News in brief for April 25: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival announces 2023 dates

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Tuesday, April 25, 2023, updated regularly to keep you up to speed.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 25.04.2023 08:24:00 (updated on 25.04.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

PROTEST Activists in Brno deflate dozens of SUV tires

Activists from the Tire Extinguishers group in Brno deflated the tires of five dozen large cars and SUVs, according to them, they do not belong in cities. The city police are dealing with the incident as a misdemeanor, said a police spokesman. According to activists, there were 46 cars with flat tires, police say it was 20 vehicles.

Activists say driving such a large car in an urban environment has a huge impact on everyone else and that SUVs pollute the air more than other cars, and they also kill more people in accidents than ordinary cars. Police are not ruling out charging the activities with a crime.

PENSIONS Czechs in demanding professions may retire earlier

Workers in demanding professions could retire up to five years earlier and without having their pensions cut, Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka said in an interview today with Czech media today. According to the draft pension amendment, others could retire earlier three years before reaching the retirement age instead of five years, and their pensions would be cut more than they are now.

Earlier pensions for demanding professions are to be part of the forthcoming reform changes. The government plans to introduce them around mid-May. However, Jurečka said the exact set-up of early pensions for demanding professions would still be discussed. Employers would pay higher social insurance contributions on behalf of workers in arduous occupations. 

culture Karlovy Vary Film Festival to receive millions in state support

The Czech state will increase its support for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with an annual sum of 35 million crowns over the next three years, according to Culture Minister Martin Baxa. The festival's total budget is estimated to be between CZK 130 to 150 million. The upcoming 70th festival will run from June 30 to July 8 and will see the premiere of the digitally restored film Courage for Every Day (Každý den odvahu, 1964). Czech actress Daniela Kolářová will receive the Festival President's Award.

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The organizers today also outlined the first program sections of the festival and they will reveal its main guests at further press conferences. The most famous guests at last year's festival were Australian actor Geoffrey Rush, American actor and producer Benicio del Toro and American actor and director Liev Schreiber.

president China wants war in Ukraine, says Pavel to Politico

Czech President Petr Pavel has said in an interview with Politico that China is not interested in resolving the conflict in Ukraine because the war allows it to force Russia into concessions. He said that China is only pursuing its own interests in the conflict and learning lessons from developments every day.

Although China has tried to position itself as a peacemaker in Ukraine, it has also talked about deepening its partnership with Russia, which has continued its aggression against Ukraine. Pavel believes that Beijing is drawing information from the war about the behavior of the parties involved and that it can get cheap oil, gas, and other resources from Russia.

POLICE Crime rates in Czechia on the rise

The crime rate in the Czech Republic increased by over 9 percent year-on-year in Q1 2022, with a rise in property crime cases and murders, according to police statistics. There were 51,282 crimes recorded, up from 46,940 in the same period in 2021. The police recorded 47 murders in Q1 2022, 12 more than last year.

Attempted and premeditated murders are also included in the figures. The number of financial offenses and crimes against morality decreased, while the number of property crimes rose. In 2021, there was almost a 20 percent increase in the crime rate compared to 2020, but still lower than in 2019.

COMMUTE Fatal accident closes D1 this morning

A fatal accident occurred on the D1 highway towards Prague when a bus hit a pedestrian around 8:30 a.m. near Humpolec. The highway was closed after the accident, causing long queues to form. Motorists were advised to exit at Havlíčkova Brod and re-enter the highway at Humpolec to bypass the accident.

The highway is anticipated to reopen around 11 a.m. The incident was not the first of its kind, as a pedestrian was also hit by a truck on the D2 highway towards Brno on Sunday.

Politics Czech PM ends tour of Asia in Uzbekistan today

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala arrived in Uzbekistan to hold talks with Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, aiming to strengthen cooperation in the energy and transport sectors.

Fiala will also inaugurate a business forum and visit an exhibition featuring the work of Czech archaeologists in Uzbekistan. This visit marks the conclusion of Fiala's ten-day tour of Asia, during which he also visited the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, and Kazakhstan.

Emissions Majority of Czechs don't agree with ban on combustion engines

A survey by Nielsen and ResSolution Group agencies found that 77 percent of Czechs do not support proposed legislation that would ban the sale of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. The primary reasons for opposition are concerns about the unavailability of cars and insufficient preparation of conditions and infrastructure for such a change.

However, 83 percent of Czechs who are active on the internet have noticed information about the upcoming draft legislation by the European Union, which aims to ensure that all new cars and vans have zero carbon dioxide emissions from 2035 as part of the "Fit for 55" package of legislative proposals. Only 17 percent of respondents are in favor of the adoption of the legislation.

Do you agree with the proposed ban on new cars with internal combustion engines?

Yes 56 %
No 44 %
195 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open

CRIME Feri case will hear testimony today

Former Czech MP Dominik Feri, previously of the TOP 09 party, is on trial for rape charges in Prague. The District Court for Prague 3 is set to continue hearing the case today, with a decision possible as early as Thursday. Feri has denied the charges against him, which include two counts of rape and one of attempted rape.

The indictment alleges that one of the incidents involved a then-17-year-old girl. The court proceedings will be held behind closed doors to protect the victims, but the court has reserved ten seats for the media.

Real estate Czech prefab apartments getting cheaper

The decline in value has brought investment apartments back into play as they are almost earning at the Czech National Bank rate. Real estate brokers have noted that interest in panel apartments is not decreasing, and for many people, they are an acceptable alternative to new buildings due to their more favorable price.

According to Czech news server E15, the prices of prefab apartments are depreciating faster than other properties, with their value dropping by over 10 percent year-on-year. The quality of the renovation of the entire building and its maintenance also increasingly affects the price of these apartments.

ECONOMY Czech Post to cut hundreds of delivery and logistics jobs

Czech Post plans to cut 529 jobs of delivery workers and logistics staff by the end of July, according to a company statement. The job cuts will mostly affect Prague, where 120 delivery positions are expected to be eliminated, and the Central Bohemia region, which will see a reduction of 45 motorized letter deliverers.

The move is attributed to a decline in traffic volume, which has fallen by approximately 40 percent over the past five years. Last year, the company suffered a loss of CZK 1.75bn ($80m).

culture Czech Centre opens in Berlin

The Czech Centre Berlin has officially opened its doors to the public in the headquarters of the Goethe Institute due to the Czech embassy building undergoing extensive renovation. The Czech Centre opened with a debate that focused on journalistic work on both sides of the Czech-German border and the challenges of the Czech-German relationship.

The Czech Centre Berlin director said that the lack of exhibition space is a constraint, but it will bring new diversity to the center's offer. The Czech embassy building is still in its original state and will undergo extensive renovation to significantly reduce the building's high requirements for energy performance.

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