News in brief for Sept. 8: Top headlines for Czechia on Friday

Zásilkovna faces delivery issues, lower food prices on the horizon, and more top headlines for Friday, Sept. 8. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 08.09.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 08.09.2023) Reading time: 4 minutes

crime Police are looking for robber of blind man

Prague police announced they were looking for an unidentified man who committed a robbery in Prague between Kaplanova and Blatenská streets. The robber approached a blind man, asking for CZK 20. When the blind man went to retrieve the money, the man snatched his wallet and stole his phone. The incident, which took place in a busy area, was not captured by cameras.

Police are asking anyone with information to call 158. The suspect, described as a man in his thirties or forties who spoke fluent Czech, could face up to ten years in prison if caught and convicted.

PRAGUE Women hit in tram collision in Prague

On Friday, Sept. 8, in Prague's center near the Štěpánská tram stop, a collision between a tram and a pedestrian occurred around 1 p.m. The incident left a woman briefly unconscious. The Prague rescue service promptly responded, sending a team of rescuers, an inspector, and a doctor to the scene.

The collision took place on Ječná Street, raising concerns about pedestrian safety at the Štěpánská tram stop. Further details about the incident are awaited as authorities investigate the circumstances surrounding this incident.

industry Škoda Auto to suspend production at Kvasiny plant

Due to a supplier's production failure caused by the floods in Slovenia, Škoda Auto will suspend production at the Kvasiny plant for at least a week starting on Sept. 11. Production may also be partially limited at the Czech car manufacturer's factory in Mladá Boleslav. The entire Volkswagen Group is affected.

Efforts are being made to resume production fully, but the subcontractor can only deliver to a limited extent. The exact impact on production volumes and models is unknown. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Czech Republic in Central Bohemia has also stopped production due to missing parts from Novares CZ Zebrak, which were destroyed by fire.

football Czech football team draws 1-1 against Albania in Euro qualifier

In the fourth European Championship qualifier that took place last evening at the Eden Area in Prague, the Czech football team drew 1-1 against Albania. Václav Černý scored for the Czechs, and Ned Bajra equalized for Albania. The Albanians were on the attack and prevented the Czechs from creating many chances, especially in the first half of the game. Despite the draw, the Czechs are not satisfied with the point.

The Czech team still leads the table but Poland is close behind. The next qualifier is an away rematch against Albania on Oct. 12. Before that, the Czechs will have a warm-up match against Hungary this Sunday in Budapest.

economy Retail chains promise January drop in food prices

During a meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture on Thursday, representatives of eight large retail chains in the Czech Republic assured the government that the upcoming reduction in value-added tax (VAT) will result in lower food prices and improved quality. Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Minister of Agriculture Marek Výborný said they were focused on ensuring that Czech customers have access to quality food at reasonable prices.

They also requested greater support for Czech producers. The proposal to reduce the VAT rate on food from 15 to 12 percent needs to be approved by the Chamber of Deputies. Inflation in food and non-alcoholic beverages has gradually decreased from almost 25 percent in January to 9.5 percent in June.

real estate Mortgage rates in Prague down to 6.1 percent

The average mortgage rate in Prague decreased to 6.1 percent in September, marking the fourth consecutive month of decline. Banks offered seasonal discounts on mortgage interest rates, leading to a decrease in average rates. However, these are limited-time offers, and the base rate of mortgage loans remains the same.

The average offer rate is still above 6 percent, but selected banks are offering rates lower by almost a percentage point. The monthly installment for a mortgage loan of CZK 3.5 million with 80 percent financing and a 25-year term decreased by approximately CZK 180 to CZK 22,770.

Tech Czech weather app to help detect fires globally

The Czech weather app has added new fire risk prediction tools to help prevent and fight wildfires globally. By providing accessible risk maps, developers aim to help people postpone risky activities when fire danger is high. Colors on the interactive world map indicate risk levels from green to purple.

A bioclimatologist notes climate change is causing more droughts and heat waves, fueling greater fire risks. Windy forecasts both general fire occurrence potential and plant moisture levels over coming days. Originally launched in 2014, the app serves professional and emergency users as well as the general public.

transport Zásilkovna faces parcel delivery issues due to external operator

Postal company Zásilkovna is facing issues with delivering thousands of parcels stuck in the Liberec transport depot. The company blames the depot operator for the problems, while the operator points to the Post Office system. The Bílí Kostel nad Nisou depot has reported problems since Aug. 31, due to issues caused by an external operator whom Zásilkovna no longer cooperates with.

Zásilkovna has been sending emails to clients with instructions in case their package gets stuck and also published a detailed guide on its website, which also allows customers to check if the current situation also applies to their package. 

society 42 percent of Ukrainian refugees in Czechia sought healthcare

Around 42 percent of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic have sought medical assistance, leading to continuing issues in healthcare provision, according to a survey by the SYRI National Institute released on Thursday. The survey highlights five intercultural barriers, such as language issues and differing attitudes toward illness, and stresses the importance of providing factual information and intercultural education.

The Czech Republic granted temporary protection to approximately 500,000 refugees from Ukraine since the Russian invasion, with one-third having returned to Ukraine. A total of 68 percent of the refugees are people of working age, 28 percent are children and 4 percent are seniors.

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