Govt. prepares a special energy tariff to aid households

Plus: Czech cyclist wins the longest bicycle race in the world, WWII veteran Josef Kaufman dies aged 95 years, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 14.07.2022 18:00:00 (updated on 15.07.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

July 15, 2022

economy Mortgage rates rose to 5 percent

The interest rate for newly granted mortgages rose to five percent in June from 4.64 percent in May. The average rate is thus the highest since the middle of 2010. Banks provide mortgage loans for CZK 19.3 billion, a decrease of eight percent compared to May. The year-on-year decline accelerated to 65 percent. "The mortgage market has been weakening in recent months due to the level of interest rates. However, we are seeing even more interest from clients in smaller loans for the reconstruction or improvement of the energy efficiency of their own housing," said the chairman of the Association of Czech Building Savings Companies Libor Vošický.

government Czech President sends condolences over Ivana Trump’s death

President Miloš Zeman has sent his condolences to the three children of the deceased Czech-born Ivana Trump, the first wife of former U.S. President Donald Trump. Ivana Trump died in New York on Thursday. She was 73 years old.

Zeman said Ivana Trump, whom he met several times in the past, was an excellent athlete, a capable businesswoman, and a proud Czech who never forgot about her homeland. He said he highly respected her and remembered her as a kind and cordial woman.

aid Chamber of Deputies approved energy tariff for households

The Chamber of Deputies approved a proposal for a cost-saving tariff, which is intended to help households reduce their electricity and gas bills. Compared to the original government proposal, the version passed by the lower house of Parliament extended the possibility of a contribution from the state budget also for the supply of heat to apartments. The government will decide on the specific form of the tariff, i.e. who will receive it and how much the state's contribution will be. The government will probably determine the details at the turn of July and August.

Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela stated that the amount of the contribution will be fixed, so it is not a percentage aid. The government could set aside over CZK 30 billion for the cost-saving tariff. The upper limit of the state's contribution for electricity and gas was increased by the lower house, just as in the case of heat, to CZK 30,000, while the government originally proposed CZK 20,000.

sports Czech cyclist wins the longest bicycle race in the world

Czech ultramarathoner Dan Polman won the longest cycling race in the world from Norway's North Cape to the Spain's Tarifa with a huge lead. He covered a distance of 7,400 kilometers in 25 days. Despite the fall and injury, he remained at the helm throughout.

tragedy WWII veteran Josef Kaufman dies aged 95 years

War veteran Josef Kaufman died on Monday at the age of 95 years. He was, born in Volhynia, a Czech enclave that is currently part of Ukraine. He took part in battles in World War II at the eastern front with the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps. According to the data from the Memory of Nations project, Kaufman was born in Leduchowka village in Volhynia near the town of Lutsk which belonged to Poland before the war, then it was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939 and two years later, by Nazi Germany.

Science EU space agency's seat in Prague to relocate to Palmovka

The European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) seat will be relocated from Holešovice district to Palmovka in Prague within next three years based on the letter of intent signed by the Prague City Hall and the Finance Ministry. Prague City Hall will prepare the premises for the agency in the yet unfinished New Palmovka center. The EUSPA, established in its current form in 2021 and initially created as the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Supervisory Authority (GSA) in 2004, has been seated in Prague for 10 years. It associates the management of the EU space program operation, including the European satellite and navigation projects.

July 14, 2022

Politics Mayors call on STAN movement to change its name

Some 20 mayors of Czech towns have called on Vít Rakušan, the chairman of the Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement, to change the name of the political group, as they claim it is deceptive and misleading. STAN spokeswoman Sára Beránková told ČTK that the movement does not plan to change its name. The name refers to the fact that the vast majority of STAN representatives have experience in municipal politics, she added. The 20 mayors in a letter claim that STAN does not proportionally have more mayors than other political parties. STAN has recently been hit with scandals, and the mayors say that it is giving them a bad name by association.

Economy European Commission predicts low GDP growth, high inflation

The European Commission said that the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by 2.7 percent this year and 1.5 percent next year. The EC also significantly increased its inflation estimate to 8.3 percent for this year and 4.6 percent next year. The Czech economy is expected to grow by 2.3 percent this year and 2.0 percent next year. Czech inflation is estimated at 13.9 percent this year and 5.8 percent next year. The EC said that supply chain disruptions due to the conflict in Ukraine and higher energy prices were driving inflation.

Weather Strong storms will hit Czechia today

There will be strong storms with wind gusts of around 70 kilometers per hour, possibly with hail, in the Czech Republic this afternoon and evening. During the night it will change to rain, which will gradually stop from the northwest, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) said. A wavy cold front will pass over the country, separating warm air in the south from cold air in the north. Behind it, colder and drier air from the northwest will flow into the Czech Republic. In the afternoon, local thunderstorms will begin to form in the Czech Republic, and in the evening they will spread to the entire country, the ČHMÚ reported.

Temperatures will vary significantly in individual parts of the Czech Republic today. In South Moravia, due to the heat and the current drought, there is a fire warning until further notice.

Covid ÚZIS director: Summer Covid wave reaching its peak

The summer Covid wave is reaching its peak. It will accelerate over the next week to 10 days followed by a gradual drop. Numbers may still remain rather high, the Institute for Health Information and Statistics (ÚZIS) director Ladislav Dušek told Czech Radio. In the past three days, the daily numbers of new confirmed infections were around 2,000. Dušek stated that the real numbers of infected people may be up to five times higher. He says that despite the rapid start of the current wave at the beginning of June, the drop will be rather slow. Currently, the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron now make up more than 89 percent of cases in Czechia. Read more in our Covid update.

Crime Cybercrime increased almost one-fifth last year

Police solved about a quarter of cybercrimes last year. At the same time, their share in total crime has increased over the past 10 years from half a percent to last year's 6.2 percent, police chief Martin Vondrášek. The total number of cybercrimes last year increased by 18 percent to 9,518 cases. The most common cybercrimes were fraud at 42 percent, followed by unauthorized access to and destruction of computer records at 17 percent.  

Borders Sudeten Germans call for close relations with Czechia

Sudeten Germans wish for the closest possible relations between Bavaria and Czechia, the Sudeten German Landsmannschaft (SL) head Bernd Posselt wrote in a press release on the occasion of Bavarian Minister-President Markus Soder's visit to Prague today. He also said that the Sudeten Germans were determined to maintain the role of a natural bridge between the Czech Republic and Germany. Posselt mentioned that even though Soder's meeting with Fiala today is of a rather introductory character, it is important for the neighbors to know each other and trust each other, especially in the intricate time of the Russian invasion.

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