News in brief for Sept. 20: Top headlines for Czechia on Wednesday

Czech president addresses UN General Assembly, Amazon recruits new employees in Czechia, and more top headlines for Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 20.09.2023 08:49:00 (updated on 20.09.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

international Czech government won't reintroduce border checks with Slovakia

The Czech government is not considering reintroducing checks at the border with Slovakia, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said today. The checks were implemented last year due to a wave of migrants but were lifted in February. Rakušan praised the improved cooperation between Czech and Slovak police, stating that the number of migrants detained in Czech territory is lower than it was a year ago.

He also announced plans to reduce the number of administrative workers in the Interior Ministry in order to save costs, while ensuring no reduction in firefighters and police officers.

defense Czech group delivers rocket launcher to Ukraine

The Czech Gift for Putin group has handed over an overhauled RM-70 rocket launcher, named Přemysl, to the Ukrainian army. The rocket launcher, along with 365 missiles, was purchased for CZK 50 million. The weapon, introduced in 1971, holds 40 122-millimeter Grad rockets and can quickly reload with an additional magazine of 40 rockets.

It was chosen based on the requirements of the Ukrainian army for quick availability and Czech manufacture. The Gift for Putin collection has also purchased other military equipment, including a Thomas tank, plastic explosives, detonators, cords, medical kits, air defense systems, and a combat drone.

society Vatican approves sale of Prague bell tower and hotel

The Vatican has approved the sale of Jindřišská věž, a Gothic bell tower on Jindřišská Street in Prague’s center. Prague Archbishop Jan Graubner confirmed the news today. The archdiocese is awaiting approval from the Prague council. Additionally, the archdiocese plans to sell the Clara Futura hotel in Dolní Břežany for CZK 308 million.

Proceeds from these sales will go towards church education, including the reconstruction of the Archbishop's Gymnasium and the construction of a speech therapy school. The sale of Jindřišská věž is part of the archdiocese's financial streamlining, as it prepares for a future without state subsidies.

telecommunications O2 and T-Mobile experience outages in Czech regions

Outages in the O2 and T-Mobile networks in the Central Bohemian and Liberec regions have caused disruptions to internet, calls, and SMS services, according to O2 is working with technicians to restore operations and expects the problem to be fully resolved this afternoon.

Some local internet providers in the northwest regions of the Czech Republic are also experiencing outages. O2 has apologized to affected customers and has informed some about the service unavailability via text messages.

energy Lower prices may boost photovoltaic power plants

Prices of domestic photovoltaic power plants have dropped by tens of percent compared to last year, making them more affordable. This is mainly due to cheaper components and technological advancements. The market has also seen increased competition and a wider range of options.

The lower prices may accelerate the installation of photovoltaic power plants. The number of installations in the Czech Republic saw a significant increase last year, while in the first half of 2023, energy companies commissioned 45,197 photovoltaic power plants.

politics Fiala deems Nejedlý case closed

Prime Minister Petr Fiala considers the case of the meeting between Minister of Justice Pavel Blažek and lobbyist Martin Nejedlý, which happened in August, closed, adding that the leaders of the government parties do not want to reopen the case. Although they will speak with the chairman of the Pirates, Ivan Bartoš, about the vote, Fiala considers it an internal matter.

The Pirates have been calling for Blažek's dismissal since the meeting, which the minister said happened accidentally and led to calls for his resignation. The coalition government has 18 members, with the Pirates having three positions.

Conflict Czech president at UN: Ukraine must set the terms of peace

Czech President Petr Pavel, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, asserted that Ukraine should determine its peace conditions, rejecting any imposition by Russia. He stressed that the world feels the consequences of Russia's invasion, especially regarding food security due to the blockade of Ukrainian ports. Pavel called for Russia's unconditional withdrawal from Ukraine and accountability for aggression.

Drawing from Czechoslovakia's history, he pledged ongoing support for Ukraine's defense. Pavel also condemned China's military activities in the Taiwan Strait and highlighted global threats from Iran, the DPRK, and the Sahel region. He emphasized the importance of addressing climate change and global warming.

JOBS Amazon to hire 2,000 for new distribution center

Amazon has successfully recruited 1,500 out of the planned 2,000 employees for its new distribution center in Kojetín, Czech Republic. The recruitment campaign is ongoing, with the center set to reach its full staffing level by the end of the year. The facility, which opened in June, employs engineers, robotics experts, financial managers, IT specialists, and teams responsible for order preparation, packing, and shipping.

It is gradually approaching its planned capacity and aims to handle several hundred thousand packages daily during the pre-Christmas peak season. The investment, totaling more than 5 billion CZK, is expected to have a positive impact on the local labor market and infrastructure.

CULTURE Serial Killer festival opens in Czechia

The comedy series "Bananas" premiered at the Serial Killer festival in Brno on Tuesday evening. Filmed mainly in a supermarket, the plot involves employees discovering cocaine smuggled in a banana shipment and deciding to distribute it.

The festival features Central and Eastern European TV series and runs through Saturday, hosting screenings at various venues around Brno. Events also include industry panels at the three-day TV Days conference.

defense Czech Republic will supply weapons to Ukraine

The Czech Republic agreed to supply Czech weapons to Ukraine with financial support from Denmark and the Netherlands. An agreement signed on Tuesday includes the donation of 15 modernized T-72EA tanks, as well as additional tanks, howitzers, small arms, infantry fighting vehicles, air defense capacities, and means of electronic warfare or ammunition, according to Czech Deputy Minister of Defense Daniel Blažkovec, who signed the document.

The aim is long-term cooperation and support of the Ukrainian armed forces. This agreement will benefit the Czech defense industry and enhance the security of the Czech Republic. It will also make Czech armorers more competitive globally, and create job opportunities for Czech citizens.

economy Czech pharmaceutical company sees record profits

Teva, the leading pharmaceutical manufacturer in Central Europe, reported a year-on-year increase in net profit of 18.2 percent, totaling almost CZK 2 billion, and sales of more than CZK 11 billion. The company, which is based in Opava, achieved this positive economic result despite challenges such as the impact of the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, which disrupted supply chains.

Executives stated that rising energy prices, particularly for electricity and natural gas, have affected the company's operations. Additionally, the company is facing the need to invest in renewable energy sources due to the reduction in allocated emission allowances.

sports Czech volleyball suffers another Olympic qualification defeat

The Czech volleyball players suffered their second defeat in the Olympic qualification. In Group A, China defeated them with a 3:0 score after sets of 25:12, 25:16, and 25:23 . Despite a competitive third set, the Czechs were unable to turn the match around.

The team struggled with the Chinese team's combination game and found it difficult to break through their blocks and defense. Coach Athanasopulos praised the team's commitment; the Czech Republic now sits in sixth place in their group of eight. Their next match is against undefeated Serbia on Wednesday.

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