The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

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

Written by Staff Published on 19.09.2022 17:27:00 (updated on 19.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Police catch escaped wild serval cat outside a school

Prague police announced this afternoon the capture of an escaped wild serval cat that had been on the loose in Prague 4. The wild cat, named Bejby (Baby) had escaped from a breeder. The policemen, together with an employee of the trapping service from Jesenice, caught the cat with the help of a net on the property of the school and kindergarten on Horáčková Street. The animal is now on its way to the vet. The police thanked the public for their help.

2 Pick your own apples in Moravian orchards

Some Moravian fruit growers will open their orchards next week to those interested in picking their own fruit. People can collect from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1. This year's harvest is good compared to previous years, when apple harvests were hit by frost. For information on the participating fruit growers, people can visit the website of the Moravian and Silesian Fruit Growers Union. Prices vary according to the variety of apple. Some orchards will also have late plums and pears.

3 Prague will buy up to 200 new trams

The Prague City Council approved a plan to purchase up to 200 new trams, according to The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) will hold a tender to find a supplier. The city will first order 40 trams, which will be partially financed from the National Renewal Fund. They will be delivered by the end of 2026. Up to 160 additional trams can be ordered under the framework contract as needed, Prague Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr said. The city needs new vehicles due to the expanding tram network and also must replace the old T3 trams. 

4 'Mafia Column' uses busts to warn against corruption

The political coalition Solidarita unveiled a set of four busts, dubbed the Mafia Column, at the Old Town Square in the Prague center today to warn of corruption before the local and Senate elections. The busts depict former prime minister Andrej Babiš (ANO), former Prague mayor Pavel Bém (formerly ODS), and influential businesspeople Roman Janoušek and Ivo Rittig. The name in Czech is "Mafiánský sloup," which is a pun on the nearby "Mariánský sloup" or Marian Column.

5 Retirement pensions to go up by CZK 825 in January

The average monthly old-age pension in Czechia will grow by CZK 825 as of January as the solidarity part of all pensions will rise by CZK 140 and the merit part by 5.1 percent, according to the draft decision on the indexation of pensions published by the government on its website. As of January, the merit part will also be increased by the bonus of CZK 500 per brought-up child. Along with this, the average old-age pension is to reach CZK 19,500 in January, the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry said. As of the end of June, the Czech Social Security Administration paid out the pensions to over 2.84 million people out of a population of 10.5 million.

6 Universities reduce scholarship payments to save money

Czech Universities have to come up with plans to save operating costs. The Faculty of Arts of Charles University has already taken the drastic step of reducing the amount of support for doctoral students by a fifth. In the past, the students received CZK 13,000 but that will be reduced by CZK 2,500. The students say the change came without any notice. Some students told news server iDnes that they will have to do more part-time work, which will impact on their studies.

7 Train fares to rise but less than inflation

National rail carrier Czech Railways (ČD) won't raise fares next year at the rate of current inflation. Speaking on Czech TV, Transport Minister Martin Kupka said the price increase will be lower. The average rate of inflation in the Czech Republic is now around 17 percent but the price increase will not exceed 15 percent, Kupka said. The exact prices for next year will be announced in December when the new timetable takes effect. 

8 New Černy sculpture puts its foot down in Karlín

A new, large-scale sculpture by David Černý is taking shape in Prague’s Karlín district. A massive metal-frame hand and leg are supporting the entry to a housing development called Fragment that is currently under construction across from Invalidovna. Sculptor Černý posted a photo of himself posing next to the leg on social media. Parts for an even larger standing figure are on an adjacent lot ready to be assembled. The new apartment building will also feature standing metal figures. The project was first announced in 2019, when the planned building was known as Nová Invalidovna.

9 Find out about all your loans at once

The Česká spořitelna bank now offers people an overview of their loans, overdrafts, and credit cards. The program includes those who have accounts with other banks and non-banking companies, news server reported. Clients can then cancel unused cards or other products. The bank said many people do not know what credit products they have and how they affect their creditworthiness.

10 Czechoslovak plane crashes in U.S. air show

The pilot of a Czechoslovak-made Aero L-29 Delfin military aircraft died during the Reno Air Races show in Nevada on Sunday afternoon, U.S. media reported. Video of the crash has appeared on YouTube. The jet crashed behind the pylon that marked the route of the race at high velocity and caught fire. The authorities have not released the identity of the pilot. Between 1963 and 1974, over 3,500 Aero L-29 Delfin aircraft were manufactured by Czech aircraft company Aero Vodochody. They became the standard training plane of Warsaw Pact air forces.

11 City Council approves Žižkov brownfield study

Prague councilors have approved an urban planning study for a new district to be created at the Žižkov Freight Station (Nákladové nádraží Žižkov) brownfield in Prague 3. They also decided to prepare architectural competitions for an elementary school and for public spaces, including a large park; and approved the study of the street Jarovská třída, which will connect the new development with the future city ring road. Representatives of the city, Prague 3, and private investors have spent a number of years discussing the study.

Nákladové nádraží Žižkov. (Photo: IPR Praha)
Nákladové nádraží Žižkov. Photo: IPR Praha.

12 Google honors the Zátopeks on their 100th birthday

Today’s Google Doodle honors Czechoslovak athletes Emil Zátopek and Dana Zátopková, both of whom were born on Sept. 19, 1922, and would have been 100 years old today. The Doodle is an image on the front page of Google that changes every day and links to more information. The current Doodle can be seen in Czechia, Slovakia, Greece, Bulgaria, and Iceland. In the 1952 Olympics, Dana Zátopková won a gold medal in the women's javelin throw one hour after her husband, Emil Zátopek, won the men's 5,000-meter run. The couple broke a combined 35 world records throughout their career.

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