News in brief for April 11: Massive accident leaves D1 highway impassable

Top headlines for the Czech Republic on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, updated daily to keep you up to speed.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 11.04.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 11.04.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

TRAGEDY Eight horses die in fire in Prague stable

A fire broke out in the stables on Císařský Ostrov in Prague's Bubenč, causing the death of eight horses. The fire, which caused damage of CZK 3.5 million was fully contained by the time firefighters arrived and no one was injured. The cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

The Equestrian School and Pony School in Prague 7, which operates the stables, confirmed the incident. Firefighters took out two pressure cylinders from the burning building and several units were deployed to extinguish the fire.

Economy A third of Czech tax offices to close

The Czech Ministry of Finance will abolish 77 of the 201 territorial workplaces of financial offices in July. Instead, the Financial Administration will offer people special telephone lines for consultations and expand visits to municipalities during the tax return filing period.

The move is aimed at greater efficiency of the Financial Administration and will save the state up to CZK 150 million in the next three years while maintaining the quality and availability of financial services for citizens and companies. The ministry's analysis showed that taxpayers no longer use the services of the abolished offices and they mainly provide services for the filing office.

traffic Massive accident leaves D1 impassable this morning

A mass accident involving seven cars on the D1 highway in Novojičínsk has left seven people injured and made the road impassable in the direction of Ostrava. The accident occurred before 07:00 and the bypass route leads through Bravantice.

While traffic in the direction of Olomouc and Brno is unrestricted, it is unclear how long the road will be closed. The driver who caused the accident reportedly performed an unexpected maneuver, crossing from the right to the left lane. Seven cars collided here, and seven injuries are reported from the scene.

RIP Lead Czechoslovak dissident dies, age 89

Dana Němcová, a prominent dissident in communist Czechoslovakia, has passed away at the age of 89. Němcová was a spokesperson for the human rights movement Charter 77 and helped found the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted which supported victims of communist persecution. Despite facing persecution herself, she continued to advocate for human rights and helped vulnerable groups, including refugees and abandoned children.

In 1998, Němcová was awarded the Medal of Merit by President Václav Havel. Vojtěch Sedláček, head of the Good Will Committee-Olga Havlová Foundation board, described Němcová as honest, brave, and always ready to take good and courageous steps.

Politics Czech PM says govt. will address food prices Tuesday

The Czech Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, has stated that the current government coalition can handle the increase in food prices in the country, and will approach the issue with sensible economic policies while allowing the market to work. The government has faced criticism from the opposition and in the House of Representatives over its handling of rising prices, and the Parliamentary Agriculture Committee is set to discuss the issue.

While some have called for government intervention, Fiala has argued that this would lead to shortages, and instead believes that the market environment is reviving as actors compete with each other. Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula has also called for the discounting of apples and potatoes, where the trade markup is up to 200 percent.

Crime Minor weekend fire at Czech Switzerland was arson

Arson was behind a minor fire in the Czech Switzerland National Park over the weekend. The park administration reported on social media that two arson attacks occurred, and the police are investigating the incident.

The fire occurred in the cadastral territory of Vlčí hora, and firefighters from Krásná Lípa and Šluknov were able to put out the fire in a shed and nearby hayloft, which were set on fire with a firecracker. The park administration is hopeful that the police will be able to catch the arsonists and prevent any future attacks.

Economy Czechs continue to save on gas and electricity consumption

Czechs have continued to save on gas and electricity consumption in the first quarter of 2023, with gas consumption dropping by 13.3% and electricity consumption by around 5% compared to the same period last year, according to the Energy Regulatory Office.

This trend follows a reduction in energy consumption in the country last year, mainly due to rising energy prices. The reduction in energy consumption this year is even more noticeable compared to the long-term average from 2017 to 2021.

Travel Czech ski season comes to an end

The ski season in the Hradec Králové region of the Czech Republic has come to an end, with ski centers such as Špindlerův Mlýn closing their doors for the season. The weather has been good for the past few days, with above-zero temperatures making for spring-like skiing conditions.

The ski centers report a good season overall, with January being the most challenging month due to strong winds. Attendance has been decent, with skiers taking advantage of the opportunity to ski without queues. The ski centers will now shift focus to the upcoming spring tourist season.

Environment Most recycling in Czechia can be further sorted

An analysis by JRK and the Institute of Circular Economy found that up to 71 percent of waste that Czechs throw in municipal bins could still be sorted. The analysis showed that biowaste was the most commonly thrown out incorrectly, followed by plastic material, paper, and textiles.

One-third of the unsorted waste is biowaste, of which one-fourth is kitchen waste and 11 percent is garden greenery. The city of Opava launched a successful project to teach people to sort biological waste from kitchens, resulting in the collection of 31 tons of waste in the first five months of the project.

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