The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

More banks to share ATMs, news on foreigner's health insurance monopoly, Prague metro stations turn 42, and more buzzworthy headlines for Dec.19. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.12.2022 17:04:00 (updated on 19.12.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes


Remembering Havel|Czech politicians have been paying tribute to Václav Havel, who passed away on Dec. 18, 2011. The last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of an independent Czech Republic, Havel’s political activism during the communist regime played a crucial role in the Czech Republic's path to democracy in the 1990s. Read more in our story.

Happy birthday to the Constitution|The Czech constitution celebrated three decades of existence last week, an occasion for local politicians to reflect on its strengths and shortcomings. The document was adopted on Dec. 16, 1992, and came into force on Jan. 1, 1993, when Czechoslovakia split into two independent countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Read more in our story.

Čapí Hnízdo|An expert graphologist said today in Prague that former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš may have falsified the signature of his son, Babiš Jr, in the Čapí Hnízdo (Stork's Nest) subsidy-fraud court case. Prosecutors accuse Babiš of faking his son’s signature to fraudulently show that Babiš Sr. had transferred shares of the company to Babiš Jr. Read more in our story.


Price of art|Czechs spent CZK 1.6 billion at domestic art auctions in 2022, Seznam Zprávy reports, up from 1.46 billion crowns in 2021. Jan Stuchlík, editor-in-chief of the website, which specializes in the art market, said that inflation the energy crisis and the uncertainty caused by the war in Ukraine did not damped the interest of collectors in acquiring new artworks.

'Hidden in Their Reflections' by Toyen. Image via European Arts.
"Hidden in Their Reflections" by Toyen fetched 35 million in an auction held last month. Image via European Arts.

Shared ATMs|Starting in February, Air Bank and UniCredit Bank will join the shared ATM network of Komerční banka and Moneta Money Bank, iDnes reports. This will allow clients of all four banks to withdraw cash from shared ATM networks under the same conditions as from their own bank's ATMs, and also lower operation costs for the banks themselves.


VZP|A ruling that requires foreigners in the Czech Republic to hold commercial insurance with Pojišťovna VZP is set to remain in place. The Senate's proposal to lift the insurer's monopoly was blocked by the senior opposition ANO party, which had pushed the through the amendment in the previous election term. Read more in our story.


  • 81.3: The percentage of Czechs who want the next president to show overall culture and sophistication
  • 48.7: The percentage of Czechs who want their future president to actively participate in domestic and foreign politics
  • 40.2: The percentage of Czechs who would take away the presidential right to grant pardons without limits
  • Source: Seznam Zprávy

meanwhile in prague

Hanukkah begins|This year, the Jewish Festival of Lights starts on Dec. 18 and runs through Dec. 26. In Prague, two significant Menorah-lighting celebrations happened on Sunday evening, one of them organized by the Memorial of Silence (Památník ticha) at Prague's Bubny railway station, and another on Jan Palach Square, where a giant Menorah is lit every year in front of the Rudolfinum. Read more in our story.

this day in history

Christmas on radio waves|The first-ever Christmas radio speech by Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue  Masaryk was broadcast on Dec. 19, 1933. Masaryk was then aged 83, and two years later left office due to health reasons.

Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk on horseback / public domain
Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk on horseback. Public domain photo.

New metro stations|Prague metro stations Jiřího z Poděbrady, Flora and Želivského, all of them on metro line A, opened on Dec. 19, 1980. Starting in March 2023, the Jiřího z Poděbrady station will be closed for about 8 months due to the replacement of escalators and the construction of lift shafts. During that time, subway cars will pass through the station without stopping.

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