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. 15, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.09.2022 17:35:00 (updated on 16.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

#1 Andrej Babiš Jr. will testify in court on Friday

The main focus of the trial of former prime minister and ANO chairman Andrej Babiš, who faces charges of subsidy fraud in connection with Farma Čapí hnízdo, will turn to testimony from his son, Andrej Babiš Jr., on Friday. The son is expected to deny having signed a key document in the case. On Thursday, the former prime minister left the court during the testimony of his co-defendant Jana Nagyová, who said it was impossible for her to know there was a potential problem with the subsidy application in 2007, but realized it only in 2016 or '17.

#2 Prague Castle to save millions on heat this winter

Prague Castle plans to save over CZK 7 million on energy in the winter. The temperature in the offices will drop to 20 degrees, and the outdoor lighting of the Castle and St, Vitus' Cathedral will switch off at 10 p.m. instead of midnight. Some people will be moved to smaller offices, and the temperature of hot drinks will be lower. Measures will also affect the presidential retreat at Lány Castle. 

#3 Czech mushroom map updated

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has updated a map of the probability of mushroom growth, which will tell you where you are most likely to find delicious boletus or tasty mushrooms. People who are new to picking mushrooms should always seek help from someone who knows what they are doing, as many mushrooms are toxic.

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#4 More food banks coming to Czechia

Food aid banks could start operating on a larger scale in the Czech Republic next year. Those in need would be able to regularly receive bags of groceries from food banks in 150 locations throughout the country, the Czech News Agency reports.

The director of the Czech Federation of Food Banks presented the organization's project to the Social Committee of the House of Representatives yesterday. Currently, there are just 15 food banks in the Czech Republic. The banks also cooperate with a new Prague clothing bank, which had its opening Wednesday.

#5 New train could connect Prague to Liberec in 70 minutes

The railway connection between Prague and Liberec, the fifth largest city in the country, could begin to look at least as it did at the turn of the millennium. The Railway Administration has made a new study on accelerating the Prague to Liberec line. By the end of the year, one of the three proposed options should be selected by the central committee of the Ministry of Transport.

#6 Skala dog sculpture on display at Prague's Náplavka

A seven-meter-long sculpture of a lonely dog made by František Skála can be seen at Prague's Náplavka for the next two weeks before its transfer to Dresden, where it will be displayed as part of the culture festival All Power to the Imagination: Czech Season in Dresden. The festival, which started in late June, is co-organized by Dresden State Art Collections (SKD) and Czech-German Fund for the Future. It runs until the end of the year.

#7 International TV festival returns to Prague

The Golden Prague international TV festival will offer some 90 music and dance films from all over the world. Czechia will be represented by 20 films about, for example, mezzo-soprano Dagmar Pecková, ballerina Nikola Márová, violinist Václav Hudeček, and choreographer Jiří Kylián, the organizers said. There will also be films from the Swiss Alps, the Greek island Delos, and the border between North and South Korea. The festival runs Sept. 21–24 at the New Stage of the National Theatre. Pecková will sing at the opening, which will be broadcast live on Czech TV.

#8 Monkeypox case reported in Czech kindergarten

Hygienists in Prague have found a case of monkeypox in a five-year-old child. The child's family is not infected, so the source is not yet known. The child could have encountered the virus while on vacation in Spain. Epidemiologists have started an investigation and are waiting for the results of the blood tests. The kindergarten that the child attended has been ordered to have increased medical supervision and regular health monitoring.

#9 Czech farmers protest Green Deal for Europe in Prague

Farmers protested against the subsidy policy of the government and the European Union (EU).  The protest in front of the Prague Congress Center on Thursday morning was attended by less than a dozen people and ended before noon. Farmers demanded a review of the EU's agricultural targets and criticized the shift of money toward smaller farmers. The protest took place during an informal meeting of the ministers of agriculture and fisheries of the EU countries. Farmers also demonstrated in the regions.

#10 Walk to School day takes place in Czechia tomorrow

The sixth year of the Walk to School campaign takes place on Friday. The aim is to increase the number of children who are not driven to school. This year, around 300 schools and teams from 157 cities in the Czech Republic will participate. The number of registered children and classes has tripled compared to the previous year, amounting to about 70,000 pupils. The event will be part of the European Mobility Week, which will also offer projects supporting community coexistence and ecology. In Prague events also include Zažít město jinak and World Car Free Day.

#11 Trasparency International evaluates Prague political parties

The anti-corruption organization Transparency International evaluated the transparency of the campaigns of individual parties running in the Prague elections for City Hall and local governments. The Pirates are doing best with a grade of 1.8 and STAN with a grade of 1.9. On the other end of the spectrum, the ANO movement got 4.3 and the Spolu coalition got 4.5. The worst grades went to the Communists and to a coalition led by the right-wing SPD and Tricolor parties. They each received 4.8 out of five.

#12 First advocacy center for children opens in Prague

A pilot Advocacy Center for Children (DAC) who are victims of home violence, opened in Prague today. The new facility provides an area for questioning, check-ups, and therapy, while various professions cooperate on the aid. It will connect social workers, doctors, police, psychologists, prosecutors, and therapists who deal with the cases of child victims. The Labor and Social Affairs Ministry may draft legal rules for its functioning, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka said. The centers will gradually be established in other regions, too.

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