News in brief for Sept. 18: Top headlines for Czechia on Monday

Freedom-fighter's daughter flies to New York with Pavel, tropical weather gives way to cooler climes, and more top headlines for Monday, Sept. 18, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 18.09.2023 08:43:00 (updated on 18.09.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

economy Czech government buys RWE Gas Storage

The Czech state has purchased RWE Gas Storage, including six gas storage facilities, for EUR 360 million (equivalent to CZK 8.8 billion), according to Prime Minister Petr Fiala. The acquisition is part of the government's efforts to increase energy security and independence from Russia.

The state-owned company, which comes with 250 employees, is expected to generate profits and ensure future energy security. The storage tanks currently hold 2.7 billion cubic meters, with the largest reservoir being Dolní Dunajovice, which has a capacity of nearly one billion cubic meters. The Czech gas network has a total capacity of 3.45 million cubic meters.

society Masked animal rights activists protest in Prague

Animal rights activists with the Obraz movement held a protest Thursday aimed at raising awareness of the conditions for farm animals transported abroad from the EU. Around 50 demonstrators dressed as animals rode city trams while others in Prague's Wenceslas Square played videos depicting cattle shipments. The group calls for banning live exports outside the EU, noting the Czech Republic is a top supplier of cows, bulls, and calves to Turkey and elsewhere.

Spokesman Pavel Buršík said hundreds of thousands of chickens and other animals often make grueling multi-day journeys to countries like the Middle East where slaughter methods can be inhumane. Obraz pushes for stronger laws on issues including fireworks and constitutionally protecting animals.

business US analytics giant Gartner acquires Czech firm

Gartner, a Stamford, Connecticut-based technology analysis company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, is strengthening its presence in the Czech market with the acquisition of KPC-Group from its founder Oldřich Příklenk for an undisclosed amount. KPC-Group had exclusively provided analytical services for Gartner in the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia for 21 years.


As one of the largest analytical firms globally, Gartner assists businesses in procurement decisions. Inclusion in Gartner reports validated relevance for companies like Stories, according to co-founder Filip Doušek. KPC-Group's 20 employees transitioned to Gartner, where Příklenk became regional vice president. Revenue in 2022 reached less than CZK 150 million with over 4 million in profit.

Weather Storm warning issued for large part of Czechia

Meteorologists have issued a warning for the Czech Republic as strong thunderstorms are expected to hit the region. The storms, accompanied by gusts of wind, small hail, and torrential rainfall, may lead to the flooding of smaller streams. The warning covers a large area, including Šumava, central Bohemia, Prague, and the Jizera Mountains, with southern Bohemia expected to be most affected.

The arrival of a cold front in the western direction is responsible for the stormy weather. The warning is valid from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. and cautions against flooding, wind damage, lightning strikes, and potential injury from falling objects.

e-commerce Alza to process claims for and customers

Alza is now offering and customers the option to claim goods purchased on these e-shops through Alza, according to Mediaguru. The company aims to demonstrate that its complaints process is faster and more convenient than its competitors. Customers can return claimed goods through AlzaBoxes or branches, and they have access to these facilities 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, respectively.

Alza believes that many customers who shop from and are also their customers. This move by Alza aims to provide security to customers in case of product defects by offering a hassle-free claims process.

regions Construction of Arena Brno starts today

The construction of the Arena Brno multi-functional hall, a strategic project for the city, starts today with the symbolic knocking of the foundation stone. The hall, intended primarily for the Kometa Brno hockey team, will also host various events. The city will use a loan of CZK 2.2 billion for the construction.

The European Commission confirmed that the hall could be built with public support, and the city acquired a subsidy of half a billion crowns. The hall will have two underground and six above-ground floors, for a total built-up area of almost 16,700 square meters and 13,300 seats.

sports Czech athletes heading to slalom world championships

Czech athletes are heading to the 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships, which begin in London on Tuesday. The Czech Republic has already secured an Olympic nomination in the kayakers category, thanks to Jiří Prskavec's success at the European Games. Prskavec is the reigning Olympic champion in the discipline.

Prskavec and defending world champion Vít Prindiš are among the elite Czech competitors hoping to secure points for the Olympic nomination. The World Cup results will be crucial in determining the nomination. Other Czech medal contenders include Tereza Fišerová, Václav Chaloupka, and Gabriela Satková.

Inspirational Czechs Horáková's daughter aboard Pavel's flight to US

Czech President Petr Pavel's flight to the UN General Assembly includes Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský and executed dissident Milada Horáková's daughter, Jana Kánská. Kánská, a U.S. resident visiting the Czech Republic, joined the delegation at the last minute with Pavel wishing to express gratitude for her support during his campaign.

Although Kánská won't attend presidential events in New York, the meeting aboard the flight was described as pleasant and emotional. After the UN assembly, she will proceed to her residence in Bethesda, Maryland. The decision to invite her aboard was impromptu, facilitating a meaningful exchange between her and President Pavel.

economy CNB predicts 2-percent inflation in first half of next year

In a weekend interview with CNN Prima, Czech National Bank Governor Aleš Michl said he anticipated a 2-percent inflation rate in the first half of next year, following strict monetary policies that reduced inflation from 8.5 percent to seven to nine percent by year-end. Michl ruled out early central bank rate cuts despite persistent high inflation.

He attributed the current inflation woes to past central bank policies of low interest rates and excessive money printing in 2016-2017. Expecting higher interest rates over the next five years, Michl emphasized achieving the highest core inflation in the EU. August's 8.5 percent year-on-year inflation rate is expected to maintain a seven percent base interest rate.

Weather Tropical heat gives way to cool weather this week

According to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, tropical temperatures across the Czech Republic on Monday will be replaced by cooler weather and scattered rain on Tuesday as a cold front moves through. While highs may reach 30 degrees Celsius on Monday, temperatures will fall to around 25 degrees on Tuesday with rain in places.

Brief showers are possible Wednesday and Thursday as highs reach 25-27 degrees before more widespread rain and highs under 20 degrees for the weekend. Meteorologists say this period in late August typically sees average highs of just 19 degrees.

Quality of life Czechia awards its Village of the Year

Ostrožská Lhota, situated in the Zlín region, claimed the coveted title of Village of the Year 2023 at the Country Fair in Luhačovice. Hrádek from the Moravian-Silesian region secured second place, and Dolní Poustevna from the Ústí Region took third, completing the podium. Deputy Prime Minister for Digitization and Minister for Regional Development Ivan Bartoš congratulated the winners and hoped their success would inspire other municipalities.

A total of 175 municipalities competed in the 27th edition, with the winner receiving a financial reward of up to CZK 2.6 million from the Ministry for Regional Development. Nová Ves near Nové Město in Moravia won the Public Award, while Andělská Hora from the Karlovy Vary region earned recognition for the best homemade cakes. Deputy Radim Sršeň emphasized the competition's role in showcasing the potential for rural development.

Culture FAMU students' Electra wins short film section in Toronto

Darya Kashcheeva, a student at Prague's Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU), has secured victory in the short film category at the Toronto Film Festival with her creation, "Electra." Kashcheeva, previously nominated for an Oscar for her short film "Daughter," has garnered several awards.

"Electra" delves into themes of body acceptance and sexuality through the perspective of a young woman and childhood recollections. The film employs a unique blend of puppetry and pixilation, a technique involving actors as animated objects, akin to Kashcheeva's earlier work in "Daughter."

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