News in brief for July 2: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday, July 2

McGregor arrives in Karlovy Vary, Czechia assumes V4 presidency, and more top headlines for Sunday morning.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 02.07.2023 09:05:00 (updated on 02.07.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

ACCIDENT Driver survives collision at railway crossing

A freight train collided with a van at a railway crossing in Mělník resulting in injuries to the van driver. The accident occurred on Sunday morning at a crossing equipped with light and sound signals. The driver, who was alone in the van, failed to notice the signals.

The injured driver was airlifted to a hospital in Prague with head, chest, and leg injuries. Another person at the scene experienced a stress reaction. The train driver was unharmed, and alcohol tests were negative for both drivers.

POLICE Dozens of protestors demand increased security for Roma

Dozens of protesters, primarily Roma, gathered at the main train station in Pardubice, to demonstrate against a conflict that occurred on Saturday between Roma and three individuals alleged to be Ukrainians. The organizers of the protest stated that a young Roma person was injured during the altercation.

The protest aims to draw attention to the tense situation among the Roma community and to request increased security and control. The police have not provided further details about the conflict or the nationalities of those involved. The protesters emphasized their desire for peaceful coexistence and expressed concerns about potential radicalization and provocations.

Crime Police officers investigated over failure to cite Nazi salute

The Prague City Police Inspectorate is launching an investigation into two police officers who allegedly failed to take action against a man engaging in hate speech and making a Nazi salute, according to the Seznam Zprávy website. Expressing support for Nazism and inciting hatred can lead to a prison sentence of up to five years. The incident occurred in Prague's Troja district when a taxi driven by a Ukrainian driver was targeted by an aggressor.

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Despite the driver reporting the incident, the officers allowed the aggressor to leave without responding to his behavior. One officer claimed not to have witnessed the incident, while the other said they required evidence to intervene, although one officer was equipped with a camera that was not used to record the incident.

Transport Holiday transit lockouts begin across Czechia

Prague is experiencing several public transport shutdowns, including the closure of Metro C in the city center for a week and a partial shutdown of Line A starting from Wednesday. The railway system is also affected, with trains not running from Prague to Kladno for most of July and a shutdown between Pardubice and Hradec Králové for over a week.

Replacement buses are being provided during the closures, and alternative routes and transportation options are available for affected passengers. Additionally, tram services in certain areas, such as Vítězné náměstí, are also being disrupted for repairs and construction work.

Culture Scottish star McGregor arrives in Karlovy Vary

Ewan McGregor took center stage on the second day of the Karlovy Vary festival. McGregor, who received the Crystal Globe from festival president Jiří Bartoška, expressed his love for acting and presented his new film, "Second Chance," in which his daughter Clara McGregor also stars.

"I'm lucky to be an actor, I really like what I do," McGregor said on Saturday in Karlovy Vary, upon receiving the award. The Scottish actor first won acclaim for his role as drug addict Mark Renton in Danny Boyle's film Trainspotting. Saturday also brought the release of the feature film Úsvit by director Matěj Chlupaček.

Diplomacy Czechia to take over V4 presidency from Slovakia

Czechia has assumed the one-year presidency of the Visegrad Four (V4) group from Slovakia, with a focus on upholding human rights, freedom, and democracy. Comprising Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czechia, the V4 seeks to provide support for Ukraine's independence and territorial integrity amid ongoing Russian aggression. However, there are disagreements within the V4 regarding military aid to Ukraine, with Hungary opposing the supply of arms.

Additionally, divergent views on EU migration reforms exist, as Czechia supports the proposed changes while Poland and Hungary strongly oppose them. The Czech presidency aims to foster neighborly relations and cooperation for citizens' benefits. The V4 was established in 1991 to enhance mutual cooperation and facilitate entry into NATO and the EU.

Foreigners Changes to asylum law introduce tougher penalties

Czechia has implemented stricter penalties for people-smuggling, with foreigners who fail to comply with deportation decisions now facing up to two years in prison. The amended asylum law, effective today, also introduces imprisonment of up to eight years for smugglers who subject a large number of people to inhuman treatment. The law applies not only to migration within Czechia but also to other EU countries.

Additionally, the legislation requires registration of vehicles belonging to Ukrainian refugees who fled to Czechia due to the Russian invasion. The law also regulates the issuance of blue cards for highly skilled foreign workers, extending their validity to three years.

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