EC vice president calls for EU unity to battle climate change at Prague meeting

Plus: Fuel prices dropping in the Czech Republic, Lanzhot tornado was over a kilometer long, CEE countries to push for Bosnia's EU membership, and more.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 13.07.2022 17:16:00 (updated on 14.07.2022) Reading time: 7 minutes

EU presidency EC vice president calls for EU unity in climate issues

European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans, responsible for climate policy, called for unity of the EU member states in climate issues in Prague today when he attended the second day of the EU environment ministers' meeting held by the Czech EU presidency. He also told reporters when arriving to the talks that the use of renewable sources must be sped up in the EU in the case of a possible energy crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and he stressed the need of solidarity when it comes to gas.

He also recalled victims of last year's floods and added they were not the first nor the last victims of the climate crisis. “Our policies must prepare for more extreme weather. And one day each year we should all commemorate the lives already lost to this crisis,” he said on Twitter.

Inflation Fuel prices dropping in the Czech Republic

Fuel prices in the Czech Republic fell again compared to the previous week. The pace of discounting accelerated. Natural 95 gasoline is now available CZK 0.31 cheaper at an average of CZK 47.60 per liter. Diesel became cheaper by CZK 0.36 to CZK 47.77 per liter, according to data from CCS, which monitors fuel prices. Gasoline reached a record value at the end of June. The price of diesel has been decreasing since the beginning of July. Despite the drop in prices, fuel in the Czech Republic is still significantly more expensive than a year ago. At that time, drivers paid an average of CZK 13.86 less for a liter of gasoline, while a liter of diesel was cheaper by CZK 16.12.

Security NÚKIB expects an increase in cyber attacks due to EU presidency

The National Office for Cyber and Information Security (NÚKIB) expects more cyber attacks on Czech state institutions due to the Czech presidency of the EU, which started July 1. NÚKIB spokesperson Alena Minxová said the office has tried to increase security and prepare the institutions. In January and May, NÚKIB organized security exercises for representatives of public institutions involved in the Czech presidency, including the Government Office, according to new server Novinky.cz. NÚKIB also verified the level of security with simulated hacker attacks. Czechia is the targeted the fifth-most frequently for cyberattacks of any country in Europe.

EU CEE countries call for Bosnia's EU candidate status

Five Central European countries, including the Czech Republic, called on the European Union to give Bosnia and Herzegovina the EU candidate status at yesterday's meeting of the C5 in Budapest, German news agency dpa reported. Apart from the Hungarian foreign minister from the host country, the meeting was also attended by diplomacy heads of Czechia, Slovakia, Austria, and Slovenia. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský and his counterparts called for the topic to be discussed at the October EU summit. The EU leaders gave the candidate status to Ukraine and Moldavia at the EU summit in June. Bosnia, still suffering from the consequences of the 1992–95 war, did not reach the goal despite the support of several member countries led by Slovenia.

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Weather Lanzhot tornado was over a kilometer long

The tornado that hit 30 houses in Lanzhot in mid-June was about 1.1 kilometers long, 100 meters wide, and had a speed of up to 170 km per hour, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMÚ) said. Apart from the houses, the Lanzhot tornado damaged a number of trees, cars, and high voltage equipment. The damage has been preliminarily estimated at millions of crowns. The CHMÚ registered another two tornados in Czechia this year: in May near Pardubice and in late June near Sviny, south Bohemia, they were even weaker than that in Lanzhot.

Culture Thousands of museum experts to meet in Prague

Some 3,000 museum professionals and experts from the public as well as private sectors from 124 states will attend the 26th general conference of the International Committee of Museums (ICOM) in Prague on Aug. 20–28 to share their experiences and projects. One of the conference panels is to deal with the impacts of the war in Ukraine, and another one with the protection of cultural heritage in Ukraine. ICOM, established in 1946, holds its general conferences once three years, the previous one was hosted in Kyoto, Japan, in 2019.

