News in brief for Sept. 10: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday

Heat records set on Saturday, Czech virologists express concern over new Covid variant, and more headlines for Sept. 10, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 10.09.2023 08:10:00 (updated on 10.09.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Diplomacy Czech president sends condolences to Moroccan king

Czech President Petr Pavel expressed condolences to Moroccan King Mohammed VI for the devastating earthquake that killed over 2,000 people and injured thousands more. Pavel praised local rescuers and said the Czech Republic stands with Morocco during this difficult time.

Czech leaders including PM Petr Fiala also offered condolences, with Fiala saying the country is ready to provide necessary aid. The quake damaged historic buildings in Marrakesh but the 12th-century Kutubiyya mosque remained standing.

Politics Negotiations continue on next year's budget

Negotiations are ongoing for next year's budget, with some ministers unsatisfied with the proposed cuts. The Defense Ministry expects the largest increase of CZK 40 billion over this year. However, the Finance Ministry proposed slashing CZK 9 billion from the defense budget and partly redirecting funds to the Interior Ministry. The education and regional development ministers criticized proposed decreases of almost CZK 30 billion and over CZK 10 billion respectively.

The Ministry of Finance aims to keep the deficit under CZK 252 billion. Coalition party leaders agreed to negotiate together after some criticized the budget plans. The opposition says The Finance Ministry hasn't convinced the governing coalition on the crucial budget. The government aims to approve the draft budget by the end of September.

Health Czech experts concerned about new Covid variant

Czech virologists are concerned about a new Covid-19 variant dubbed "Pirola" that was first detected in Denmark in late July, reports iRozhlas. Little is known about the variant which carries an unusually high number of mutations. While it does not seem to be highly transmissible, it has now been found in several countries including the Czech Republic.


Experts warn more monitoring is needed as information sharing has been disrupted. The number of daily cases is also rising in the Czech Republic. Further research is still needed but pirola may have originated in an immunocompromised patient.

Weather Czechia sees record-setting temps on Saturday

The Czech Republic experienced record-setting high temps on Saturday, with temperature records for that date being broken at 9 out of 163 weather stations that have been operating for at least 30 years.

The hottest location was Prague-Komořany where the mercury rose to 30.4°C, though this was not a new record for that station. Summer-like weather with highs near 30°C is expected to last until Tuesday before clouds and cooling arrive mid-week, according to forecasters.

CULTURE Czech-supported film wins Special Jury Prize at Venice

The Polish film "Hranice" (Green Border) directed by Agnieszka Holland won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. The film recalls the dramatic plight of refugees trying to reach the European Union across the Polish-Belarusian border. It was supported by the Czech Film Fund and co-produced with Czech Television.

Holland dedicated the award to activists helping refugees there. While praised by Polish cultural figures, the film drew criticism from the ruling national conservatives. The producer said Czech audiences will see the film in October, noting the subject's proximity despite seeming far.

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