The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Sept. 15, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 16.09.2022 17:34:00 (updated on 17.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

#1 Babiš Jr. testifies in his father's fraud case

The Prague Municipal Court finished hearing the Čapí hnízdo case earlier today. It will continue on Sept. 26. Today Andrej Babiš Jr., son of the Czech billionaire ex-PM, testified, telling the court that he had no clue that his father had transferred the company's shares to him in the late 2000s. Babiš Jr. said that he had signed a document in the seat of his father's giant Agrofert holding without reading its contents and that he had never held any shares of Čapí hnízdo or any other firm.

#2 Babiš favorite in presidential race first round, Pavel second

Despite the ongoing legal action against him, Czech ex-PM Andrej Babiš would win the first round of the presidential elections in August, but voters' support for him slightly declined from July, while General Petr Pavel would come second in the first round and win the second round run-off vote, Median agency's latest election model shows. Babiš mainly enjoys the support of people over 64 and those with lower education. Pavel is preferred by those aged 25 to 54, university graduates, and entrepreneurs.

#3 Czech PM will give televized emergency speech on energy crisis Sunday

The main TV channels in Czechia and Czech Radio will broadcast a special address by PM Petr Fiala on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. The talk will focus on the cabinet's current steps to address the energy crisis and on the winter season ahead. The Chamber of Deputies is debating the cabinet's proposal to set the maximum prices of gas and energy for smaller customers. The opposition says the cabinet's steps are coming too late and are insufficient. Fiala's speech will be broadcast by Czech Television, TV Nova, and Prima as well as Czech Radio.

#4 Fiala and his wife invited to attend Queen's funeral service

Czech PM Petr Fiala and his wife Jana will attend Queen Elizabeth II's state funeral in London on Monday and the preceding reception hosted by King Charles III, the Czech Government Office said today. The funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey before noon on Monday, preceded by the reception in Buckingham Palace on Sunday evening. Hundreds of foreign states' representatives are expected to attend. Fiala will leave for London aboard a government plane. A service for British expats in Prague is being held this evening at the Anglican church.

#5 Czech inflation is still the fifth highest in the EU

The inflation rate in the European Union rose to a record 10.1 percent in August, while it was 9.8 percent in July, the Eurostat statistical office announced in a report on Friday. In the Czech Republic, the inflation rate fell by two-tenths of a percentage point, but with a value of 17.1 percent, remains the fifth highest in the EU. France had the lowest inflation in August at 6.6 percent, followed by Malta (7.0 percent) and Finland (7.9 percent). Conversely, inflation remains the highest in the three Baltic states - in Estonia, it was 25.2 percent, in Latvia 21.4 percent, and in Lithuania 21.1 percent.

#6 Want to fight Putin? Buy another sweater, politicians say

A website called Sweaters Against Putin has been registered by the TOP 09 party. It offers tips for keeping warm while saving money this winter. Lower house speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová said in mid-August that people can combat the energy crisis by buying another sweater. While she received widespread criticism on social media, her party registered the site featuring an anti-Putin sweater that symbolizes what people can do to reduce dependence on Russian gas. 

#7 Brno has it's own 'metro'

Brno doesn't have a true metro system, but the longest tram tunnel, extending 612 meters, just opened in Czechia's second-largest city. It includes an underground stop as part of the route. The tunnel is part of a new section of tram tracks that are over 900 meters long and cost some CZK 1.4 billion to construct. The tracks will now undergo three months of testing before full operation. The new route connects to the Bohunice campus of Masaryk University.

#8 Adorable honey badger born at Czech zoo

A honey badger was born just over a month ago in Safari Park Dvůr Králové and the first picture has just been released. The mother, BeeBee, takes excellent care of the baby and has not taken a step away from it yet. Only a few zoos in the world have managed to breed honey badgers. This is the second one for the Dvůr Králové zoo, as BeeBee and her partner Tyson welcomed another one on Christmas Day in 2000. Right now the baby is not on display to the public, but can be seen over a live stream camera at the zoo. Despite the cute name, honey badgers are among the fiercest animals on earth.

#8 On this day in 921: St. Ludmila was assassinated

On Sept. 15, 921, St. Ludmila was assassinated in Tetín by two henchmen likely employed by her daughter-in-law Drahomira, who objected to the introduction of Christianity and also wanted more power for herself. Ludmila was the mother of St. Wenceslas, who was also assassinated. Her remains are in the Church of St. George (sv. Jiří) at Prague Castle. Read more about Ludmila in our previous coverage.

#9 Prague gears up for the Battle of Bilá Hora re-enactment

The annual re-enactment of the Battle of Bilá Hora takes place this weekend in front of the Obora Hvězda in Prague 6. The gates open at noon, and the battle is at 3 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 18. There will be a camp with historical weapons to see before the battle, and a market with food, drink, and historical-themed items. The battle is quite elaborate, with cavalry attacks and staged artillery explosions.

Action at the Battle of Bilá Hora. Photo: Raymond Johnston.
Action at the Battle of Bilá Hora. Photo: Raymond Johnston.

#10 Pirates call for higher parental allowance to offset effects of inflation

The Pirates want the ruling coalition to discuss raising the parental allowance. According to them, an increase of CZK 75,000 would match inflation. The expenses could possibly be covered by higher taxes on mineral extraction, Pirate MP Olga Richterová, the deputy speaker of the lower house, said. The opposition movement ANO proposes adding CZK 100,000 to the current total of CZK 300,000 in parental allowance.

#11 Heating season starts this weekend

Showers and cooler autumn weather will start on Friday. It will be cloudy to partly cloudy in the Czech Republic, with occasional rain during the day. Temperatures will range between 13 and 17 degrees Celsius. It will get colder at the weekend. According to the Czech News Agency, the heating season in the Czech Republic will start on average on Sept. 17, which should be when the average daily outdoor air temperature at any given location is below 13°C. Its start in mid-September is not exceptional.

#12 Students open exhibit on sexual violence at universities

A student exhibition on sexual harassment will run from Sept. 15 to 29 in the basement of the Hybernská Campus. Exhibition curator Natálie Ullrichová said cellar is about to be renovated, and is rough just like the theme of the exhibition. "At the same time, it's a theme that isn't talked about, which is kind of under the surface, and that's why we chose this place."

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