The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Oct. 19, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.10.2022 17:23:00 (updated on 20.10.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Winter travel season begins in Czechia

The winter season in Czechia comes with several holiday options in warmer climates, iDnes reports. Starting this winter, seven regular flights of the company Eurowings connect Prague to popular Egyptian resorts of Hurghada and Marsa Alam. Other exotic air connections from Prague include a Ryanair flight to the Jordanian capital of Amman; and direct flights to two destinations in Oman, namely the capital Muscat and the Arabian Sea port of Salalah.

2 Surfers could soon ride waves on Prague's Vltava

Prague city officials, in collaboration with the Vlny Štvanice association, are testing the river Vltava's possibilities for water sports, Ekonom reports. Water slalom champion Martin Leskovjan has been testing a newly-created river wave that could soon make surfing on the river in Prague a reality as early as next spring. His future plans are to test other sports on the Vltava, such as water slalom.

3 Czech pharmacies see antibiotic shortage

Stocks of penicillin are running low in Czech pharmacies, Seznam Zprávy reports. The president of the Czech Chamber of Pharmacy, Aleš Krebs, said that this is due to a "wider production outage" on the manufacturer's side. Previously, children's anti-fever medicines, antifungal creams, and antibiotic eye drops were in short supply on the domestic market is reporting another shortage. The current shortage of basic penicillin is in many cases being replaced by doctors with other types of antibiotics. The chamber says that supply could be restored by December at the latest.

4 Mayor of Prague 7 calls for tearing down wall around Russian houses in Stromovka

Mayor of the Prague 7 district Jan Čižínský said that an appropriate response to the removal of the fence around the Czech House in Moscow could be the removal of the wall around the Russian houses in Prague's Stromovka, Aktuálně.cz reports. The area was occupied by the Soviet army during the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, when soldiers camped in Stromovka and used it as a military base. The area of ​​the Russian embassy then permanently expanded to include that part of the park.

5 Czech president announces retreat from politics

After three decades in politics, Miloš Zeman will retire from politics once he leaves Prague Castle at the end of his presidential mandate, ČTK reports. His retirement plans are to read books, watch history programs, and spend time in nature, the Czech president said during a visit to the Ústecký region. The current president's mandate expires in March 2023. He made the announcement during a recent visit Ústecký region. Zeman has spent the past three decades in the Czech political sphere. Read more in our full story here. 

6 Czech Railways to raise fares by 15 percent

The Czech state railway operator has announced that fares will increase an average of 15 percent from Dec. 11. For some tickets, the increases will be over 30 percent, as reported in ČT24. Price increases will apply to standard tickets (“kilometer tariffs”) as well as the “One Ticket” unified tariff system, in which tickets can be used on almost all trains in Czechia, regardless of the carrier.

Standard tickets whose costs are based on journey distance in kilometers, or the so-called kilometer tariff, will rise by an average of 15 percent, according to Petr Šťáhlavský, spokesperson for České dráhy. Read more in our full story here. 

7 On this day in 1962, Prague's Stalin monument was destroyed

Blowing up the Stalin monument in Letná Park. Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Jon's pics, under CC-BY-2.0.
Blowing up the Stalin monument in Letná Park. Photo by Wikimedia Commons/Jon's pics, under CC-BY-2.0.

The Stalin monument – the world’s largest representation of Stalin, and the largest group statue in Europe at the time – towered above Letná from 1955 to 1962, when, on Oct. 19, the monument was blown up with dynamite following the long-brewing backlash against Stalin’s cult of personality. While the demolition of the colossus began 60 years ago, it wasn't completed until Nov. 6, 1962, reports

The remaining plinth and underground spaces were used as a warehouse until 1989. In 1991, a giant metronome by Vratislav Novák was installed at the top of the hill, which is a popular recreational area today.

8 How not to respond to an ambulance in Prague

The Medical Rescue Service of the Central Bohemian Region shared a video on social networks showing how a pedestrian near Palackého náměstí in Prague completely ignored an ambulance with the signals on. The man continued to walk in front of it, then pointed his middle finger at the driver and walked over to the sidewalk.

"Please, you never know if there is someone in the ambulance who is currently fighting for their life. Don't let us waste precious minutes," the central Bohemian rescue service said, urging people to "be considerate. "

9 Czech court sentences Polish couple trading in ayahuasca drink

The Olomouc High Court sentenced today the Polish married couple Jaroslaw and Karolina Kordys to eight years in prison each for illegal trading in an ayahuasca psychotropic drink, ČTK reports. The couple brewed the drink based on an recipe of Peruvian shamans, which have been reportedly using ayahuasca for 5,000 years for rituals in the jungle. The drink was part of rituals that the couple organized in the Czech Republic, mostly for foreign participants.

10 Czech tennis stars perform poorly in Mexico amid bee invasion

Czech tennis player and current world number 19, Petra Kvitová, was eliminated in the second round at the Women's Tennis Association tournament in Guadalajara, losing to Bianca Andreescu from Canada with 6:3, 2:6, 0:6. 

In the first round of the match, a swarm of bees halted the play, congregating on the umpire's chair. They required specialist removal before Kvitová stung her opponent on her journey to the second round.

Fellow Czech Karolína Plíšková did not make it past the first round in the Mexican tournament. The former world number one lost to Jelena Rybakinová from Kazakhstan (6:7, 2:6). Both Czechs have had an unremarkable 2022 season so far. Kvitová has a win-loss record of 26-18, and Plíšková's ratio stands at 21-18.

11 Popular Mucha exhibition in Prague gets extension

A ground-breaking exhibition of the work and life of Alfons Mucha will be extended by two months and will last until the end of the year, newstream reports. The exhibition includes more than 200 paintings, photographs and other art objects showing Mucha from a lesser-known perspective. The exhibition, which opened in mid-July, is the first large exhibition of Mucha’s artworks in 30 years.

12 One-fifth of firms considering redundancies due to rising energy prices

Almost 20 percent of Czech companies are considering reducing their staff due to rising energy prices, a ČTK survey concluded. Abnormally high gas and electricity prices are particularly affecting energy-intensive sectors such as bakeries, glassmakers, or smelters. The ceramics industry is also at risk.

Job roles in services, labor or technical positions at such production-focused firms are most at risk of redundancies, according to the Chamber of Commerce, the Transport Industry Association, and the Association of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (AMSP), who all partook in the survey.

Electricity prices posted eye-watering inflation of almost 38 percent year on year in September, according to the Czech Statistical Office.

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