Czech PM Fiala to meet with President Biden in the US

Plus: Universities consider distance learning due to cost of energy, Czechia calls for IAEA mission in Zaporizhzhia plant, and more headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 24.08.2022 17:40:00 (updated on 26.08.2022) Reading time: 7 minutes

August 26, 2022

Diplomacy PM Fiala to visit President Biden in the US

Prime Minister Petr Fiala will likely visit the U.S. before the end of the year, where he will be received by President Joe Biden at the White House, reports Czech server Deník N to which the news was confirmed by the incoming ambassador to the United States, Miloslav Stašek. The exact date has not yet been determined. .

"By the end of this year, when we will chair the Council of the European Union, Prime Minister Fiala could be received in the White House. The end of the year is our ideal scenario, but everything also depends on the time disposition of the American side," Stašek, who is retiring as State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the server.

In the longer term, Czech diplomacy will also strive for Biden's visit to Prague. 

Obituary Czech pop legend passes away at 75

Czech singer Hana Zagorová has died at the age of 75. The popular singer sang almost 900 songs and won the Golden Nightingale nine times between 1977 and 1985. In 1977, she signed the Anticharta, and in June 1989 a petition, in which the Charter 77 movement demanded the release of political prisoners and freedom of speech. She suffered from a condition that required regular blood transfusions.

finance Court declares bankruptcy of Russian Sberbank

The Prague Municipal Court today declared the bankruptcy of Sberbank CZ, which has ties to Russia. It ordered a review hearing on the registered claims for Oct. 6, followed by a meeting of creditors on that day. In bankruptcy, the debtor's assets are sold off and the proceeds are distributed among his creditors.

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The Municipal Court in Prague started insolvency proceedings with Sberbank CZ at the end of July. The application for insolvency was filed by the bank itself. At the end of June, the bank had tens of thousands of creditors, to whom it recorded obligations for CZK 61.762 billion. The bank is insolvent and, according to June data, had obligations that are more than 30 days past due for CZK 42.3 billion.

At the beginning of May, the Czech National Bank (ČNB) legally revoked Sberbank CZ's banking license, and the Prague Municipal Court then sent the bank into liquidation. The ČNB began revoking the license on Feb. 28. The reason was the deterioration of the situation of Sberbank CZ due to the outflow of deposits after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

education Universities consider distance learning due to cost of energy

Czech universities are considering switching to distance learning in the coming winter because of expensive energy costs. According to current price trends, their energy costs will rise from CZK 1.5 billion to approximately CZK 8 billion next year compared to last year. 

According to Milan Pospíšil, chairman of the Council of Higher Education Institutions (RVŠ), the schools will not be able to pay the rising energy prices without the help of the state. Chairman of the Czech Rectors' Conference (ČKR) Martin Bareš is negotiating with government representatives about the possibilities of state aid.

nuclear Czechia calls for IAEA mission in Zaporizhzhia plant

The Czech Foreign Ministry expressed concern over the situation in the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine and called for a mission from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to be sent there as soon as possible.

The last two working reactors of the nuclear plant were cut off from the Ukrainian power network because of a fire that damaged electricity lines, the company that operates the power plant said. It said it believes the reactors will be reconnected to the grid.

prague Construction of the Dvorecký bridge to begin on Sept. 13

Construction of the planned bridge Dvorecký most, which will connect Prague 4 and 5, will begin on Sept. 13 this year. According to earlier statements by city representatives, the construction should be completed at the turn of 2024 and 2025. The bridge over the Vltava will be used by trams, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians.

August 25, 2022

MILITARY Defence Ministry buying Tatra lorries for CZK 1.9 billion

The Czech Defence Ministry signed a contract for the purchase of 209 Tatra lorries for over CZK 1.9 billion on Wednesday and in the days to come it wants to sign another contract for CZK 1.2 billion with the same company. In the latter contract, it will acquire 80 heavy off-road vehicles. The ministry will need to replace hundreds of lorries as the current ones are old.

ukraine Prague celebrated Ukraine's Independence Day

Hundreds of people celebrated the Independence Day of Ukraine in the center of Prague on Wednesday, Aug. 24. They also called to attention that exactly four months passed since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24. People gathered in the upper part of Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square.

