News in brief for July 1: České Budějovice named European Capital of Culture in 2028

The top headlines for Czechia for Saturday, July 1, updated throughout the day to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 01.07.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 01.07.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

AID Rules for Ukrainian refugees change from today

No issues have been reported so far as the Czech system of housing support for Ukrainian refugees undergoes changes, according to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Under the new law, the state will cover emergency accommodation for five months for working refugees, after which they must pay or relocate. Only vulnerable groups like children, the elderly, and the disabled will continue to receive free accommodation.

Refugee assistance organizations express concern that the support provided to refugees will be significantly lower than that received by Czech households, potentially leaving many without housing. The number of affected individuals could reach 10,000, warned the interior ministry.

TRAGEDY Student dies setting fire to school in Bratislava

In a tragic incident this morning in Bratislava, a student set fire to a school building and subsequently died in the blaze. The 18-year-old student, described as trouble-free and academically successful, targeted the first floor of the school after previously setting fire to motor vehicles in the street.

Reports suggest that the student gained access to the school by climbing a ladder and breaking a window. The school, known for specializing in the education of gifted children, had previously been associated with the attendance of the individual who committed a shooting outside a gay bar in October.

Economy Czech unemployment is the lowest in the EU

The unemployment rate in the European Union (EU) dropped to 5.9 percent in May, down from six percent in April, according to Eurostat. The Czech Republic had the lowest unemployment rate at 2.4 percent, followed by Poland at 2.7 percent. In the eurozone, the unemployment rate remained at 6.5 percent in May, compared to 6.7 percent the previous year.

Eurostat estimated that 12.94 million people were unemployed in the EU, with 11.01 million in the eurozone. Youth unemployment stood at 13.9 percent in both the EU and the eurozone. The unemployment rate among women decreased to 6.2 percent, while it remained at 5.7 percent among men.

tragedy Young man dies in bus collision with scooter

A collision between a bus and a nineteen-year-old riding an electric scooter in Kladno resulted in the young man's death. The incident occurred as the bus driver was allowing pedestrians to cross, and the bus struck the scooter rider upon accelerating. Despite rescue efforts, the young man could not be revived.

The bus driver tested negative for alcohol, and a forensic autopsy with a toxicological test has been ordered. The police are actively investigating the incident, and a criminal detective is handling the case.

EU Czech PM calls deadlock on migration disappointing

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala expressed disappointment Friday regarding the outcome of migration talks during an EU summit this week. Poland and Hungary both blocked a new declaration that would see refugees in the EU shared more evenly among EU member states. Fiala noted that the proposed reform involved substantial financial aid to countries accepting Ukrainian refugees.

Fiala criticized Poland and Hungary for acting against Czech interests. He also mentioned that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promised alternative suggestions to control the number of asylum seekers in the EU would be considered.

safety Czech police start nationwide traffic checks

On Friday, Jiří Zlý, the director of Czechia's traffic police, announced the launch of a comprehensive security campaign involving hundreds of police officers conducting nationwide motorist checks. The checks will be more frequent on weekends and will continue throughout the summer holidays until late August.

Zlý stressed that drivers should anticipate law enforcement inspections at various locations across the country, with a focus on monitoring speed and verifying proper documentation. He emphasized that speeding remains the leading cause of fatal accidents on the roads. In the 2022 summer holiday period alone, police documented nearly 17,000 traffic accidents, resulting in 74 lives lost.

CULTURE České Budějovice named European Capital of Culture

České Budějovice, located in South Bohemia, has emerged as the European Capital of Culture for Czechia in 2028, surpassing Broumov, East Bohemia, in the final round of the national competition. This prestigious accolade, awarded by the EU since 1985, aims to showcase the cultural richness and diversity of European nations while promoting cultural development within chosen cities.

České Budějovice, the seventh-largest city in Czechia with a population of around 100,000, will join the ranks of previous Czech European Capitals of Culture, including Prague in 2000 and Pilsen in 2015. Two other cities, one from France and one from a non-EU allied country, will also receive the title in 2028.

INDUSTRY Agrofert set to acquire Borealis chemical firm

The Agrofert conglomerate has now obtained all necessary permits to acquire the fertilizer-production division of Austrian chemical company Borealis, according to the company’s spokesperson. Following its takeover, Agrofert – owned by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš – will acquire chemical plants in the Austrian city of Linz, German town of Wittenberg, and three other French cities.

Agrofert says that the group's activities will, after the deal is completed, also expand to new markets where the business has not yet operated at all or has done so only marginally. Last year, Agrofert offered EUR 810 million (over CZK 19 billion) for the acquisition and obtained approval from the European Commission and French authorities.

COMPANIES gets approval to supply content

The Czech Office for the Protection of Economic Competition (ÚOHS) has granted approval for the media giant to acquire the Silky company, which owns Borgis (the publisher of the daily newspaper Právo and supplier of content for 

The ÚOHS stated that this merger will not create any distortions in economic competition or strengthen the dominant position of the group, as the companies' activities do not overlap in any affected markets. will disclose its plans for operations and development during the upcoming holidays, as stated by Pavel Zima, a board member of

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