News in brief for Aug. 26: Top headlines for Czechia on Saturday

Czechia fears effects of German recession, apple growers go bananas over prices, and more headlines for Saturday, Aug. 26.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 26.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 26.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Weather Strong storms in the forecast for Czechia through Sunday

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued warnings for powerful thunderstorms through Moravia and Silesia this afternoon. The storms, anticipated to intensify, could bring heavy rainfall and hail, and potentially result in flash floods. Another wave of storms is in the forecast for much of the Czech Republic, save for the northwest, during Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

The Institute emphasizes the potential for significant increases in river and stream levels, particularly tomorrow morning. The Bohemian-Moravian Highlands to the northern mountain regions are at highest risk. Residents are urged to stay vigilant, with the warning remaining in effect until further notice.

Religion New Ostrava-Opava bishop to assume role on August 31

Martin David, the newly appointed bishop of Ostrava-Opava diocese, is set to commence his duties on August 31. The inauguration ceremony will take place at the Cathedral of the Divine Saviour in Ostrava. David, 52, was chosen by Pope Francis as the successor to František Václav Lobkowicz, who passed away in February 2022.

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Having served as auxiliary bishop and apostolic administrator since 2017, David's leadership transition comes less than two months after his appointment. The event will see the symbolic passing of the bishop's scepter and the assumption of pastoral leadership.

Crime Accused fraudster extradited from Greece to Czech Republic

Accused of orchestrating a billion-dollar loan fraud, Jiří Liška has been extradited from Greece to the Czech Republic, as confirmed by David Schön, the spokesperson for the Czech police presidium. Greek authorities apprehended Liška on a boat near Corfu in July. The case is linked to credit fraud within the Metropolitan Savings Association (MSD).

The 63-year-old had been sought by the police in connection with alleged wrongdoing. After three weeks in Greek custody, Liška was safely transported to a Prague police cell with the assistance of the Air Marshals of the Foreign Police. The ongoing investigation regarding the MSD's credit fraud continues to evolve.

Fire Blaze near Tisová Power Plant injures firefighters, alert issued

Several firefighters have sustained injuries combating a fire near the Tisová lignite power plant in Sokolov. The blaze erupted in the vicinity of a former mine adjacent to the Tisová power plant, and has raged since Friday evening.

A special fire alert level was declared in response. The power plant, a key source of electricity in the region, remains operational. Injured firefighters are receiving expert care, while reinforcements from the Plzeň and Ústí regions, including airborne support, strive to contain the serious situation.

CRIME Police apprehend suspect in Prague shooting incident

Police officers in Prague 1 successfully tracked down and apprehended a man suspected of a shooting in the center of Prague on Friday evening. The incident occurred during a fight on Masná Street, where the aggressor fired shots, injuring an unknown individual. Thanks to information provided by the public, the thirty-four-year-old shooter was quickly captured.

The arrested man now faces charges of causing grievous bodily harm, which could result in a ten-year prison sentence. Police are continuing their search for the weapon used in the incident. Detectives express gratitude to the public for their assistance in ensuring the safety of citizens and maintaining public order.

International Czech firefighters aid in Greek forest fire battle

A team of Czech firefighters has joined efforts in battling devastating forest fires in Greece. Arriving in Alexandroupoli, the Czech team prioritized water and fuel supply before direct deployment around the city. Despite the fires spanning about 40 kilometers and persistent smoke in Athens, the situation might improve this weekend as winds are expected to calm.

Czech involvement includes a Black Hawk helicopter providing assistance near Athens. This international effort aims to quell one of Greece's most severe forest fire crises in history. In contrast, fires in Turkey and Tenerife are now under control.

economy German recession could affect Czech economy

Germany has slipped into a recession, with a 0.4 percent decline in the final quarter of 2022 followed by a 0.1 percent drop in the first quarter of 2023. Although an increase in consumer spending has stabilized the situation, it also signifies stagnation in Europe's largest economy.

Germany plays a pivotal role in the Czech economy, accounting for over 30 percent of Czech exports. While some economists believe the impact of Germany's economic slowdown on the Czech Republic will be limited, others anticipate a slower export recovery. The Czech National Bank expects the Czech economy to grow by 2.3 percent in 2024 after this year's stagnation, but both Czech and German economies are lagging in post-pandemic recovery compared to Europe.

environment Soutok inches closer to protected status

The Czech Republic's Environment Minister, Petr Hladík, announced that Soutok, a region in the country's southeast, may soon become a protected landscape area (CHKO). The Environment Ministry has initiated a comment-gathering period, with an evaluation to follow after 90 days. This step could bring decades of efforts to protect floodplain forests to fruition.

The proposed CHKO Soutok encompasses 127 square kilometers, covering the southernmost part of South Moravia, the Morava River area to Hodonin, and the Dyje (Thaya) River region north of Breclav to Nové Mlýny. This designation aims to balance nature conservation with tourism interests and has received support from environmental organizations.

agriculture Czech fruit growers concerned about retail prices

Fruit prices are affecting retail chains and consumer purchasing behavior, according to the Union of Fruit Growers of South and West Bohemia. The purchase price for a kilogram of apples in the Czech Republic is around CZK 13, while retail prices often reach CZK 50 to 60 per kilogram. This pricing strategy impacts consumer choices and sales volumes.

The Union predicts a harvest of nearly 8,000 tons of apples in southern and western Bohemia, a 10 percent decrease from the previous year due to frost damage and a reduction in orchard areas. Energy costs, especially electricity for apple storage, concern fruit growers.

police Machete-wielding man dies in North Moravia

In Frýdlant nad Ostravici, North Moravia, police confronted a 46-year-old man armed with a machete who displayed aggressive behavior. During the intervention, the man suffered health issues, fell unconscious, and subsequently died while being transported to the hospital.

The police deployed various non-lethal tactics, including tear gas, coercive measures, and a taser, but did not use firearms. An investigation into the incident is underway by the General Inspectorate of Security Forces, and a forensic autopsy will determine the exact cause of death. Further details are pending, with the police refraining from providing additional information at this time.

work Czech trade unions on strike alert

Trade unions in the Czech Republic expressed disappointment with changes made to the government's budget recovery package by the coalition. The Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) remains on strike alert and aims to persuade MPs to modify the package during lower house discussions. The CMKOS, representing 31 unions with around 270,000 members, sought nine changes in the package, with the coalition partially meeting three of these demands.

Trade union leaders argue that the government missed an opportunity for significant improvements, and the new changes may increase paperwork and raise production costs, particularly regarding energy-intensive operations. Discussions on potential actions and further modifications will take place in September.

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