July 13, 2022

sanctions Gas not to be part of EU's next Russian sanction package

The European Union is preparing a seventh package of sanctions against Moscow, but it is already clear that it will not curb imports of Russian gas as too many member states are still dependent on it, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said. Measures in the new package of sanctions include a ban on gold imports, a wider list of dual-use goods banned for export to Russia, and more sanctions targeting individuals. The Czech Republic, which took over the EU's rotating six-month presidency on July 1, is one of the countries most dependent on Russia for almost all of its gas. 

disease Czechia has 12 monkeypox cases, 11 in Prague

Public health officers have confirmed the 12th case of monkeypox in the Czech Republic. While 11 cases are in Prague, including the last one, one is in the Ústí region. Most of the infected are between 30 and 35 years old. The latest infected person experienced such symptoms at the beginning of July as painful urination, rash, and blisters on certain body parts as well as fever.

The Czech Health Ministry stated last week that the European Commission acquired monkeypox vaccines and the Czech Republic shall receive 2,800 doses. Blanket vaccination is not being planned now. The country will keep the vaccines in case the situation gets worse and will provide them for those in risk groups.

events The Colours of Ostrava festival has begun

The Colours of Ostrava festival has started in a former iron works in the industrial city in northern Morovia. It will run until July 16. Approximately 90 percent of the venue's capacity is sold out. Headliners include The Killers, Twenty One Pilots, Martin Garrix, and LP. Wednesday evening, the group Cirk La Putyka performed with students of the Kyiv Academy of Theater and Circus Arts as a part of the opening ceremony.

economy Agriculture minister: Food prices will go down

Food prices in domestic stores are soaring, but according to Minister of Agriculture Zdeňko Nekula, they are falling sharply on world exchanges, and people will see the effect in stores in two or three weeks. However, MP Karel Tureček of the opposition ANO movement is not so optimistic and favors price regulation for basic foodstuffs. He believes that rising energy prices will drive food prices.

politics Former PM Babiš must apologise to protesters, court rules

Former prime minister Andrej Babiš, the leader of the opposition ANO movement, must apologize for having said that demonstrators were paid for their protests against his government in 2018, the Prague Regional Court ruled today. The ruling is definitive. The complaint was filed by Jana Filipová, who was one of the demonstrators. At the end of August 2019, Babiš told commercial television station Barrandov TV that the people who booed him in 2018 were hired by political opponents. Babiš's lawyers said he will respect the final verdict, even though he disagrees with it.

phenomenon Czech sky will be lit up with biggest moon of the year

You can catch the largest and brightest full moon of the year tonight. The buck moon will rise at 9:38 p.m. in the southeast of the sky and will be visible until 5:14 a.m. tomorrow morning. If conditions are clear, the moon should have a reddish glow when it rises. It will be 16 percent brighter and 6 percent larger than the average full moon. This is the third supermoon of the year. The final one will be the sturgeon moon on Aug. 12. Supermoons occur when the full moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth in its orbit, according to Space.com.

AWARD Prague wins prestigious 'data Oscar' world award

The Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR Praha) won the President's Award from the geographic data firm Esri at a conference in San Diego. It is one of the world's most prestigious awards in the field of data and geography, and has been compared to the Oscar for cinema. Prague was praised for its long-term work with data and its use for urban planning and for mitigating the effects of climate change.

Animals Prague Zoo welcomes a baby Cape anteater

 A baby Cape anteater was born at Prague Zoo on Sunday shortly after 9 a.m. The three-day-old cub is already active and drinks milk from its mother, Kvída. After birth it weighed 1,450 grams and measured 54 cm in length. Zoo director Miroslav Bobek said the gender of the “little rascal” won’t be known until a DNA test is done. Anteaters are difficult to breed, and the mother has to be monitored for several days after giving birth to ensure she doesn’t injure the baby by accident. The zoo said Kvída, who has already raised three cubs, has been taking good care of the baby so far. The mother and baby are not yet on display to the public.

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