The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and Expats.cz top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Sept. 13, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 13.09.2022 17:23:00 (updated on 14.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

#1 The Babiš trial is heading into its second day

The signature of former prime minister Andrej Babiš’s son, Andrej Babiš Jr., on a key document in the Čapí hnízdo subsidy fraud case is probably not genuine, graphologist Aleš Čulík told the Prague Metropolitan Court. The expert found similarities between the signature on the document and the handwriting of the former PM but he was unable to make a definitive conclusion. The younger Babiš says he did not sign the document for acquiring company shares. The trial is now in its second day. Babiš’s advisor Jana Nagyová is also on trial.

#2 Russian influence in Czechia boosted mainly by SPD

Russia's influence in Czechia has been boosted mainly by the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party whose leader Tomio Okamura and deputy head Radim Fiala are also the biggest promoters of China's influence, along with former lower house head Radek Vondráček of ANO, a study presented by the Czech nongovernmental organization European Values shows. The best rankings as politicians opposed to Russian influence are those of the Pirate party, including current Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský. European Values considers Russia and China's influence a threat to Czech national security and sovereignty.

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#3 Jan Žižka scores box office gold at home, flops abroad

The historical epic "Jan Žižka," known overseas as "Medieval," was a hit in Czech cinemas during its first weekend, attracting 104,921 viewers for the fourth-biggest opening of the year. In the U.S. though the film bombed, taking in only $810,000 at 1,311 screens over three days, and $11,991 more in previews. That is a daily per-screen average of $205 or about 20 viewers. According to Boxoffice Mojo, it was the 132nd lowest wide opening ever, and the sixth-worst opening of 2022 for a new film. Director Petr Jákl said he hopes the film will be a hit on streaming services.

#4 Krejčíková, Siniaková won US Open to complete career Grand Slam

Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková made history at the 2022 US Open, making a comeback in the women’s doubles final at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows, New York. They beat the American pair of Caty McNally and Taylor Townsend, winning 12 of the final 14 games. The Czech duo has now won six Grand Slam doubles titles together, including Wimbledon and the Australian Open earlier this year.

#5 Anti-corruption groups criticize whistleblowers protection bill

The latest version of the whistleblower protection bill, which will be discussed by the Czech cabinet this month, still does not sufficiently protect those reporting unlawful activities from the revenge of employers, according to anti-corruption organizations Transparency International (TI), Reconstruction of the State, and Oživení.

TI said the new draft is worse than the previous one, as it has created a bureaucratic burden on the whistleblower and also reduced protection. The bill, which was prepared by the Justice Ministry, is based on the European Union directive on whistleblower protection from October 2019. Czechia has already failed to meet the deadline for transposing the directive into national law.  

#6 Charity run in London to celebrate Zátopek's 100th birthday

The Czech Centre in London is organizing the Emil Zátopek Run on Sept. 17 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Czech runner Zátopek and his wife Dana. They were both born on the same day, Sept. 19, 1922. The event, co-organized by the Thames Valley Harriers club, will be open to professional as well as amateur runners. Money raised from the charity event will go to supporting promising young athletes from disadvantaged communities.

#7 Primark opens second Czech shop in Brno

Irish fashion retailer Primark will open its second Czech shop in the Olympia shopping center in Brno at 10 a.m. on Wednesday. The first day will feature a DJ and a small gift for the first 400 customers. The shop, which is substantially smaller than the one on Prague’s Wenceslas Square, will have a large range of fall and winter fashions as well as cosmetics and household items. It will also offer items under its Primark Cares brand, which has sustainable goods. The new Brno store will be Primark's 406th branch worldwide. 

#8 Jindřich Štreit believes in miracles

Czech photographer Jindřich Štreit has had more than 1,550 solo exhibitions and his works are represented in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His life's work will now become the subject of a book accompanied by a CD with songs. He will then present his work to people all over the Czech Republic as part of a program called "I Believe in Miracles" (Věřím na zázraky). The 160-page book of photos and tickets to the show can be pre-ordered exclusively on the Hithit.cz portal until Sunday, Sept. 18.

Photo: Archive Jindřich Štreit
Photo: Archive Jindřich Štreit

#9 Sit down to breakfast in Old Town tomorrow

The previous attempt at a giant half-kilometer breakfast table was canceled due to a storm, so the organizers are trying again on to have Stůl ve středu at Old Town Square on Sept. 14 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration is not necessary, but you need to bring your own food and maybe some to share. More details are on the Facebook event page.

#10 Prague pigeons to experience loft living

The first municipal pigeon loft has been created in the Czech capital. The wooden attic nesting area is located near the New City Hall on Mariánské náměstí in the center of Prague and can accommodate approximately 150 pigeons. The goal is to offer the pigeons a place to nest and create suitable conditions and avoid public nuisance. Their number will be regulated by removing some of their eggs and replacing them with artificial ones. The operation of the facility, including veterinary care, will be provided by the Main Rescue Station.

Photo: City of Prague
Photo: City of Prague

#11 Major Bohemian Switzerland tourist attraction won't open this season

According to geologists, a popular tourist attraction in Hřensko, a boat ride in the gorges of the Kamenice river, is dangerous and will not open again this year. Hřensko had hoped to restore and open the gorges which were destroyed by an extensive forest fire in Bohemian Switzerland in recent weeks. Entrance fees for entering the gorges, including boat trips between the rocks, are a substantial source of income for the municipality.

#12 A car sped down the Charles Bridge yesterday

A driver in a white Audi drove over the Charles Bridge on Monday afternoon according to the Prague Police. A pedestrian alerted police who discovered from security camera footage that the driver had parked the car in question Platnéřská Street, in the paid parking zone, which he forgot to pay. For unauthorized parking in the zone, the driver, said to be a foreigner, was fined CZK 2,000, for violating the ban on entering the Charles Bridge CZK 2,000 CZK and more than CZK 2,000 for the tow.

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