News in brief for Aug. 21: Top headlines for Czechia on Monday

Czechia could pay Ukrainians to return home, volleyball team advances in European Volleyball Championship, and more headlines for Monday, Aug. 21. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.08.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 22.08.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

cinema Onemanshow: The Movie breaks audience records

Kamil Bartošek's film Onemanshow: The Movie, released under his influencer pseudonym Kazma, achieved a new Czech record with 290,000 viewers during its first weekend. This surpasses the previous record held by "Angel of the Lord 2," which had 188,000 viewers on its premiere weekend.

The film secured the second spot in the overall ranking, with "Avengers: The Endgame" still in the lead with 344,000 viewers during its first four days. Kazma's film has also earned over CZK 54 million at the box office and was screened in a record 270 cinemas during its premiere weekend.

politics MPs to discuss changes to parental allowance

The government's proposals for changing parental allowance, extending replacement alimony payments, and reducing the debt relief period will be some of the topics that members of the Czech parliament will discuss at their initial meeting on Aug. 29. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, convened the meeting at the initiative of MPs from the ruling coalition.

The agenda includes 12 points, encompassing laws addressing the taxation of multinational company profits, changes in state support for pension savings, and more. The government aims to increase parental allowance by CZK 50,000, shorten the debt relief period to three years, and introduce a 15-percent minimum taxation rate for multinational corporations.

travel Czech MFA urges caution during trips to Sweden

The Czech Foreign Ministry has issued a warning to its citizens about an elevated risk of terrorist attacks in Sweden. This advisory follows Sweden's decision to raise its terror threat level from three to four after a Quran-burning incident in the country sparked outrage among Muslims globally.

The increased threat level in Sweden is not solely connected to this specific event but is seen as part of a broader, long-term security deterioration. Czech citizens have been advised to exercise caution in public places with large crowds, and potential targets for attacks could include religious buildings, shopping centers, or festivals. Local authorities should be contacted in the case of suspicious activities.

international Slovak PM compares Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to Ukraine war

Slovak Prime Minister Ľudovít Ódor spoke today at a commemoration event for the victims of the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops, comparing it to Russia's current invasion of Ukraine. He stated that just as the Kremlin feared the democratization process in Czechoslovakia in 1968, Russia fears a free and democratic Ukraine today.

The consequences of the 1968 occupation were tragic, with loss of life, division of families, suppression of free speech, and academic decimation. Other Slovak politicians and diplomats also attended the event, emphasizing the importance of democracy and condemning Russia's actions. Slovak media also reflected on the anniversary, noting similarities between the 1968 occupation and current events.

refugees Czech government mulls assistance for Ukrainians returning home

The Czech Republic is preparing a program for the voluntary return of Ukrainian refugees, which will consist of assistance and financial help. The government will determine the exact form of support and funding allocation, with the project launch to follow. Additionally, the provision of temporary protection for newcomers will likely be extended by one year, until the end of March 2025.

As of last week, the country had 360,900 refugees from Ukraine, the majority of them women and children, according to data from the Ministry of Interior. The move is in response to the increasing demand from foreigners seeking assistance in returning to Ukraine. However, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has urged host countries not to force refugees to return, citing ongoing challenges and uncertainties in Ukraine.

sports Czech volleyball team defeats Greece

The Czech volleyball team bounced back in the European Championship, defeating Greece 3:0 (25:21, 25:22, 25:17) after an earlier loss to Azerbaijan last week. This victory revitalized their prospects for advancement in Group C in Düsseldorf.

Helena Havelková led the team with 17 points, and the Czechs showcased improved serving and defensive skills. Their next matches are against Turkey, host Germany, and Sweden, all of them taking place this week.

health Czech pharmacies experience penicillin shortages

The Czech Republic is experiencing a shortage of certain medicines, including antibiotics, causing difficulties for both patients and doctors. While general practitioners are prescribing medications, patients often find that these drugs are unavailable at pharmacies, leading to potential legal issues for doctors, doctor Jaromír Chlumský told Seznam Zprávy.

One notable shortage is penicillin, with the manufacturer halting supplies to the country until the end of September. The Ministry of Health claims to have secured additional medicines and communicated with new suppliers, but pharmacists note increased consumption and limited supplies of penicillin, posing challenges for pediatricians and pregnant women. Prime Minister Petr Fiala has called for action to ensure patients receive necessary medications.

society Chamber of Deputies donating supplies to food bank

The Prague Food Bank has received supplies of bread rolls, desserts, vegetable salads, yogurts, and sweets worth a total of CZK 335,000 from the Czech Chamber of Deputies since their collaboration began in September, Seznam Zprávy reports. These food items, which go unused in the Chamber's restaurants, are distributed every Friday to clients in need.

The Chamber has provided over 6,000 sandwiches, 3.5 thousand desserts, salads, pastries, and more, benefiting seniors, disabled individuals, and others. Věra Doušová, the director of the Prague and Central Bohemian Food Bank, expressed gratitude for this initiative, highlighting the positive impact on the recipients. The Chamber of Deputies is the first state institution to contribute unconsumed food to the food bank.

jobs Chimney sweeping on the rise in Czechia

Chimney sweeping has experienced a resurgence in the Czech Republic as the number of chimney businesses increased by over 10 percent in the last four years, reaching 3,351 by the end of 2022. This growth is attributed to rising energy costs, prompting people to switch to alternative heating methods, resulting in the use of long-unused chimneys.

The Czech Chimney Association noted a continuous increase in orders, with customers primarily requesting inspections, renovations, and cleaning of previously dormant chimneys. This trend has contributed to a decrease in chimney-related fires, with 127 cases reported in the past year compared to 346 in 2020. Despite industry growth, chimney businesses are not evenly distributed across the country, with Central Bohemia having the highest number.

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