News in brief for Sept. 26: Top headlines for Czechia for Tuesday

V4 ministers discuss opening grain corridor, Prague Castle has a new tourist center, and more news for Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 26.09.2023 08:27:00 (updated on 26.09.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

emergency Pilsen health schools evacuated after substance leak

Firefighters intervened in Pilsen's Secondary School of Health and Higher Vocational School of Health after an unknown substance leaked and caused health issues, Lidovky reports. The commanding officer of the Pilsen fire department Jan Beran said that no hazardous substances had been detected so far.

Around 400 people had already left the building. Currently, 28 people are being treated for symptoms such as nausea and shortness of breath. Firefighters have not yet detected any hazardous substance. The police are also investigating the incident.

society First Czech astronaut to fly into space turns 75 today

Vladimír Remek, the first and only Czechoslovak astronaut to fly into space, turns 75 today. Born on Sept. 26, 1948, in České Budějovice, Remek flew aboard Soyuz 28 from March 2 to 10, 1978.

Remek was a member of the European Parliament between 2004 and 2013 for the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, and the Czech ambassador to Russia between 2014 to 2018.

environment Czechia's climate plan realistic despite criticism, minister says

The Czech Republic's climate and energy plan, which aims for a thirty percent share of renewable resources in gross consumption by 2030, has been deemed realistic by Minister of the Environment Petr Hladík. While Hladík expressed a desire for higher ambitions, he would be satisfied if the plan is fulfilled as currently prepared by his office and the Ministry of Industry and Trade.


Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 47m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 47m2

Petrská, Praha 1 - Nové Město

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 60m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 60m2

Jankovcova, Praha 7 - Holešovice

Apartment for sale, 5 bedrooms +, 276m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for sale, 5 bedrooms +, 276m2

Pod Kesnerkou, Praha 5 - Smíchov

The government is expected to approve the material next week. Environmental organizations, however, criticize the plan for having low targets and falling short of European obligations for the share of renewable energy sources.

business Globus faces investigation into supplier discrimination

The Office for the Protection of Economic Competition (ÚOHS) has initiated administrative proceedings against the Globus chain for suspected long-term discrimination against suppliers.

Violations of the Act on Significant Market Power can result in fines of up to ten percent of the company's total turnover, potentially amounting to CZK 2.4 billion. ÚOHS spokesperson Martin Švanda confirmed the investigation and stated that no further information will be provided until the proceedings are completed.

hockey Bob and Bobek chosen as hockey championship mascots

The mascots for the 2024 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic will be the rabbits Bob and Bobek. The organizers have chosen the same characters as in 2015 when the championship was also held in Prague and Ostrava.

The mascots were presented at a press conference today. The popular rabbits will wear blue jerseys and have new numbers, 20 and 24. The World Championship will take place in Prague and Ostrava from May 10 to 26, 2024.

EU Jourová won't seek another term in Brussels

Věra Jourová, the Czech Vice-President of the European Commission, has announced that she will not seek a third mandate. Speaking at an event organized by Politico, Jourová also stated that she is uncertain about returning to Czech politics and did not rule out taking a break from politics.

Politico notes that it is unlikely for Jourová to be nominated by the Czech government for the Commission again since she was a nominee of the ANO movement, which is currently in opposition. Jourová has served in the EU executive since 2014 and is now considering a transition away from politics.

Politics V4 ministers meet in Czechia to discuss grain corridor

Agriculture ministers from the Visegrad Group (V4) nations (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary) convened in Znojmo to discuss Ukraine's action plan for establishing a "solidarity corridor" to export Ukrainian grain beyond the European Union (EU). Ukrainian Minister of Agriculture Mykola Solskyj joined the meeting online to present the plan's details.

The issue arose due to the disruption of traditional grain export routes caused by Russian aggression and port blockades in the Black Sea. In spring, several EU countries introduced bans on grain imports to address this issue, but now, V4 countries are seeking assurances that Ukrainian exports will reach non-EU destinations.

Economy Confidence in Czech economy hits record low

In September, Czech economic confidence hit its lowest point since March 2021, when the nation grappled with pandemic-induced restrictions. The current decline, however, comes despite a lack of significant pandemic threats. The main reason for this downturn is a loss of confidence in the industrial sector, influenced by Germany's economic struggles.

The Czech car industry faces particular challenges due to supply chain disruptions. Confidence in the industry has plummeted, with the indicator hitting just 84.2 points in September, well below the long-term average of 100 points. Consumer confidence is also waning, likely influenced by the industrial sector's woes, leading to a bleak economic outlook.

Tourism New city-run tourist center opens at Prague Castle

The City of Prague opened its first tourist center at Prague Castle Tuesday, located in the historic site's third courtyard near a Czech Post Office branch. Prague Castle is a major attraction, drawing around 1.4 million visitors annually, with up to 3.7 million passing through its grounds. This new center represents Prague's presence within the Castle, offering practical information and souvenirs.

Prague Mayor Bohuslav Svoboda stated that it enhances cooperation between Prague City Hall and Prague Castle. The center, situated in a historic stable, will also serve as the starting point for two guided walks and the purchase of the Prague Visitors Pass, granting access to more of the city's monuments, said František Cipro, chairman of the board of Prague City Tourism.

cinema Czech film academy backs Polish director Holland

The Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) expressed support on Monday for Polish director Agnieszka Holland, who has faced criticism from the right-wing Polish government for her film The Green Border. The film, co-produced by a Czech company and financially supported by the Czech Film Fund, won an award at the Venice Film Festival.

Holland has received personal threats of violence and requires security protection. Polish officials, including Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro and President Andrzej Duda, have attacked the film, according to the Guardian, alleging it promotes the destruction of the Polish-Belarusian border fence and the redistribution of migrants in the EU.

politics President Petr Pavel to visit South Moravia

President Petr Pavel is set to visit the South Moravian Region to hold talks with local representatives and mayors of municipalities affected by last year's tornado together with his wife Eva.

During the two-day visit, which starts Tuesday morning, Pavel will meet with the regional leadership and town officials in Brno, as well as visit the towns of Blansko, Břeclav, the Moravian Karst, the Hradisko archaeological site, winemakers in the Dolní Dunajovice municipality, and the Army Air Force Headquarters in the town of Náměšť nad Oslavou.

fake news Pro-Russian narratives inspire Czech disinformation scene

The disinformation environment in the Czech Republic is not centrally controlled and is primarily inspired by narratives that benefit Russia, according to Michal Koudelka, the director of the Director of the Security Information Service.

Speaking at a conference on disinformation, Koudelka said that the Czech disinformation scene has not seen a significant increase in audience or effectiveness. He also highlighted the use of lies and propaganda, citing an example of the spread of information about the Novichok substance being produced in the Czech Republic.

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