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. 14, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 14.09.2022 17:09:00 (updated on 14.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

#1 First Republic president T.G. Masaryk died 85 years ago today

Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk passed away 85 years today, in 1937 at the chateau in Lány. He was 87 years old and had served as president from the start of the First Republic in 1918 to 1935 when he resigned due to his failing health. The cause of death was pneumonia.

His coffin was moved to Prague Castle, and over half a million people went to see him lying in state. The funeral, which lasted five hours, was broadcast over the radio. The funeral procession on Sept. 21 went through the city, and the streets filled with people to see it go by. The coffin returned to Lány, where he is buried in a simple grave with a small marker.

#2 Prague City Hall has witnessed its 'cutest' protest ever

The Prague City Council has decided to provide the Prague 5 district with land in Jinonice, for a temporary ice rink that will be built to replace Nikolajka Winter Stadium, whose owner will no longer operate it due to expensive energy costs. The stadium has been in operation since 1961.

City Hall's decision follows a Sept. 8 protest by young hockey players from HC Smíchov in Prague 5, who played a match in front of Prague City Hall. Deputy Mayor Petr Hlaváček called it "probably the cutest demonstration in the last four years in front of City Hall."

#3 British ambassador to Czechia says Queen was 'very funny'

British Ambassador to the Czech Republic Nick Archer told Czech Television that Queen Elizabeth II was crucial in uniting Britain after World War II and keeping it united, and that he expects King Charles III to follow in her footsteps. He added that he met her several times and called her a "charismatic lady" who could fill any room. "She was very funny in that dry British way. I think the Czechs and the British understood her sense of humor very well," he said. 

#4 Former PM Babiš's wife and daughter refuse to testify in fraud case

Former prime minister Andrej Babiš's wife, Monika, declined to testify in court in the Čapí hnízdo case. Luděk Kalivoda, a former member of the board of Farma Čapí hnízdo, also refused to testify. Babiš's daughter from his first marriage Adriana Bobeková was also supposed to testify but did not show up due to health reasons. On the other hand, Andrej Babiš Jr said he wants to testify and will come to Prague to appear in court at the end of the week.

#5 ...and in other Babiš news

Andrej Babiš is buying EUR 25 million worth of land in the center of Ljubljana, Slovenia, for the construction of over 400 apartments. The deal would make Babiš one of the biggest players in the Slovenian real estate market, the investigative website Necenzurirano.si reported. Babiš started the new business venture immediately after he lost the Czech parliamentary elections last October. The almost four-hectare parcel of land is located at a brownfield near the Ljubljana train station. 

#6 Bavarian storms blow into Bohemia tonight

Isolated but strong thunderstorms with wind gusts of around 70 km/h, torrential rainfall or even small hail is expected in the southern half of Bohemia, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) said. The storm will be coming in from Bavaria. A supercell, or rotating thunderstorm, is possible. Rainfall should not reach flood warning levels as the storm is too fast moving. People should pay attention to safety, especially the danger of lightning and injury from falling objects.

#7 Czech university budgets will increase

The budget of universities should increase next year so that they have enough money for energy as well, the school committee agreed. Universities have estimated the growth of their costs at CZK 5 billion.

#8 NATO Days starts this weekend

A wide range of American military equipment will be the main attraction of the upcoming NATO Days in Ostrava on Sept. 17 and 18. A C-17 Globemaster transport plane has brought an MQ-9 Reaper drone. It can be armed with four air-to-surface missiles and can stay in the air for up to 14 hours. A C-5M Super Galaxy transport aircraft brought Viper and Venom helicopters. The Czech army is planning to use these models as a replacement for its aging Soviet-era choppers.

#9 A new clothing bank opened in Prague today

A new clothing bank opened its first brick-and-mortar shop in Prague today. The clothing bank plans to cooperate with food banks and bigger nonprofit organizations for people in need. The new clothing bank is organized by a group called Club for Single Mothers but it will be for all groups of inhabitants who need it. The clothing bank has its seat at Povltavská 5 in Prague’s Troja district near the zoo. People who want to donate clothing may bring it there or send it by post. Clothing, though, should be in wearable condition. Many people throw out usable clothes because it is the wrong size, for example. 

#10 Pirates say Czech state could cash in by legalizing pot

Legalizing the use of cannabis would bring the Czech state between CZK 650 million and CZK 1.8 billion in taxes annually, Pirates said today based on their study. At the same time, legalization would severely limit the black market. The Pirates have proposed various options for regulating the marijuana market and will present their study to its government coalition partners next week. The Pirates were inspired by policies in the U.S., Canada, and Uruguay.

#11 Fiala: Czech presidency to work with EC on reducing energy prices

The Czech EU presidency will be cooperating with the European Commission on lower energy prices, including the revisions to the electricity market, Prime Minister Petr Fiala wrote on Twitter in reaction to the speech by EC head Ursula von der Leyen. One of the EC leader's main messages was that the European Commission plans to reduce the incomes of producers of electricity generated from non-gas sources who have windfall profits thanks to the soaring prices She said this crisis measure would bring EUR 140 billion that the EU member countries can use to support consumers threatened by the expensive energy.

#12 Czechia ranks low in biodiversity

The Czech Republic ranked 150th on a list of the 200 most biodiverse countries in the world. Brazil, home to a massive rain forest, topped the list as most diverse, while tiny San Marino was last. According to the survey, Czechia has 287 species of birds, 21 of amphibians, 80 of fish, 80 of mammals, 13 of reptiles, and 2,100 types of vascular plants. Mushrooms were not counted. The organizers of the Global Biodiversity Index say that while some new species are being discovered, others are dying out at an alarming rate due to climate change. 

Biodiversity index via theswiftest.com
Biodiversity index via theswiftest.com
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