The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Oct. 7, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 07.10.2022 17:40:00 (updated on 07.10.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Ukraine, energy discussed at informal meeting of Prague summit

EU leaders met in today for an informal EU summit at Prague Castle to discuss Ukraine and solutions to the soaring prices of energy, ČTK reports. Outcomes from the meeting are to be announced later in the day.

European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said she only saw today's discussion as the "first step" and preparation for the official EU summit in Brussels, which is scheduled to happen in two weeks.

Czech prime minister Petr Fiala said the EU must remove the barriers preventing the payment of the loan of nine billion euros it had promised to Ukraine to finance the routine functioning of the state. High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell has asked the leaders to approve another joint payment of weapons for Ukraine soon.

2 Multiple protests in Prague on the sidelines of the summit

Tens of people protested this morning in the square outside Prague Castle, asking for EU-wide unity and support for Ukraine, as well as the abolition of the veto right of particular member states, ČTK reports.

The protesters also exhibited a statue of naked Russian President Vladimir Putin on a gilded toilet, accompanied by Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka holding a bloody ice hockey stick. The two were notably absent from the Prague summit this week.

Another protest happened yesterday, when activists from the environmental organization Greenpeace from the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands placed a large yellow model of a gas pipeline with inscription "Putin's bloody gas" (in English) on the surface of the Vltava river in the center of Prague, ČTK reports. The protest was against the EU's reliance on imported fossil fuels.

3 EU-wide gas price cap unlikely in the near future, PM Fiala says

Neither the current Prague summit nor a regular summit in Brussels later this month can offer an EU-wide consensus on gas price caps because the problem is complex, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said today, according to ČTK. He added that, to him, finding a joint European solution was better than seeking a national solution in each of the EU member countries.

"I repeatedly say on behalf of the Czech Republic that if we have only national solutions, we will be disadvantaged against some countries like Germany, and we should not allow for it," Fiala said.

4 Coffee prices in Czech Republic see one of largest increases in the EU

Morning coffee is on its way to becoming a luxury item in Czechia due to its price, especially among drinkers who like it with coffee and milk. A recently-published Eurostat study showed that coffee prices across the EU were 16.9 percent higher this August than in August 2021.

Cafes across the Czech Republic are dropping the dairy-free milk surcharge for March. Photo: Di Bella Coffee
Cappuccinos and flat whites will likely become even more expensive due to increasing prices for milk and sugar. Photo: Di Bella Coffee

Czechia was listed as having one of the highest annual price increases for low-fat milk in the EU, ranking fourth among the top five with Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, and Latvia, respectively.

5 Eurowings strike caused cancellations affecting Prague

Today German low-cost air carrier Eurowings started operating at full capacity after a one-day pilot strike Thursday resulting in the cancellation of hundreds of flights including several connections between Prague and Düsseldorf, according to the website of the Prague airport. Roughly half of the Lufthansa subsidiary's 500 flights for Thursday were canceled. The strikes took place due to negotiations over a collective wage agreement. Pilots were also asking that the maximum number of hours flown be reduced.

6 Škoda will start assembling cars in Vietnam

Czech carmaker Škoda Auto is planning to sell cars in Vietnam. It will offer imported European models there as early as next year. From 2024, it will also offer cars assembled at a factory in Vietnam using part kits from India. 

The assembly line is currently under construction. Initially, Škoda expects to sell 30,000 cars per year. Last year Škoda Auto delivered 878,200 cars worldwide.

7 Prices for older flats in the Czech Republic fell

Older apartments in the Czech Republic fell by 1 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter, but they are still more expensive year-on-year. In Prague, older apartments between July and September went for an average of CZK 125,228 per square meter.

In the previous quarter, it was CZK 128,009 per sqm. But in the third quarter of 2021, a Prague flat sold for CZK 117,274 per sqm. Prices fell quarter-on-quarter in Brno and other Czech cities as well, according to an analysis by real estate site FérMakléř

8 Milan Kundera sends his book collection to Brno

About 5,000 books in various languages were donated by the writer Milan Kundera and his wife, Věra, to the Moravian Library in Brno, the Czech News Agency reported. The titles included Kundera’s own works in various translations plus rare books that he had collected.

Kundera, who is now 93 and has lived in France for half a century, was born in Brno. He decided several years ago he wanted his hometown to have his papers. The books will join documents, photos, and papers that were previously sent. After they are processed, they will be made available to the public.

9 Ostrava Zoo faces criticism over handling of giraffe death

The Ostrava Zoo has been facing international criticism for feeding the remains of a giraffe to its lions. The 19-year-old giraffe fell and could not get up, so the zoo euthanized it after determining it had suffered heart failure.

"The meat from the more than 300-kilogram animal was used as feed for carnivores, just as it would be in nature," the zoo said on Facebook, posting a picture of a lion eating some of the meat.

The incident occurred on Sept. 27, but has just now started to create a media storm with news sites in the UK, Germany, Bosnia, and other places condemning both the action and the zoo's callous announcement of it.

10 Czech ministers will go to Kyiv at the end of the month

Several Czech cabinet ministers will go to Kyiv on Oct. 31 to discuss the effects of Russian aggression and the restoration of Ukraine, new server iDnes reported. Roughly half the cabinet is expected to go, though exactly which ministries will be represented will depend on the agenda. Similar bilateral meetings have taken place with Poland, Slovakia, and Israel.

11 Slovakia is in on the Czech Kaliningrad prank

Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová praised the Czech social nedia joke about annexing Kaliningrad and renaming Královec. "I might consider a state visit. Or not. Well done our Czech friends for de-masking the absurdity of Russia’s fictitious referendums in Ukraine," she said on Twitter.

The satirical campaign apparently was launched at the end of September by a Polish parody account, and the post was subsequently shared by Member of the European Parliament Tomáš Zdechovský. From there it went viral with dozens of memes and a fake travel website popping up.

12 Czech lab-grown pork project received major investment

Mewery, a startup based in Brno, South Moravia, has recently received large investments from domestic venture capital funds Credo Ventures and Purple Ventures, according to Forbes. Mewery is developing a process to grow pork from animal cells. This is not a vegan alternative, but actual meat. The advantage is it is made without having to raise and slaughter pigs so it is cruelty free and also has less impact on the environment, Mewery states.

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