Dozens of people carried the blue-yellow Ukrainian flags and banners with anti-Russian slogans, denoting Russia as a terrorist state. Other slogans celebrated the fighting towns in Ukraine and the members of the Azov regiment. Some people were signing a petition calling on the parliament of the Czech Republic to declare Russia a terrorist state.

The Ukrainian anthem was played and several speeches in Ukrainian were delivered on Wenceslas Square. Some participants were wearing national folk costumes to mark the independence anniversary. The participants created a human chain in Old Town Square, at the revived Virgin Mary column. An Orthodox mass was held by a Ukrainian priest at the column's plinth.

Individuals expressing disagreement with the celebrations of Ukraine's independence appeared in both squares. Police officers solved these cases by reprimand.

fuel Gasoline prices dropped, diesel rose

Gasoline in the Czech Republic became cheaper again last week, but diesel became more expensive after weeks of price declines. The price of the best-selling gasoline Natural 95 fell by 34 pennies to CZK 40.32 per liter, while the price of diesel rose by 42 pennies to CZK 42.86. In the following week, according to analysts, drivers might see yet another increase in prices.

weather Strong storms will hit Czechia

The entire Czech Republic will be affected by strong storms today and on Friday, which will be accompanied by torrential rain and hail. Stream levels can rise to flood levels, warns the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ). It had already rained heavily in parts of the country in the previous days, and the levels of some rivers had reached their highest flood stage.

August 24, 2022

EQUALITY Govt. adopts neutral position on marriage equality

The Czech government issued a neutral opinion on the proposed amendment, which is intended to enshrine in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms that marriage is only the union of a man and a woman. It came to light after Wednesday's government meeting, which was reported by the Jsme fér initiative. 

By issuing a neutral opinion the government signals its unwillingness to speak openly against the amendment of the constitution, which could significantly worsen the situation for gay and lesbian couples in the country.

"The government is making it clear that gay and lesbian couples, families with children, their daily lives and the problems they face because of the inability to marry are not more important than the religious beliefs of some politicians," wrote the initiative in a Twitter thread

"Enshrining marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the constitution would not only mean a fundamental worsening of the situation of gay and lesbian families with children, but it could also have a negative impact on other families that do not fit this pattern,"  they write. For example, it could affect not married and single-parent families.

aid Govt. approves cost-saving energy tariff

The government approved a proposal for a so-called energy-saving tariff that will help households with high energy prices. The average amount of energy support will be around CZK 15,000 in total, of which households will receive around CZK 4,000 this year. 

Prime Minister Petr Fiala also said the Czech government has earmarked CZK 177 billion for the total aid to citizens facing high inflation. The cabinet intends to launch an information campaign in September to advise people on where to seek help, he said.

Ukraine Prague will celebrate Ukraine's Independence Day

Due to the war, the Embassy of Ukraine decided to celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine with a cultural event for the public. It will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m in front of the Industrial Palace at Výstaviště. In addition, a human chain of Ukrainians and supporters of Ukraine will begin to form before 7 p.m. on Wenceslas Square as a part of the global initiative. 

The commemoration of Ukraine's Independence Day began in Prague with the unveiling of a statue depicting a hand with V-shaped fingers and nails in Ukrainian colors in front of the Russian Embassy. The country celebrates its independence day exactly half a year after Russia started a war against it. 

diplomacy ForMin summons Russian envoy over terrorism allegations

Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has decided to summon Russian Ambassador Alexander Zmeyevsky, and Deputy Minister Jaroslav Kurfurst has dismissed Russia's terrorism allegations regarding the Czech Republic in the United Nations, Lipavský tweeted today.

The Russian ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, accused Černochová of support for terrorism at a meeting of the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Aug, 23. Nebenzya reacted to Černochová's comment on Twitter, where she wrote, "I feel sorry neither for the daughter nor for the mourning father.“ She said she felt sorry for the thousands of people murdered as a result of their propaganda and repulsive ideology.

art Museum in Liberec unveils 24-meter glass ladder

The North Bohemian Museum in Liberec has a new attraction: a 24-meter-long glass ladder that leads over two floors of the observation tower. Today's ceremonial unveiling premiered the Crystal Valley Week glass festival, which will run in Liberec until Sunday. It will be accompanied by glass installations, exhibitions, and live art shows. 

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