at 42 percent; 53 percent of people said they did not trust him. Tomio Okamura ranked third with 35 percent trust; 56 percent of people said they did not trust him. The survey found that Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarová Adamová and Prime Minister Petr Fiala had the highest level of mistrust at 77 percent each.

culture Project highlights church attitudes toward LGBTQ+ people

An art project in Czechia set out to highlight the attitudes of church representatives towards LGBTQ+ issues. Through video interviews with clergy and experts, Faith in the Rainbow Colours aims to challenge the one-sided view of homosexuality in Czech churches, according to its author Tobias Frydl.

A draft amendment to the Civil Code, which would legalize same-sex marriage, is facing opposition from conservatives and some religious figures. Additionally, there is debate on enshrining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the constitution. The Czech Republic is also one of several countries in Europe that refused to sign the Istanbul Convention, which includes the term "gender" in its text.

Conflict Czech man in Israel falls victim to Hamas attack

A 22-year-old Czech citizen visiting Israel fell victim to a recent Hamas terrorist attack, as confirmed by the Czech Foreign Ministry, reports Novinky.cz. Tragically, the young man lost his life during the attack at the Nirim kibbutz. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Daniel Drake disclosed that the individual, who was in Israel to visit his girlfriend, was among the casualties of the Hamas assault.

The attack, which occurred on Saturday, Oct. 7, resulted in the deaths of citizens from various countries, including the United States, France, Britain, Argentina, Brazil, and Thailand. The incident was followed by Israeli shelling of the Gaza Strip.

real estate Demand for Prague apartments almost doubles in Q3

The demand for apartments in Prague is increasing due to the stabilization of the economy and a positive outlook for future development. In the third quarter, 1,050 apartments were sold in Prague, a 91 percent increase from the same period last year. The average selling price per square meter decreased by 3 percent quarter-on-quarter to CZK 146,459.

Mortgage interest rates are expected to decline next year, further boosting demand. However, the supply of apartments has decreased, leading to potential price increases. This year, a total of 2,700 apartments were sold, and experts predict that the number could exceed 4,000 by year-end.

scam alert Czech police warns of fraud via text message

The Czech police warned on Instagram about the newest types of fraud happening recently, involving a text message scam. Scammers send a message about a state allowance, tricking victims into providing sensitive login information on a fraudulent website. Using this information, they gain access to victims' banking systems and make unauthorized transactions.

Victims may receive a call from someone pretending to be a bank employee, asking them to transfer money to a "secure" account. The Czech police emphasized that banks and the Ministry of Labor do not send such messages and that suspected fraud should immediately be reported.

energy Temelín fuels trial operation of České Budějovice heat pipe

Teplárna České Budějovice has started the trial operation of a 26-kilometer-long heat pipe from the Temelín nuclear power plant. The feeder will cover 30 percent of České Budějovice's heat needs, saving over 80,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually.

The heat pipe, built by ČEZ at a cost of CZK 1.69 billion, will supply heat for 20 years. It is one of the largest ecological projects, contributing to the decarbonization strategy. The project will reduce emissions from the heating plant by approximately a third and eliminate the need to purchase emission permits.

Politics Czech house continues no-confidence debate today

The Czech House of Representatives adjourned a lengthy debate, initiated by the ANO opposition movement, aimed at expressing no confidence in Prime Minister Petr Fiala's coalition government. The debate, which began late into the night, continued for about 16 hours and is set to resume at 9 a.m. today. Notably, no vote on the fate of the cabinet occurred during this time.

The government members dominated the discussion, outlining their future plans in front of sparsely populated benches in the meeting hall. The first registered member of parliament to speak did so approximately 12.5 hours into the debate, around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Weather Czechia records coldest night of autumn season

Last night was the coldest of this autumn in the Czech Republic, with ground frosts occurring across most areas. Some regions experienced temperatures well below freezing, notably measuring minus ten degrees Celsius at the Kvilda-Perla station. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute reported these conditions on Facebook, with nighttime temperatures generally ranging between plus two and minus two degrees Celsius.

While a brief drop to freezing is possible on Thursday night due to clear skies, a warming trend is expected in the coming days when daytime temperatures will reach 10 to 14 degrees Celsius with sunny weather and increasing clouds from the southwest.

Diplomacy Czech president to receive new ambassadors at Prague Castle

Czech President Petr Pavel will receive new ambassadors from Slovakia, Canada, Ireland, and Ghana at Prague Castle. Slovakia fills a year-long ambassadorial vacancy with Ingrid Brocková. Emily McLaughlin, a seasoned diplomat, will represent Canada in the Czech Republic. Alan Gibbons, with a background in the Irish Embassy in the U.S. and other diplomatic posts, becomes Ireland's new ambassador to Prague.

Doris Adzo Denyo Brese, previously representing Ghana at the OPCW, takes on the role of Ghanaian ambassador. This diplomatic gathering underscores international relations and the importance of maintaining diplomatic ties between nations.

EU Energy ministers approve changes to electricity market rules

EU energy ministers, including Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela, have approved amendments to electricity market rules aimed at enhancing market stability and protecting consumers. Changes include measures to reduce peak electricity consumption, increase flexibility with smart metering data, and obligate suppliers to offer fixed-price contracts with transparent terms.

The amendment permits temporary price regulation for households and small businesses during energy price crises, subject to EU Commission approval. Síkela emphasized the need for diversification of energy sources and highlighted ongoing energy attacks by Russia on Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy awarded Síkela the Order of Merit II for supporting Ukraine's sovereignty.

Culture The Czech Republic Helps exhibit opens in Prague

An exhibition titled The Czech Republic Helps, inaugurated by Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský in Prague, highlights Czechia's humanitarian and development aid abroad, emphasizing cooperation with non-profit organizations and partners. Minister Lipavský stressed the importance of sharing Czech knowledge and experience to enhance global living conditions, viewing it as an investment in security and prosperity.

Czechia annually provides around half a billion crowns in aid to six partner nations: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Cambodia, as per Kateřina Sequensová, who leads the ministry's Non-European Countries, Economic, and Development Cooperation Section. The exhibition will be open until Nov. 6.

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