News in brief for June 11: Czech leaders remember 1942 Lidice massacre

Plus: Karolína Muchová's thrilling French Open run ends in narrow defeat, Czech village hit by tornado, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 11.06.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 11.06.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Politics Opposition ANO party leads Czech public opinion polls

The Czech Republic's opposition ANO party, led by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, continues to lead public opinion surveys, according to a poll conducted by Kantar for Czech Television. If elections were held in May, ANO would lead with 33.5 percent of the vote, according to the latest Kantar poll, and easily defeat the government-leading SPOLU coalition.

The ODS party, led by current Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, comes in second in the poll with 17 percent of vote, followed by the Czech Pirate party at 11.5 percent. Pavel Ranocha from Kantar stated that the poll showed ANO has managed to attract voters from other parties in recent months, gaining an additional three percent of voters from its opposition.

Ukraine Czech defense system used to shoot down Russian drones

The Ukrainian Army has released footage of its mobile air defense systems, Viktor, in action against Iranian-made drones deployed by Russia. The systems, manufactured in the Czech Republic, have proven effective in intercepting the HESA Shahed drones used by Russia in regular attacks across Ukrainian territory. The Viktor systems have also been successful in countering low-altitude aircraft and helicopters

The Viktor air defense system is a mobile, short-range system designed to protect ground troops and critical infrastructure from aerial threats. It is equipped with a radar system and a missile launcher capable of firing up to six missiles at once. The system can detect and track targets at a range of up to 25 kilometers and engage them at a range of up to 15 kilometers

Crime Foreigner arrested following fatal attack in Brno

One person was killed and another seriously injured following a stabbing attack in Brno yesterday, South Moravian police have announced, adding that a foreigner has been arrested in the incident. The detained foreigner is being investigated for murder.

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The attack took place during a fireworks display at the Brno reservoir, which was attended by thousands of people. The police have not yet released any information about the motive for the attack or the identity of the suspect. The investigation is ongoing, and more details are expected to be released in the coming days.

Economy Czech inflation slows down in May, estimated at 10.6 percent

Consumer price growth in the Czech Republic continued to decelerate in May, with the year-on-year inflation rate estimated by analysts to have dropped to between 10.6 and 10.9 percent, down from April's 12.7 percent. The main factor behind the easing of inflation, according to experts, was the decrease in fuel prices.

The latest inflation figures suggest that the Czech economy may be gradually recovering from the pandemic-induced shock, although the inflation rate remains well above the central bank's target of 2 percent. The Czech Statistical Office will release the official data on May inflation on Monday.

Environment Town near Plzeň votes against construction of wind farm

Residents of Všeruby, a small town near Plzeň, have voted against the planned construction of a wind farm in a recent referendum. The town office announced that 83% of voters agreed to take all necessary legal steps to prevent the installation of four 6 megawatt wind turbines within the town's territory.

The referendum result is binding, with a turnout of 39 percent meeting the required minimum of 35 percent. Všeruby is the third municipality in the Plzeň Region to reject wind farm projects, following similar decisions in Ptenín in January 2023 and Koloveč in February 2022. The region currently has three existing wind turbines, located in Bor and Dožice.

Travel Czechs benefit from weaker Turkish lira for summer holidays

Czechs planning a summer getaway to Turkey can expect to pay about 10 percent less than last year thanks to the weakened Turkish lira. Petr Lajsek, an analyst at Purple Trading, revealed that the lira has dropped by 35 percent against the Czech crown, with the potential for further decline due to high inflation.

The Czech crown has strengthened against most global currencies compared to last year, gaining four percent against the euro and the dollar and an impressive 76 percent against the Egyptian pound. Turkey remains a popular summer destination for Czech tourists alongside Croatia, Greece, and Egypt.

History Petr Pavel, other Czech leaders remember 1942 Lidice massacre

President Petr Pavel and other Czech leaders attended a commemorative event on Saturday at the Lidice Memorial to mark the 81st anniversary of the annihilation of Lidice by Nazi forces in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. The commemorative event was attended by several hundred people.

During the event, President Pavel laid a wreath at the site of a mass grave where men from the village were buried after being executed. "The Lidice tragedy is a symbol that is still relevant today," Pavel stated, adding that there are still many conflicts around the world in which civilian populations are dying.

Sports Karolína Muchová's thrilling French Open run ends in narrow defeat

Karolína Muchová's impressive run to the final of the Roland Garros came to an end on Saturday, as she narrowly lost to Poland's Iga Świątek in a thrilling final match. The Czech tennis player put up a strong fight, but ultimately fell short in the final set, losing 4-6, 7-6, 4-6. The final was Świątek's only French Open match that went to three sets as the Polish star becomes a three-time French Open champion.

Despite the defeat, Muchová's performance in the tournament has been widely praised, with many hailing it as a major achievement for the young player. Speaking to reporters after the match, Muchová expressed disappointment at the result but also gratitude for the support she received from fans and fellow players. "I gave it my all out there, and I'm proud of what I accomplished," she said.

Weather Czech village hit by tornado for second time in a month

Lubná, a village in the Czech Republic's Pardubice Region, was hit by a weak tornado on Saturday, about a month after it was struck by a similar phenomenon. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute confirmed the incident, which occurred around 12:30 p.m. and lasted for about ten seconds.

According to the mayor of Lubná, Josef Chadima, the tornado damaged four roofs, but no injuries were reported. Experts are planning to visit the site to assess the damage caused by the tornado. The Institute has warned that more severe weather conditions, including thunderstorms and hail, are expected in the region in the coming days.

Environment European Commission denies funding for Czech recovery projects

The European Commission has denied funding for 15 flood protection projects from the Czech Republic's National Recovery Plan, according to Ministry of the Environment spokesperson Vojtěch Bílý. This includes projects for dams such as Orlík, Harcov, and Jezeří, which require CZK 512 million from the state budget for their financing this year. A total of 42 projects had been prepared by the Ministry under the plan.

Czech Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula stated in response to the European Commission's decision that the projects would be completed regardless of whether they receive funding from the EU. The National Recovery Plan aims to support the recovery of the Czech economy after the Covid-19 pandemic, and includes various projects related to infrastructure, healthcare, and the environment.

Crime Czech police nab man suspected in string of armed robberies

Czech police have arrested a 50-year-old man suspected of robbing several currency exchange offices in the Czech Republic since April, police spokesperson spokesperson Jiří Hrdina has announced. During multiple robbery attempts, he wore a wig and a mask, and threatened staff with a replica grenade.

The man made off with hundreds of thousands of Czech crowns from an exchange office in Hradec Kralove, but was unsuccessful in his attempts to rob other currency exchange offices in Pardubice and Prague. The police caught him in Čáslav, where he was planning his next robbery. The man has confessed to the robberies and faces up to ten years in prison.

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