The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Sept. 20, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 20.09.2022 18:16:00 (updated on 20.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Czech Senate says yes to price caps for gas and electricity

The Czech Senate has adopted an amendment that will allow the government to set maximum prices for electricity and gas. The amendment to the Energy Act also needs to be signed by the president before it comes into effect. The government wants to limit the price of electricity to CZK 6 per kilowatt hour for power electricity and the price of gas to CZK 3 per kilowatt hour, including VAT, for households and small consumers.

Price caps come in response to the soaring energy prices in Czechia. The amendment to the act is also intended to better protect consumers who have variable contracts with prices that are tied to market fluctuations.

2 Goodyear got some bad news from Czechia

A U.S. court ruled Monday that American tire manufacturer Goodyear Tire & Rubber must pay Czech inventor František Hrabal USD 65 million (CZK 1.6 billion), reported. The ongoing legal dispute involves the appropriation of trade secrets for Hrabal's self-inflating tires. Hrabal's company Coda development sued Goodyear and its former engineer Robert Benedict in 2015. The Czech firm said Hrabal met with Goodyear employees in January and June 2009 to talk about a possible collaboration and introducing his ideas into production. The jury ruled that Goodyear had acted in bad faith.

3 Striker Schick nabbed Czech football's top honor

Patrik Schick, a Czech striker for Bundesliga's Leverkusen, has won the Golden Ball journalists' poll for the best Czech footballer of the season for the first time in his career, followed by midfielder Tomas Soucek, from West Ham, the winner in 2020 and 2021, ČTK reported. Schick gained worldwide fame in 2021 for his second goal for the Czech Republic against Scotland in the UEFA European Football Championship. Pundits say it ranks among the best goals in football history.

Patrik Schick playing for the Czech Republic at Euro 2020 / photo via Facebook, Patrik Schick
Patrik Schick playing for the Czech Republic at Euro 2020. Photo: Facebook, Patrik Schick

4 Brno hits play on annual edition of 'Serial Killer'

The only Czech festival devoted to streaming and television series, Serial Killer: the International Festival of Television and Web Series, began its fifth edition today with a new crop of small-screen offerings hailing mostly from European countries, Cineuropea reports. This year's offerings include dramas and mysteries from Ukrainian, Serbian, and Estonian directors. The cherry on top is Czech director David Ondříček's highly anticipated period biopic miniseries "The King of Šumava: The Phantom of the Dark Land," which will compete in the main competition.

5 Players in Troja footbridge disaster acquitted

Designer Jiří Stráský and Antonín Semecký, former head of the bridge section of the Technical Road Administration (TSK), were acquitted of charges connected to the collapse of Prague's Troja footbridge in 2017. The appeals court upheld the previous verdict today. Both men faced two to eight years in prison for endangering public safety. According to the indictment, water had leaked into the footbridge since it began operation in 1984. Stráský was accused of making design errors while Semecký made a gross mistake by approving the bridge. The footbridge collapsed on Dec. 2, 2017. Four people were injured in the accident, two of them seriously.

6 Forty percent of Czech drivers need glasses

Almost 40 percent of all drivers in the Czech Republic should wear glasses or contact lenses a new survey by the Transport Ministry has revealed. One-fifth of them, however, don't bother to use them while driving a car and up to half of cyclists ignore vision issues. The survey, commissioned by road safety firm Besip, shows that 61 percent of drivers declare some visual impairment, most often short-sightedness, followed by poor night vision and longsightedness. Many drivers neglect regular vision checks as well.

Design for the Vltava Philharmonic Hall. Image: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).
Design for the Vltava Philharmonic Hall. Image: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG).

7 New concert hall will cost Prague a pretty penny

The Prague City Council today confirmed that the planned new concert hall will be entrusted to the Danish studio Bjarke Ingels Group, the winner of the international architectonic competition, and that the completion of the design documents alone will cost CZK 1.02 billion (without VAT). Last spring, city officials estimated the design costs at CZK 780 million. The construction costs are estimated at CZK 9.4 billion; the project should be completed in 2032. The new hall will be located near the Vltavska metro stop on the left bank of the Vltava and will house the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and the Prague Symphony Orchestra.

8 Iconic apartment reopens after extensive renovation

Architect Adolf Loos's most significant building project in Plzeň, the Semler residence, will reopen for guided tours on Sept. 23. It had been closed for four years due to renovations. Loos designed the multi-level apartment in 1932 one year before his death. It is considered a key example of modern architecture in Central Europe. The renovation cost CZK 110 million, with CZK 30 million covered by EU subsidies and CZK 80 million paid by the Plzeň region.

9 Most Czechs are tightening their belts after price increases

The current increase in prices is felt by 94 percent of Czechs, and more than a third of Czechs say they feel the budget tightening strongly, an August survey conducted by the research agency Median for Broker Consulting shows. Food, fuel, and energy are areas that are highest hit by price increases. Three-quarters of Czechs are worried about the impact of inflation on their households' finances. Half of those who are experiencing a wave of price increases have significantly reduced their spending in an effort to improve their financial situation and another 40 percent plan to do so. Nine out of 10 Czechs say they're tightening their belts even more due to inflation.

10 Granny summer is coming

Czechs will have a "Granny Summer" in the latter half of September. In a monthly forecast released this week, meteorologists from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute said it should follow the current rainy spell. At the turn of September and October, the temperature should reach maximums even up to 24°C. The Czech expression "Babí léto" translates as “granny summer," a potential reference to the fine cobwebs conspicous at the end of summer and in the fall, often on trees or shrubs. These are reminiscent of the gray strands in an old woman’s hair.

11 Help Prague Zoo by giving them your broken phone

Prague Zoo is collecting old phones and tablets that need to be recycled. The zoo will get CZK 10 for each item from electronics recycling firm Rema Systems. The money will be used to help gorillas and other endangered species. In addition to a competition for groups of children to collect items, individuals can drop off the electronics at collection points at the zoo entrance, and receive a sticker in return.

12 Czech billionaire to run British National Lottery

Czech billionaire Karel Komárek’s company Allwyn Entertainment has received a 10-year license to operate Britain’s National Lottery. They will take over as of February 2024. The decision was finalized by Gambling Commission today. They had approved the deal in the spring but the firm Camelot, which ran the lottery for 30 years, appealed the decision. Allwyn Entertainment already runs lotteries in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Greece. Allwyn previously said it hopes to at least double the amount of money allocated for charitable causes.

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