News in brief for May 1: Czechia marks May Day, firefighters rescue sinking Vltava cruiser

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Monday, May 1, 2023, updated regularly to keep you up to speed.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 01.05.2023 08:06:00 (updated on 01.05.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

politics Anti-government protestors in Prague march to Vítkov

In Prague, an estimated 200 people marched from the city center to the National Memorial on Vítkov Hill, a rally organized by the Save the State initiative, which calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Petr Fiala's government and seeks to unite "national opposition forces," according to ČTK.

Earlier in the day, a group of anarchists halted traffic on the Legion Bridge near Střelecký Island for several minutes. Representatives from the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia and the Prague Social Democrats also gathered on Štvanice Island in the morning. 

traffic Car accident closes D7 highway for several hours

The D7 highway between Louny and Panenský Týnec was closed for more than two hours this morning due to a serious car accident involving two passenger cars. According to Veronika Hyšplerová, a spokesperson for the North Bohemian police, four people were seriously injured in the accident.

All emergency services were present at the scene of the accident, which occurred at the notorious end of the D7 highway at the Sulc bypass. The northbound lane towards Chomutov was reopened before 10 a.m., and the southbound lane towards Prague was reopened an hour later.

Ukraine Pavel advocates for increased supply of ammunition to Ukraine

The Czech Republic is looking for ways to increase the supply of ammunition to Ukraine in cooperation with other allies, according to President Petr Pavel, who recently returned from a working visit to Ukraine. Pavel stated that Ukraine has a critical shortage of ammunition necessary for the country to launch a counter-offensive against Russia and restore control over its territory.

Pavel intends to advocate for the start of relevant access talks before the end of this year to help Ukraine join the European Union. Additionally, the Czech Republic has prepared projects in five key areas for the reconstruction of Ukraine, including healthcare, energy, transport infrastructure, water management, and housing.

holiday Czechia to celebrate May Day with parades, protests

The Czech Republic commemorates Labor Day on May 1st with gatherings, demonstrations, and events organized throughout the country, including Prague. Political parties, social democrats, communists, anarchists, and other groups will hold their own events, marches, and picnics in various locations.

May Day celebrations are associated with love, and the Baťo tradition will be followed in Zlín, where a parade will take place. Labor Day is an international holiday established in 1890 to commemorate the American workers' strike in Chicago on May 1, 1886. On this day, shops and food chains may be open, but there will be closures during the Victory Day week.

Prague Firefighters rescue sinking ship on Vltava

Firefighters and divers rescued a sinking cruise ship on the Vltava river in Prague on Sunday evening. The Valencia, a 37-meter ship with around 100 passengers, reported water entering the engine room, but managed to anchor to another vessel near the Čechův most (Czech bridge). The crew and passengers were safely evacuated to shore and the hole in the hold was sealed by firefighters.

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Divers checked the bottom of the ship and the firefighters pumped water from the flooded engine room. The embankment was closed during the intervention, and the firefighters' work attracted the attention of numerous passers-by.

Economy CNB expected to keep its interest rate unchanged

The Czech National Bank (CNB) is expected to keep its key interest rate unchanged at 7 percent during its meeting on Wednesday, according to most analysts. No one expects a cut in the interest rate, given members' recent statements. Analysts have said that the bank may surprise with a slight rate hike, given the rising wage growth and inflation.

However, given that most economic indicators have been in line with expectations for the past three months, a change in policy seems unlikely. The bank has maintained the 7 percent rate since June 2021.

SPORTS Czechia defeats Israel in handball qualifier match

The Czech Republic defeated Israel 27-22 in a handball qualifier match for the European Handball Championship, ending Israel's chances for moving ahead. The Czech team gave a solid defensive performance, with Stanislav Kasparek and Matej Klima scoring six goals each. Israel's attacking efficiency dropped to 43 percent in the last 20 minutes of the game.

The Czech team secured second place in the group, while Israel is now out of contention. The match also marked the retirement of Czech goalkeeper Martin Galia, who made three saves with a saving efficiency of 60 percent in his 219th match for the national team.

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