The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

News, tips, and top stories for Prague and the Czech Republic on Sept. 30, 2022. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 30.09.2022 17:00:00 (updated on 30.09.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

1 Czech economy grew but real income fell

The Czech economy grew by 3.7 percent year-on-year in the second quarter 2022, according to updated data from the Czech Statistical Office (ČSÚ). Compared to the previous quarter, the gross domestic product was 0.5 percent higher. The basis for comparison was lower than normal because measures against the spread of the coronavirus were in effect last year.

The ČSÚ also said that according to seasonally adjusted data, the real household incomes fell by 1.2 percent quarter-on-quarter and by 8.1 percent compared to last year's second quarter. Real income takes into account inflation, as well as increases in wages.

czech currency money peníze Kč kc banka bank iStock-1147967630  credit johan10 Stock photo ID1147967630 CROP
czech currency money peníze Kč kc banka bank iStock-1147967630 credit johan10 Stock photo ID1147967630 CROP

2 Czech police arrested 19 human traffickers at Slovak border

The Czech police arrested 11 human traffickers and found 247 migrants in South Moravia during the first 24 hours after their checks at the Slovak border started, and further eight traffickers and 80 migrants were found between midnight and early morning today. Czechia has introduced the checks due to the rising illegal migration, mostly of Syrians from Turkey. Police patrols have been carrying out the checks at 17 road border crossings, seven rail, and three river crossings since Thursday.

3 EU energy officials reach energy agreement

EU energy ministers have reached an agreement on measures to reduce high electricity prices. These will include a mandatory reduction in demand for electricity, a ceiling on the profits of producers making electricity from renewable sources, and a solidarity contribution from fossil fuel producers. The Czech presidency of the EU Council announced the agreement on Twitter.

"We live in exceptional times and are working in an exceptionally fast, coordinated, and solidary manner to form a united front against Russia’s continuous weaponizing of energy supplies. The agreement reached today will bring relief to European citizens and companies," Czech Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela said. EU member states are free to choose how to reduce electricity demand.

4 Imperial Chinese treasure will go on display in Prague

An exhibition of Chinese imperial treasures will take place in Prague at the end of 2024 and the start of 2025. It will include bronzes, calligraphy, paintings, documents, carved stone, ceramics, clothing, and decorative objects. The objects were transported from mainland China to Taiwan in 1948. The show is made possible by newly-established cooperation between the Czech National Museum and Taiwan’s National Palace Museum. The memorandum on cooperation was signed in Taiwan. The two sister entities will work together on academic projects, exhibitions, and research fellowships. 

5 On this Day in 1938 the 'Munich Betrayal' was signed

In the early hours of Sept. 30, 1938, representatives of Britain, France, and Italy agreed with Nazi Germany dictator Adolf Hitler that Czechoslovakia would give up control of the Sudetenland, the border regions where 3 million ethnic Germans lived. While the deal is called the Munich Agreement in English, the Czech name for it is more blunt: the Munich Betrayal (Mnichovská zrada).

The agreement was meant to keep German dictator Adolf Hitler from making further territorial demands. As history shows, though, it was a failure. World War II would break out 11 months later.

The real Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich in 1938. Photo: National Archives of Poland.
Then-British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returning from Munich in 1938. Photo: National Archives of Poland.

6 The second round of voting in Senate elections starts today

Czechs are heading to the polls once more today and tomorrow to elect 24 senators, ČTK reports. Three candidates crossed the 50 percent threshold to win the seats outright in the first round of voting that took place last week. After taking the lion's share of votes in the first round, ANO will send the most candidates, namely 17, to compete for the remaining seats.

The election will also determine if Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), who is up for re-election, can continue in his role as speaker of the Senate. The government parties will continue to have a majority in the Senate, irrespective of the result of the second round.

7 A Czech city got a guláš giveaway ahead of elections

In related electoral news, this week Jihlava became the epicenter of the political battle between ANO candidate Jana Nagyová and Miloš Vystrčil (ODS), Denik N reports. Both candidates organized events that featured free beer, free food (guláš or pancakes), music, and entertainment for children.

Former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš made an appearance at Nagyová's rally to endorse his former adviser, who stands accused of subsidy fraud and damaging the financial interests of the European Union.

8 Ministry of Health reports reveal psychiatric care violations

Reports written by a Ministry of Health commission in 2018 reveal serious human violations at the Psychiatric Hospital in Opava that have been kept silent for years, iRozhlas reports. The reports recently became public after repeated Freedom of Information requests. They contain findings in the area of ​​human rights violations, such as restrictions on freedom for up to two weeks, the use of medication as a form of punishment, overcrowded patient accommodations, and shouting by staff.

9 Czechia must pay a Roma man wrongfully labeled special needs

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) published details of an out-of-court settlement in a discrimination case against a Czech Roma man, reports. Jaroslav Suchý agreed to receive EUR 4,000 (almost CZK 100,000) in compensation for being wrongfully placed in an institution for children with special needs in 1985 because he was Roma.

In recent years, ECHR upheld the complaints that 18 Czech Roma filed against Prague for being placed in special institutions based on their ethnicity.

10 September saw recording breaking weather in Czechia

Some parts of the Czech Republic saw twice as much rain in September than usual, Česká televize reports. Local farmers were unhappy with the weather conditions, which made the harvest of corn and the sowing of winter cereals difficult. The month was one of the coldest and rainiest in the last 20 years, according to climatologists. All hope is not lost yet for babí léto (granny summer), as meteorologists expect temperatures to go up in the middle of next week.

11 Ukraine thanks Czechia for help in a stirring video

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense thanked the Czech Republic for its support since the start of the Russian invasion in February. The message was part of a new video shared on social media on Sept. 28, the day of Czech statehood.

The video shows footage from the Russian invasion of Ukraine this year next to archival images of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968.

12 Pirates at odds with coalition partners over weed legalization

The Pirate Party's plans to legalize weed could potentially cause a rift in the ruling coalition, reports. Marek Výborný from Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) denied that the government coalition was on the same page on the matter after the Pirates announced on social media that Legalization will happen. 

"We agreed on this in the government coalition," the Pirates said, Výborný said the KDU-ČSL does not oppose the use of marijuana for medical purposes but has reservations about its complete legalization.

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