News in brief for July 30: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday

Strong storms move across Czech Republic on Saturday, Czech tourist charged with murder in Tunisia, and more weekend headlines. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.07.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 30.07.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Ukraine Czech Republic invited to peace summit on Ukraine

The Czech Republic has received an invitation to attend a peace summit in Saudi Arabia in early August, aimed at discussing the situation in Ukraine. The summit, organized by Western and developing countries, intends to gain broad international support for peace, with Ukraine setting the terms. Russia has not been invited.

Up to 30 Western and key developing countries are expected to participate, including India and Brazil will attend the meeting. Efforts to win developing countries' support may lead to a peace summit later this year, where world leaders could endorse common principles for resolving the Ukraine conflict.

International Slovak students in Prague remind compatriots to vote

Slovak students in Prague have launched a campaign to urge compatriots living in Czechia to participate in Slovakia's upcoming general election, and highlight the option of voting by mail. Approximately 250 banners placed in Prague's metro carriages emphasize the importance of registering on the Slovak Interior Ministry's website by August 9 for Slovaks abroad to cast their votes in the September 30 elections.

The campaign aims to save potential voters from missing the chance to participate. Opinion polls show the opposition party Direction – Slovak Social Democracy, led by former PM Robert Fico, as the current favorite among voters.

Weather Heavy rains reduce risk of fires across Czechia

A much-needed respite from the risk of fires has come to the Czech Republic as strong thunderstorms and torrential rain sweep across the country, as reported by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI). After weeks of drought and high temperatures, which heightened the danger of fires breaking out and spreading, most areas of the country saw rainfall over the weekend.

The CHMI confirms that the risk of fires starting and spreading has now dissipated in all regions of the Czech Republic, including traditionally vulnerable areas like Vysočina and South Moravia. The timely rainfall has mitigated the threat, providing a welcome relief for residents and authorities alike.

Economy Czech National Bank likely to keep interest rate at seven percent

The Banking Council of the Czech National Bank has most likely decided to maintain its base interest rate at seven percent during its recent meeting, according to analysts contacted by Czech News Agency. The bank will officially confirm the decision during a press conference this week.

Inflation in the country remains elevated, preventing the bank from reducing interest rates at this time. While the market expects a rate cut of about one percentage point due to weaker economic indicators and reduced inflation, analysts believe such expectations may be exaggerated.

Auto Number of hydrogen cars in Czechia doubles in 2023

The number of registered hydrogen cell cars in the Czech Republic doubled to 24 vehicles in the first half of this year, according to data from the Center for Transport Research. Toyota and Hyundai dominated the market, with 20 and four hydrogen cars registered respectively.

Prague led in registrations with 18 vehicles. Currently, hydrogen filling stations operate only in Prague and Ostrava. The Toyota Mirai, with its second-generation model, emerged as the top-selling hydrogen car, boasting 182 horsepower and a range of 650 kilometers on a single refueling.

Prague Firefighters retrieve body from Prague's Vltava river

A tragic incident unfolded in the Vltava River in Prague on Sunday morning as rescue teams conducted a search operation after receiving information about a man falling into the water near Čechův most. Despite the efforts of the police and firefighters, the man's lifeless body was discovered hours later.

The circumstances surrounding his death remain uncertain as the investigation continues. The Vltava is the longest river in the Czech Republic and also passes through the center of Prague. Its currents can be strong and dangerous in some places, which increases the risk of accidents, especially for people traveling near its shores.

Weather Strong storms move across Czech Republic on Saturday

Heavy rain and thunderstorms have struck the Czech Republic as forecasted by meteorologists, leading to transport complications. The storm band, moving from west to east, brought around ten millimeters of rain, significantly more than in previous days. Strong winds caused trees to fall in several areas, particularly impacting railway traffic.

As a result, railway companies deployed replacement services, causing delays for passengers. Meteorologists advise citizens to stay updated on current weather forecasts and adjust their plans accordingly. Although the weather is expected to improve in the coming days, it may take some time for the railway situation to return to normal.

International Czech tourist charged with premeditated murder

A 53-year-old Czech tourist from Ostrava has been arrested in Tunisia for the murder of her husband while on vacation, and local authorities have charged her with planning the act even before their trip. The court spokesman in Monastir and Mahdia, Farid Ben Jahha, revealed the charged this weekend.

Investigators report that the woman confessed to strangling her husband, and she remains in Tunisian custody. It is yet to be determined whether she will face trial in Tunisia or be extradited to the Czech Republic. The two countries must now decide where the trial will take place, potentially impacting their diplomatic relations.

Crime Czech businessman Římský pleads guilty to tax evasion

Vlastislav Římský, the leader of an international gang involved in illegal cigarette manufacturing, has plead guilty to tax evasion in court and faces a six-year prison sentence. The trial panel handed down the sentence without jurisdiction, as he accepted responsibility for the crime.

Initially, the public prosecutor had proposed a higher sentence. The case initially involved ten foreign members of the gang, but all ten pleaded guilty on Monday, leaving only two defendants in the case. Římský, a prominent businessman, now faces the consequences of his illegal activities, and the trial's outcome is subject to possible appeal.

Economy Czech Republic could receive 137.4 billion crown EU loan

The Czech Republic could receive over 137.4 billion crowns as a loan from the European Commission, Czech Minister for European Affairs Martin Dvořák revealed in an interview with Czech News Agency this weekend. The government approved the loan framework in June and is now working with the European Commission to finalize it. The Commission's feedback is expected by mid-September.

Dvořák hopes for quick approval by the Council of the European Union in order to make an impact this year's state budget. The loan aims to support economic recovery amid the covid-19 pandemic. Dvořák also added that Ukraine's entry into the EU will be a significant topic in the coming years, and should not be overlooked.

Travel Prague Airport sees two emergency landings due to medical issues

Prague Airport saw two unplanned plane landings due to passengers suffering cardiac arrests in recent days. On Wednesday, a flight from Belgrade to London had to divert to Ruzyne airport where a woman tragically died after a cardiac arrest. The Foreign Police Inspectorate is investigating Wednesday's incident, but there is currently no indication of anyone else being at fault.

On Thursday, a Turkish Airlines plane made an emergency landing in Prague as a passenger experienced health issues. After landing, the passenger was handed over to medical personnel. The specific gender of the passenger was not disclosed. Prague Airport has experienced several emergency landings in recent years due to various reasons.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more