News in brief for April 12: Czech food banks are almost empty, even the middle class needs help

Top headlines for the Czech Republic on Wednesday, April 12, 2023, updated daily to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 12.04.2023 07:39:00 (updated on 12.04.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

Society Food banks in Czechia are almost empty

Food banks in the Czech Republic are facing empty warehouses ahead of the spring round of nationwide food collection, according to Aleš Slavíček, chairman of the Czech Federation of Food Banks. The current economic situation, compounded by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, has led to increased demand for food assistance, with even middle-class individuals seeking help.

Food banks in the country supported 300,000 people last year, collecting 11,300 tons of food worth CZK 680 million (around $32 million USD). Despite receiving support from the government and donations from retailers, food banks are struggling to meet the rising demand. The spring round will be held on April 22.

POLICE Authorities searching for attacker who stabbed man at Anděl

A 44-year-old man was stabbed and seriously injured in an attack at Anděl in Prague, Czech Republic. The victim was conscious when taken to the hospital, and police are searching for the perpetrator or perpetrators. Several dozen police officers are investigating the circumstances of the attack, while the victim receives medical treatment.

The incident is being reported by the police spokeswoman, and updates are being shared by the Prague rescue service on Twitter. The investigation is ongoing, and the motive for the attack is currently unknown.

politics Fiala addresses document leak

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala tweeted on Tuesday that he will communicate the final proposals for reducing the state budget deficit "in about a month," and that leaked documents on the topic published earlier this week should be "treated with due caution and as unfinished business."

Fiala's remarks came after Czech Television reported on Monday about a Ministry of Finance proposal to introduce two rates of value-added tax instead of the current three.

POLICE Another protester associated with March rally prosecuted

Jaroslav Popelka, a former dissident and political activist, is being prosecuted by the police for inciting a crowd to attack the National Museum building during the March ''Czechia against poverty'' protest in Prague, reports Seznam Zpravy. The 67-year-old man, who was filmed with a megaphone during the demonstration, allegedly encouraged the protesters to remove the Ukrainian flag from the facade of the National Museum after the rally was over.

Popelka, who has faced previous legal scrutiny, described the attempt to tear down the flag as a "small warning." He has not yet decided whether he will attend another demonstration organized by PRO party chairman Jindřich Rajchl, as he blames Rajchl for filing a criminal complaint against three men with pro-Russian symbols on their clothes.

Sports Czech women's ice hockey players defeat Switzerland

The Czech Republic women's ice hockey team secured third place in their group at the World Championship in Canada with a dominant 5-2 victory over Switzerland. Blanka Škodová remained solid in goal for the Czechs, while Michaela Pejzlová, Alena Mills, Klára Hymlárová, Tereza Pištěková, and Tereza Plosová scored for the team.

The Czech Republic will now face Finland in the quarterfinals, a repeat of last year's quarterfinals where they made history by advancing to the medal fights in extra time. The quarterfinal match is scheduled for Thursday.

hockey World championship logo is all about the puck

In other hockey news, the visual identity of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, held between May 10 and 26 in Prague and Ostrava, will revolve around the hockey puck, which is the championship's logo, according to an official press release.

"The Czech Republic is a hockey powerhouse, but at the same time also a powerhouse when it comes to puck production. The puck as such is the heart of hockey, everything revolves around the puck," Martin Klčo, the marketing director of the agency behind the logo, said. This will be Czechia's eleventh time as host of the international ice hockey competition.

TECH Major mobile operators experiences outages in Czech

Telecommunications companies O2 and T-Mobile experienced a service outage in the Czech Republic, both operators announced on their Twitter accounts yesterday evening. The issue was in the shared part of the O2 network and affected the entire country, causing problems with calls and data transfers.

The outage has since been restored, with services returning to normal. O2 has over six million SIM cards in the Czech Republic and is part of the PPF investment group, while T-Mobile is part of the Deutsche Telekom group and had 6.423 million customers in the Czech Republic last year.

renewables Coca-Cola introduces non-removable bottle caps

The new, non-removable Coca-Cola bottle caps are meant to improve recycling in the Czech Republic, iDnes reports. The bottle caps, which will have a ring around the top keeping the cap in place, will become mandatory across the EU starting in mid-2024.

Martina Lovetínská, Marketing Director of Coca-Cola HBC Czech Republic and Slovakia, said the new design ensures that the cap is recycled together with the bottle instead of being thrown away separately, as it oftentimes happens with the current one.

elsewhere in czechia Town pays CZK 5,000 to new residents willing to relocate

The town of Žacléř in the Trutnov District offers CZK 5,000 to each person willing to register as a permanent resident there, CNN Prima reports. The initiative is meant to reverse the town’s population decline, Deputy Mayor Valentin Herman. Additionally, the investment is likely to pay off in the long term, given that Žacléř receives CZK 16,500 crowns annually from the state for a newly registered citizen.

"If a hundred new residents came to us, we would pay them half a million, but we would receive three times as much from the state," Herman explains the municipality's strategy, adding that while the contribution is only paid once, the town receives per capita contributions from the state every year.

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