News in brief for Sept. 27: Top headlines for Czechia for Wednesday

Czech govt. to approve budget today, Ministry of Industry and Trade raided, record-breaking temps for Tuesday, and more news for Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 27.09.2023 08:27:00 (updated on 27.09.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

international Germany will conduct checks at Czech border

The German police will be conducting reinforced flexible and mobile checks on the borders with the Czech Republic and Poland to combat smugglers, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser announced today. The controls, which are not stationary but adapted to the current situation, are based on an agreement with neighboring states and do not require notifying the European Union.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that up to 500 customs officers will assist the federal police at the border. The aim of the controls is to prevent smugglers from operating while minimizing the impact on everyday life, residents, and the economy. However, a unified European asylum solution is necessary to protect the EU's open borders and Schengen system, Faeser added.

travel Smartwings will stop flying from regional airports in 2024

Czech domestic airline Smartwings announced that it will no longer serve the airports in České Budějovice, Karlovy Vary, and Pardubice during the next summer season, complicating travel agencies' plans for 2024, iDnes reports. Czech travel agencies planned to strengthen regional airports and enable people to go on holiday without going through Prague airport.

Smartwings' decision is prompting travel agencies like Čedok to seek alternative carriers. Čedok had already started selling tours for the summer of 2024 but is now discussing partnerships with other airlines. The travel industry is hopeful that all planned flights will still take place without changes.

economy ČNB keeps base interest rate at 7 percent

The Czech National Bank's (ČNB) Banking Council has kept the base interest rate at 7 percent for the tenth consecutive time, spokeswoman Petra Krmelová said today. This decision aligns with analysts' expectations, as the exchange rate of the Czech crown has not shown any significant reaction.

Additionally, the Lombard and discount interest rates remain unchanged at 8 percent and 6 percent, respectively. The current period without interest rate changes is the longest since 2017.

emergency Schoolchildren hospitalized after hornet attack in Brno

South Moravian rescuers treated schoolchildren after a hornet attack on Wednesday morning in the Akátky Park in Brno-Židenice. None of the nine children who ended up in hospital are in serious condition. Brno-Židenice mayor Peter Kunc wrote on social network X that fifteen children and one adult were stung by the hornets.

The spokeswoman for the South Moravian rescuers, Michaela Bothová, dubbed the incident an "extraordinary event" that involved two medical vehicles, three rescue crews, a large-capacity ambulance, and a traffic inspector.

traffic Multiple fatal traffic accidents happened Tuesday in Czechia

Several tragic traffic accidents occurred in Czechia on Tuesday, making it one of the most tragic days of the year so far. One incident on the D1 highway in the direction of Prague resulted in the death of a motorcyclist who crashed into the back of a truck trailer. Another accident near the village of Chárovice in the Benešov District involved a motorcycle driver losing control while overtaking a bus, resulting in a fatal crash.

There were also fatal accidents in South Bohemia, Hradec Králové, and Zlín region. These incidents add to a list of days with a high number of accidents in 2023, which includes April 21, May 27-28, June 2-3, June 18, Aug. 24, and Sept. 26. Investigations are ongoing for specific causes and circumstances in each case.

crime Police request detention for five suspects from Ukraine

Police officers from the Vysočina Region wrote on social network X that they submitted a request for detention for five people handed over to the Czech Republic from Ukraine for criminal prosecution. The suspects are being prosecuted for suspected fraud of over EUR 7.5 million (CZK 183 million). The case involves a network that extorted money from hundreds of Czechs by posing as bank security department employees.

The fraudsters manipulated 665 people using spoofing technology. The network was reportedly organized by citizens of Ukraine and the Czech Republic, and over 100 Ukrainian and Czech police officers participated in the investigation.

Politicis Czech govt. set to approve 2024 budget today

The Czech government, led by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, is set to discuss next year's state budget, expected to carry a deficit of CZK 252 billion. Following cabinet deliberation, the budget will be presented for discussion in the House of Representatives.

The government is also considering covering around 25 percent of additional expenses linked to purchasing electricity from renewable sources and some heating plants in 2024, with consumers bearing the remaining costs through electricity prices. Additional topics for debate include agricultural subsidies, workplace adjustments, and potential changes in defense strategy.

AID Czech NGO launches collection for Armenia

In response to the dire situation in Nagorno-Karabakh, Czech humanitarian organization People in Need has launched an SOS Armenia collection. Thousands of ethnic Armenians have been fleeing Nagorno-Karabakh following the recent surrender of Armenian forces to Azerbaijani troops. The organization's team is on-site, providing critical aid such as food, hygiene kits, and security assistance. More than 19,000 individuals have already sought refuge in Armenia.

People in Need aims to offer essential supplies, accommodations, and support for vulnerable groups. They call on the public for contributions to the SOS Armenia collection, and initial aid was funded by the Club of Friends of People in Need's humanitarian fund. Nagorno-Karabakh, recognized as part of Azerbaijan, has faced ongoing conflict and violence for years, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

Culture Futuregate sci-fi film fest opens in Prague

Actor Michael Ironside, renowned for his role as Lieutenant Jean Rasczak in Starship Troopers, expressed his humble perspective on filmmaking, describing it as a collective effort during a press conference at Prague's Future Gate festival of science fiction films and culture. The 73-year-old actor, set to receive an award for his contributions to the science fiction genre, spoke candidly about his career, including kissing Sharon Stone in Total Recall and his battle with cancer.

The festival will showcase Ironside's films and feature discussions. The event will explore the theme of space colonization and will run in Prague and later in Brno, Pilsen, Hradec Králové, Šumperk, and Košice.

weather Record-breaking temps hit Czechia on Tuesday

Meteorologists in the Czech Republic reported record-breaking temperatures at 25 percent of their long-term measuring stations. Eastern Bohemia and Moravia experienced temperatures exceeding 27 degrees Celsius, with Hrušová in Orlickousteck registering the highest at 27.6 degrees. These records for Sept. 26 were established at stations with at least 30 years of data, primarily in Moravia and eastern Bohemia.

The warm weather is expected to continue for the next three days, with temperatures reaching up to 27 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and Friday and around 26 degrees on Thursday. A slight cooling is anticipated over the weekend, with minimal precipitation expected from Friday onwards.

crime Police raid Ministry of Industry and Trade agency

Police officers conducted a raid at the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Prague on Tuesday, the ministry wrote on the social network X. The raid is related to subsidy calls from 2016 to 2018. Several individuals have been arrested, but no accusations have been made yet.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said that it was providing assistance to the police. The raid is taking place at the Agency for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which mediates grants from various operational programs and is connected to the ministry.

energy Prague testing water system for renewable energy support

The Prague Waterworks and Sewerage are testing a new use of the water supply system, which can help balance fluctuations in the energy system, Petr Mrkos, the head of Prague Waterworks and Sewerage said according to Seznam Zprávy. The pipeline can act as a pumped-storage power plant, where water is pumped into higher reservoirs during surplus electricity and used to generate electricity during times of high demand.

The pilot project, with a total installed power of 2 MWh, aims to support renewable sources and ease the energy system. The project is expected to launch full-scale operations next year and could serve as a pilot for the entire Veolia group.

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