Eurostat: Czechia had fourth-highest inflation in the EU

Plus: Sawmill burns down overnight, body found in rubble of exploded house, police to deal with Poděbrady mayor’s anti-Roma comments, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 18.07.2022 16:38:00 (updated on 19.07.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

Economy Czechia had fourth-highest inflation in the EU

Annual inflation in the European Union was a record 9.6 percent in June 2022, up from 8.8 percent year on year in May. A year earlier, the annual inflation rate was 2.2 percent, according to EU statistical arm Eurostat. The Czech Republic has the fourth-highest inflation in the EU, at 16.6 percent. The top three spots went to the Baltic countries: Estonia at 22 percent, Lithuania at 20.5 percent, and Latvia at 19.2 percent. On the other hand, the lowest inflation is in Malta at 6.1 percent, followed by France at 6.5 percent and Finland at 8.1 percent. The biggest contributors to inflation in June were energy; followed by food, alcohol, and tobacco; services; and non-energy industrial goods.

COVID New variant that is resistant to antibodies confirmed in Czechia

Czechia has seen the first case of a new coronavirus subvariant BA.2.76, which is closely related to the BA.2.75 subvariant, also called Centaur, and a previous coronavirus infection probably does not protect against it, the National Institute of Public Health (SZÚ) said. The Centaur subvariant has not yet been confirmed in the Czech Republic. Currently, 96 percent of the positive tests are made up of the more infectious subvariants of the Omicron , BA.5 and BA.

Accessible foreign data show that the BA.2.76 subvariant is resistant to antibodies gained by the previous Covid disease. Not even the immunity gained from the Omicron infection, especially BA.1 variant, is sufficiently effective either. Read more in our Covid update.

Tragedy Sawmill burns down in Hradec Králové region

The damage from the night fire at a sawmill in Rokytnice in the Hradec Králové region will run into millions of crowns. Firefighters managed to put out the fire, which also affected the residential area, after over six hours. Firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire. One firefighter was slightly injured while extinguishing the fire. Firefighters arrived at 10 p.m. on Monday, and the fire was already in advanced stages. It was completely extinguished by 4:35 a.m. The fire reached the third highest level of alarm out of four, and 14 units responded. The cause of the fire is not known.

Tragedy Body found in rubble of house that exploded

The police have established the identity of a deceased man found in the ruins of a house destroyed by an explosion in Olšany in the Olomouc region. Police announced that he was a 57-year-old resident of the house. The victim was found with the help of canine experts after eight hours of trying to clear the rubble on Monday evening. The terraced house was demolished by the detonation, and two other houses in the neighborhood were also affected. Another two dozen houses were damaged. Preliminary damage was calculated at CZK 10 million.

Crime Police to deal with Poděbrady mayor’s anti-Roma comments

Poděbrady Mayor Jaroslav Červinka's controversial comments on Roma people will be dealt with by the police, news server reported, adding that the police have received several criminal complaints in this respect. The Central Bohemia police, under the public prosecutor's supervision, will inquire into whether Červinka might have committed a crime. Červinka made an anti-Roma comment after a traffic accident and later apologized. For the crime of the defamation of a nation, race, ethnic or other group of people, or for the crime of fomenting hatred towards a group of people or restricting their rights and freedom, courts can impose a sentence of up to three years in prison.

On Sunday, Červinka said he was leaving the Mayors and Independents (STAN) movement for which he had been running reelection in the upcoming local elections in Poděbrady. He did not rule out running as an independent candidate.  

EU presidency Accession talks launched with Albania, North Macedonia

The European Union has officially launched the accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after the talks with both countries' prime ministers and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Czechia now holds the six-month EU presidency. Both sides will start working on these Balkan states' adaptation to the EU rules today already. Fiala said both countries have their European future within easy reach and their integration will strengthen the EU.

Election Fourteen presidential bidders launch pages with election account

Fourteen candidates in the Jan. 13–14, 2023, Czech presidential election have launched web pages with a transparent election account, the authority supervising the campaign has stated. The 14 candidates include retired general Petr Pavel, former Energy Regulatory Office (ERÚ) chairwoman Alena Vitásková, former Charles University rector Tomáš Zima, entrepreneur and mathematician Karel Janeček, Senator Marek Hilšer, former Mendel University Rector Danuše Nerudová, trade union leader Josef Středula, and former senator Libor Michálek. The supervisory authority will monitor campaign spending and can levy fines for violations.

July 18, 2022

politics Taiwanese parliament chairman comes for visit to Prague

The chairman of the parliament of Taiwan, You Si-Kun, came for a three-day visit to the Czech Republic, during which he and the parliamentary delegation will discuss cooperation in business, culture, and technology. Czech Senate head Miloš Vystrčil and You Si-Kun agreed that it is important to maintain democracy and also take care of territorial integrity. "Both countries are democratic countries that share common values ​​and should support each other," Vystrčil said. He described the visit of the Taiwanese delegation as symbolic. It is expected that the meeting between Czech politicians and representatives of the island country will be criticized by mainland China, which considers Taiwan to be its province. 

economy National debt rose to CZK 2.7 trillion

The state debt rose to CZK 2.7 trillion in the first half of the year, an increase of CZK 242 billion, ČT24 reports. According to information published by the Ministry of Finance, hypothetically, each Czech has a debt of approximately CZK 257,000.

The national debt is made up of the government's debts and arises primarily from the accumulation of state budget deficits. It is financed by treasury bills, government bonds, direct loans, and loans from the European Investment Bank.

fraud Financial office seizes CZK 2 billion in 2021

The Czech Financial Analytical Office (FAÚ) seized CZK 2.03 billion from fraudulent transactions last year, approximately CZK 1.9 billion less interannually. There were also a record number of suggestions for opening an investigation. The authors of the FAÚ report said that the number of suggestions had doubled in the past five years, reaching 5,693 complaints this year. The Finance Ministry noted that 2021 was significantly influenced by the coronavirus pandemic. 

ACCIDENT Blast demolishes house, damages other houses in Central Moravia

An explosion demolished a terraced house and damaged some nearby houses in Olšany in the Olomouc region. Two people who were passing or driving by are reportedly injured. Two dozen houses in the vicinity have broken windows. Police and firefighters are on the scene. According to the police information so far, the house was under renovation, It is not yet clear whether anyone was in it. Due to the incident, the police have sealed off the area and a motorway exit over the accident.

real estate Indebted party selling Lann Palace in Prague's center

Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) will sell Lanna Palace in the center of Prague to the current tenant, Finep, for CZK 201 million, CNN Prima reports. News server Seznam Zprávy server wrote in March that the ČSSD wants to get rid of debts from the past, which make it impossible for the party to do any political activity. At the time, ČSSD had obligations of over CZK 200 million on its current account with Fiobanka and was paying over CZK 1 million a month in interest alone.

prague Water supply shutdowns announced for Tuesday

Prague Waterworks and Sewerage announced an overview of the planned shutdowns in the supply of drinking water for July 19. The list of the streets affected by repairs and maintenance work can be found here.

LAW Amendment proposes test driving license and increased fines

Minister of Transport Martin Kupka presented a draft amendment to the Road Traffic Act. It includes the possibility of driving from the age of 17 under the supervision of a mentor and a clearer adjustment of penalty points according to the seriousness of the offense committed. Fines for serious traffic offenses could increase up to CZK 25,000 from 2024 instead of up to CZK 20,000 today. The draft amendment is now heading for comment proceedings.

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