The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Oct. 11, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.10.2022 17:46:00 (updated on 12.10.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 V4 leaders meet in Bratislava to discuss security, energy issues

The leaders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary are meeting today in Bratislava to discuss the security situation due to the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, ČTK reports.

In addition to Slovak President and host Zuzana Čaputová, the V4 Presidential Summit sees the participation of Czech President Miloš Zeman, Hungarian Katalin Nováková, and Polish President Andrzej Duda. This is the first V4 summit since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

2 Holocaust film festival to open in Terezín next week

A new film festival that starts on Oct. 17 in the cinema hall of the Terezín Ghetto Museum will offer a selection of films about Terezín, the Holocaust, and World War II, ČTK reports. The "Behind the Walls" film festival will show productions revolving around the themes of Terezín, the Holocaust, and World War II. One of them is Zbyňka Brynych's film "Transport from Paradise," which was shot in Terezín and premiered 60 years ago.

3 EPC video with Macron in starring role draws criticism

A video posted by French President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter received criticism for exaggerating the French leader's importance at last week's European Political Community (EPC), iDnes reports. The video gives more airtime to Macron than to Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, who organized and hosted EPC. The newly-created community was Macron's initiative for dialogue on equal footing between EU and non-EU member countries on issues that concern them all.

4 Budvar says Nyet to Russian return

Czech Minister of Agriculture Zdeněk Nekula said that he cannot imagine resuming exports of Budvar beer to Russia in the current context of the conflict in Ukraine, ČTK reports, citing a ministry press release from today.

Nekula also said that Budvar brewery director Petr Dvořák did not consult him before saying that, in the medium term, Budvar needs to return to the Russian market so as not to lose its trademark. Budvar halted its Russian exports in February, at the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

5 EU energy ministers hold informal meeting in Prague

An informal meeting taking place today and tomorrow will bring together ministers of EU countries responsible for energy, ČTK reports. Some of the participants in the roundtable include Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela, Ditte Juul-Jörgensen, the Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Energy, or representatives of the energy companies Net4Gas and ČEZ.

The topics to be discussed are hydrogen, energy preparedness for the coming winter, and a potential revision of the electricity market.

6 Signal Festival to display art installation made of burnt Ukrainian vehicles

An installation of burnt civilian vehicles from the war in Ukraine will be put on display at Mariánské náměstí in Prague today as part of the Signal Festival, Prague City Hall spokesman Vit Hofman told ČTK.

Called "The Physical Possibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living," the installation consists of wreckages transported directly from conflict areas in Ukraine, and will be accompanied by the stories of Ukrainian citizens, Hofman said.

The tenth edition of the Signal festival of light installations and performances will take place from Oct. 13 to 16, and most of the program is free of charge.

7 Parasite could impact political beliefs, Czech scientists find

A recent study conducted by scientists from Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the Laboratory of Evolutionary Biology, Department of Philosophy and History of Sciences at Faculty of Science, Charles University showed that political beliefs could be influenced by a parasite commonly found in cat excrements.

Cat in a litter box. Photo by BiancaGrueneberg/iStock.
Cat in a litter box. Photo by BiancaGrueneberg/iStock.

The study assessed political values based on four factors - Tribalism, Cultural Liberalism, Anti-authoritarianism, and Economic Equity - and found that people infected with Toxoplasma gondii rank higher for tribalism, which refers to loyalty to one's tribe, and "perpetuates an ‘otherization’ of communities and groups whether on social, economic or political grounds."

8 Doosan Škoda Power to upgrade Opatovice Power Plant

Doosan Škoda Power reached an agreement with energy company Elektrárny Opatovice (EOP) to replace a TG3 steam turbine at the Opatovice Power Plant, Power Engineering International reports. Doosan Škoda Power is a manufacturer and supplier of equipment for power stations, machine rooms especially equipped for steam turbines. The Opatovice Power Plant produces electricity and heat for almost 63,000 customers in Pardubice, Hradec Králové, Chrudim, and other villages in east Bohemia.

9 Czech tech start-up gets €2.6m seed funding

Superface, a Czech tech start-up specializing in artificial intelligence, has received sizable funding from venture capital firm Tera Ventures. Founders of the Czech company, Zdeněk Němec and Radek Novotný, have developed an AI-powered platform that helps developers connect application programming interfaces (APIs) in “a fraction of a second” (rather than weeks, which is the case with other similar apps), notes.

10 Inflation in Czechia highest since September 1993

Year-on-year inflation rose to 18 percent in September - the highest level since December 1993 - the Czech Statistical Office reported today. This marks an increase from 17.2 percent in August. Drivers of the large inflation were energy prices, which increased by 85.9 percent annually, and solid fuel prices, rising by almost 56 percent. Staple foodstuffs, such as meat and flour, also experienced drastic increases at 23.6 percent and 61 percent year-on-year respectively.

Although Petr Král, the director of the Monetary Department of the Czech National Bank, states that inflation should return to about 2 percent in 18 months, Czechs can expect a continuation of strong inflation in the near term.

Speaking with ČTK, Petr Dufek, Chief Economist of Creditas Bank, noted that energy prices represent the main dangers to inflation. "Their inflationary potential is not completely exhausted, and will therefore push inflation further up. We can therefore count on double-digit inflation at least until the middle of next year," according to Dufek.

11 Czechia one of 11 countries backing the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI)

A project run by journalist organization Reporters Without Borders, the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) has gained support of Czechia in its attempt to promote free and fair journalism, and to eradicate fake news.

Czechia and ten other countries, who are signatory states of the Partnership for Information and Democracy, signed a declaration "recognizing the difficulties that journalists face in maintaining their professionalism in an environment marked by targeted disinformation and smear campaigns," Reporters Without Borders commented. The JTI is a "standard for showcasing and promoting trustworthy journalism," according to the organization.

12 Czech police release footage of arson attack on Lamborghini

Earlier today, the Prague municipal police released footage of an arson attack on a Lamborghini worth over CZK 11 million. The incident, which occurred on Sept. 28 on Freyova street in Prague 9, led to the total destruction of the vehicle and potential injuries to the perpetrator himself. 

“While handling the lighter and flammable material, the man also caught fire, and it is possible that he has burns on his face and hands,” Jan Rybanský, police spokesman for Prague police, commented.

Although the video footage is poor, the suspect is seen to be wearing a hooded sweatshirt, possibly Adidas-branded, light-colored trousers and white trainers. The police are appealing to the public for any information about the suspect, and for himself to come forward to explain his actions.

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