News in brief for April 24: Flood warning ends in Prague, ferry service resumes

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Monday, April 24, 2023, updated regularly to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 24.04.2023 08:53:00 (updated on 24.04.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

PRAGUE Ferry service resumes in Czech capital

The flood situation in Prague has improved as the Vltava River and other streams gradually return to normal levels. The flood warning issued by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has expired, and the flood commission has decided to open the gates at Čertovka and resume ferry operations.

Despite ongoing rainfall, the levels of crucial watercourses for the flood situation in Prague, such as the Vltava, Berounka, and Sázava, are falling. While life around the Vltava can return to normal, entities on waterways should proceed in accordance with flood plans and operating regulations and take extra care.

EU Ukraine chooses path to EU values, parliament head says in Prague

Ukrainian Supreme Council head Ruslan Stefanchuk spoke at a conference of EU parliament heads in Prague, saying that Ukraine is paying a high price for choosing the path of European values and community, while Russia wages a full-scale aggression and war against the country.

Stefanchuk stated that Russia is using blackmail tactics against EU countries and shelling civilian targets in Ukraine to try and break the Ukrainian spirit, but he believes that the Ukrainians will not be broken. He also mentioned that Ukraine has made progress in meeting the seven conditions set by the European Commission for EU accession and hopes for talks to open this year.

CORRUPTION Perjury in Stork's Nest case being investigated

The Municipal Prosecutor's Office in Prague is investigating possible false statements made during the hearing of the Stork's Nest (Čapí hnízdo) case at the Municipal Court in Prague. The ex-manager of Čapí hnízdo, František Šlingr, and the financial director of Agrofert, Petra Procházková, are suspected of giving false statements.


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Judge Jan Šott acquitted the defendants Andrej Babiš and Jana Nagyová of the charges but called Šlingr and Procházková's statements false. Prosecutors are waiting for the delivery of the judgment and all protocols from the main trial, which will support the possible extraction of knowledge to investigate the alleged crime.

ECONOMY Czech billionaire acquires French media house

Czech Media Invest (CMI), owned by billionaire Daniel Křetínský, has announced the acquisition of Editis, the second largest book publisher in France, from media company Vivendi. CMI's subsidiary, International Media Invest (IMI), will acquire a 100 percent stake in Editis. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is part of CMI's growth strategy in France and confirms its long-term ambitions in the media sector.

Vivendi is selling Editis and the celebrity magazine Gala to gain approval from European Union antitrust authorities to take over domestic rival Lagardere. The deal is expected to be completed in the coming months, subject to regulatory approval. The company announced the acquisition on its website.

Economy 7 percent of Czech restaurants face closure

About 7 percent of restaurants in the Czech Republic are at risk of closure due to rising costs. A survey by Data Servis showed that 53 percent of companies perceive higher prices of energy or raw materials as a threat. However, rising costs are not a bigger problem for 40 percent of restaurants.

Last year saw energy prices increase by an average of 39 percent for 84 percent of restaurants, with beverage prices rising by 14 percent for 81 percent of businesses. Hotels are missing about a fifth of tourists. In four years, 15 percent of village pubs, over 1,300 establishments, have closed.

POLITICS Kazakh oil may contribute to Czech energy security, say PM Fiala

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has suggested that oil from Kazakhstan could contribute to the Czech Republic's energy security as it seeks to reduce its dependence on Russian oil imports.

Fiala made the comments following a meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and PM Alikhan Smailov in Astana, where he also discussed the possibility of importing uranium from Kazakhstan for Czech nuclear power plants. Kazakhstan is currently one of the Czech Republic's largest oil suppliers.

CONFLICT Two Czechs on German flight with evacuees from Sudan

Germany has evacuated 101 of its citizens, their family members, and citizens of other partner states from Sudan in a military evacuation operation. Two Czech citizens are among the hundred passengers Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, has confirmed. More evacuation flights are planned as long as the security situation allows.

The situation in Sudan has been volatile due to a power struggle between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, and hundreds of people have died since the fighting began. The evacuation flight landed in Berlin this morning.

TRAGEDY Murder-suicide in Prague Sunday night

On Sunday evening, a man shot a woman and then committed suicide in Prague's Hostivař district. The police received information about a woman who had been shot and dispatched an emergency unit to the scene.

Rescuers subsequently discovered that the man had shot himself. The woman was treated by paramedics and taken to the hospital. She was conscious during treatment. According to a Prague police spokesman the tragic event occurred around 8 p.m. The shooting led to the closure of the street.

Weather Rain and showers expected to dampen Walpurgis tradition

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute forecasts a cooling down period in the first half of this week, with cloudy skies and showers expected throughout. Temperatures will drop below freezing on Thursday night, with possible snowfall in the mountains. However, temperatures will gradually rise from the middle of the week, with occasional rain or showers and possible thunderstorms.

The highest daily temperatures will reach between 12 to 16 degrees, and in the mountains, it will be around eight degrees. At the end of the week, the temperatures will increase to a maximum of 19 degrees.

Diplomacy European parliament heads to meet today

The two-day EU parliamentary conference is set to begin in Prague on Monday, while the program for heads of the houses of parliament commenced Sunday with Czech lower house head Marketa Pekarova Adamova hosting a dinner with the chairwomen of the European parliaments. Senate Chairman Milos Vystrcil met with British Parliament head Lindsay Hoyle to discuss the future of Europe, the Indo-Pacific region, and the upcoming NATO summit.

On Monday and Tuesday, a conference of EU parliament heads will be held at the Prague Congress Centre. The conference will focus on Russian aggression against Ukraine, EU responses, and Ukraine's accession to the EU and NATO. In addition, the parliament heads will talk about the reconstruction of Ukraine and the country's accession to the EU and NATO. 52 foreign delegations had been invited.

Housing Average price of older apartments in Czechia falls

According to a study by European Housing Services (EHS), the average price of older apartments in the Czech Republic has fallen by nine percent year-on-year to 82,351 CZK per square meter, but sales have increased by two thirds compared to the previous year.

However, in Prague, the number of older apartments sold is the lowest in four years. EHS data shows that prices of older apartments in Prague stopped falling in the spring and rose by one percent quarter-on-quarter, but fell by 7.9 percent year-on-year. The Central Bohemia region has seen an increase in prices by eight percent quarter-on-quarter, with people moving to nearby cities.

Society Only 275 sterlization victims receive compensation

A total of 275 victims of unlawful sterilization have received compensation so far in the Czech Republic, with the Health Ministry having received 630 applications since last year and processed three-quarters of them, according to Lucie Fukova, the Government Commissioner for Roma Minority Affairs.

The Roma and human rights organizations had complained last year that the ministry only accepted medical documentation as proof for compensation, but an expansion of the evidence is now being considered. Fukova also plans to debate possible compensation for interventions carried out in the Slovak territory of former Czechoslovakia with her Slovak counterpart.

wildlife Escaped horses run loose along D11 highway

Two horses escaped from an overturned trailer on the D11 highway in the Czech Republic on Sunday. Traffic on the highway was closed for an hour while authorities captured the horses.

The animals were caught at approximately 5:45 p.m. and traffic was first restored to one lane, then to both lanes before seven o'clock. The car pulling the trailer overturned onto its roof, and another car crashed into the trailer. No one was injured in the accident.

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