News in brief for Aug. 24: Top headlines for Czechia on Thursday

Greece PM thanks Czechia, government approves domestic violence prevention plan, and more headlines for Thursday, Aug. 24.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 24.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 24.08.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

history Czech prison service reveals list of executed political prisoners

The Czech Prison Service has disclosed a list of 69 executed and deceased political prisoners from the Communist era. Their ashes were scattered at the former execution site of Prague-Pankrác Prison in the 1960s. Notable figures on the list include left-wing intellectual Záviš Kalandra and members of the anti-Communist resistance group, the Mašín brothers.

A burial site containing the remains of more than 80 political prisoners who died between 1948 and 1965 was recently discovered on the prison grounds. The aim of the project is to uncover the fate of political prisoners whose remains weren't buried at known locations. Relatives can contact the Prison Service for a commemorative ceremony.

weather Meteorologists issue outdoor fire warning

Due to the high temperatures in the past weeks, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) issued a fire warning for the western part of Czechia until tomorrow at midnight. The weather is expected to cool on Saturday, and become rainy in the following days, thus decreasing the fire risk.

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A high-temperature warning already in effect will last until the end of Friday when temperatures are expected to reach between 31 and 35 degrees Celsius in southern Czechia and stay around 30 degrees in the rest of the country.

economy Czechs lost hundreds of millions in online bazaar scams

Czechs are suffering financial losses totaling hundreds of millions of crowns due to online bazaar scams orchestrated primarily by scammers from Russia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. Cybersecurity firm Eset and the police have highlighted these scams, facilitated by an easy-to-use tool, with the Czech Republic being a prime target.

Scammers focus on online marketplace users, such as Sbazar, eBay, and BlaBlaCar, as well as domestic platforms like Vinted and Facebook Marketplace, using phishing attacks, QR codes, fake screenshots, and fraudulent messages. To protect themselves, individuals are advised to prefer physical transactions, be cautious of errors in communication, and avoid unfamiliar payment methods.

Prague Tram accident disrupts traffic in Modřany

The collision of two trams earlier this morning at the Modřanská rokle stop resulted in traffic restrictions between the Nádraží Braník and Libuš stops in both directions, the Prague Pubic Transit Company (DPP) announced on its website.

The accident affected tram lines 3, 17, 21 a 27, which are now replaced by bus  X17. According to iDnes, the tram driver and one passenger were injured in the collision, and Prague police spokesman Richard Hrdina said that the causes and circumstances surrounding the accident are being investigated by the police.

international Greek PM thanks Czechia for wildfire assistance

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis expressed gratitude to countries like Czechia for their assistance in combating the raging wildfires, which have become the largest near Athens and northeastern Greece. A Czech Black Hawk helicopter and a convoy of Czech firefighters and rescuers, along with their equipment, have joined the local efforts.

While the helicopter was originally intended for Tatoi airport near Athens and the ground team for Alexandroupolis, they will operate as needed according to Greek authorities. The wildfires have devastated large areas of land, including the Parnitha National Park near Athens, posing a severe challenge due to strong winds, high temperatures, and drought conditions. The situation remains critical, especially in the northeastern part of Greece, where fires are moving towards the Turkish border.

society Czech government approves domestic violence prevention plan

The Czech government approved yesterday a domestic and gender-based violence prevention plan, outlining measures until 2026. The plan aims to establish a network of services for victims and those at risk by the end of 2024. It includes provisions for crisis beds, shelters, a crisis line, specialized help centers for rape victims, therapy for violent individuals, and measures against the physical punishment of children.

The plan also advocates for increased education in primary and secondary schools and awareness campaigns. Despite positive changes, the plan acknowledges persistent gaps in protection and assistance and does not anticipate the ratification of the Istanbul Convention.

economy Czech government approves reduced EC loan

The Czech government endorsed yesterday a request for a reduced loan of CZK 19.4 billion from the European Commission, significantly lower than the initial proposal of CZK 137.4 billion. This revised plan reallocates funds primarily to the ministries of regional development, interior, and industry and trade, which are expected to receive CZK 8.4 billion, CZK 8 billion, and CZK 3 billion, respectively.

The funds are earmarked for digitization, chip development, new technologies, and accessible housing projects. The decision to reduce the loan was made following consultations with the EC, which revealed that some projects could be financed through the state budget or alternative sources.

politics Former justice minister under fire for lobbyist ties

Former Justice Minister Pavel Blažek, facing criticism over his meeting with controversial lobbyist Martin Nejedlý and a case involving suspicious city flat purchases in Brno, attempted yesterday to address a demonstration held by the Million Moments for Democracy political organization.

However, organizers prevented him from speaking, and protesters shouted "shame" and "resign" at him. Up to 300 demonstrators, some holding "Blazek out" banners, gathered outside the Government Office. The Million Moments said it would continue to monitor the situation. Prime Minister Petr Fiala has issued a warning to Blažek and stated a red card would follow if he was found to be dishonest regarding the Nejedlý affair.

transport New Czech law could expand compulsory vehicle insurance

A new law approved by the government will expand compulsory vehicle liability insurance to various vehicle types, transferring the responsibility for payment from owners to operators. Exceptions include e-bikes and garden tractors used solely on private property. The insurance cost, expected to be in the hundreds of crowns annually, will resemble that of lighter motorcycles.

The law aims to increase minimum coverage limits for injury, death, and property damage from CZK 25 million to 50 million, applying to each affected individual in injury or death cases and for each damage event in property damage cases. The law is set to take effect from Dec. 23 to align with a European directive.

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