Prague’s Vltava Philharmonic Hall to cost twice the original estimate

Plus: Babiš challenges Fiala to run for president, thousands of households without power after storm, three dead bodies found in house in East Bohemia.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 13.06.2022 16:55:00 (updated on 14.06.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

June 14, 2022

Developement Vltava Philharmonic concert hall to cost twice the original estimate

The costs of the planned new Vltava Philharmonic Hall in Prague are now estimated at CZK 9.4 billion, VAT not including, almost double last year's estimate of CZK 4.9 billion, according to a document approved by the City Council approved today, confirming the results of the architecture contest. The winner, declared in mid-May, is the Danish architectonic studio Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG). All of the competing bids exceeded the originally estimated costs by between CZK 6.5 billion and CZK 11.5 billion, the city said. The increase in the estimated costs as against the January 2020 estimate is due to the rising prices of construction works and materials, the originality of the chosen design, and an increase in the floor area by 15 percent.

The costs of the necessary arrangements of the given site near the Vltavska metro station, such as the reconstruction of the Vltava embankment and the metro vestibule and other infrastructure, are estimated at CZK 2.9 billion. According to previous information, the preparation of the plan of the projects will cost another CZK 780 million. The building is to be completed in 2032.

Politics Babiš challenges Fiala to run for president

Former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš told news server Deník.cz that he would like to face Prime Minister Petr Fiala in the presidential election. "Mr. Fiala should run, and if he did, I would go for it," Babiš said. Babiš is widely expected to run for the presidency but has not declared his candidacy yet. It has been only a few months since Babiš lost to Fiala lost in the parliamentary elections. Petr Fiala said he was said to be amused by the challenge. “I think that Andrej Babiš wants to run for president. Just for some strange reason, he doesn't want to admit it yet. … It really doesn't depend on me. I will do what I promised people and what I gained their trust for,” Fiala said.

Safety Ještěd cable car investigation will take several months

The investigation of the fall of a cable car last year in Ještěd in Liberec, during which a guide died, will take months. According to spokesman Martin Drápal, the railway inspection is waiting for an expert opinion. The suspended cableway has been out of operation since the end of October last year when one of the two cabins fell after the tow rope broke. The tow rope, which weighs three tons, is replaced after 10 to 15 years. According to ČTK data, the last time this happened was in the spring of 2016. Last year's accident was the first such in the history of this cable car, which is owned by Czech Railways. It has been in operation since the end of June 1933.  

Weather Thousands of households without power after storm

 After strong afternoon storms yesterday, several thousand households in the Czech Republic found themselves without power, especially in the Vysočina region, in the south of Moravia, and in the Plzeň region. Energy company recorded thousands of households in Vysočina and South Moravia without power and nine high-voltage line failures. The most affected areas were the Jihlava district in the Vysočina region and the Břeclav region in southern Moravia. ČEZ said there was a failure of a high-voltage line in the Plzeň region causing loss of power to hundreds of households in the Rokycany district without electricity. Firefighters mainly removed fallen trees in dozens of places that complicated traffic on roads and railways.  

Crime Three dead bodies found in house in East Bohemia

The police are investigating the supposed violent death of three people whose bodies were found in a house this afternoon, the police tweeted. Nova TV reported that a man killed a woman and a child and committed suicide, but the police did not confirm the information. "There is no more danger to anyone," the police wrote. Three dead bodies were found in a house, the police said, declining to add more information. The incident occurred in Javornice, a small town with some 1,000 people located some six kilometers east of Rychnov nad Kněžnou.

Covid Czech scientists create air filter against coronavirus

Scientists from the University of Pardubice have developed a personal air filter against coronavirus, with effects comparable to the FFP3 respirators. It is made of available materials and can be carried in a small backpack, the university told media. The filter can be used, for example, by doctors in developing countries to reduce the risk of infection during the treatment of patients. The material used to make the filter is chemically and thermally resistant, and is also mechanically stable, unlike the materials used in respirators. It is washable. A paper on the design has been published by U.S. peer-reviewed journal PLOS One.

Elderly Police dealt with 2,200 crimes against seniors in 2021

The police investigated some 2,181 crimes committed against the elderly over 65 last year, which is a similar figure to 2020. The figure entailed some 1,100 thefts, 221 cases of bodily harm, and 39 cases of maltreatment. Almost 3,300 such incidents, mainly thefts, occurred in 2019, the crime prevention section at the Interior Ministry said. However, experts on aging say that only a small number of elderly victims reported the wrongdoing they experienced. The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day falls on June 15.

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June 13, 2022

Ukraine Ministry dealing with transport of body of a Czech killed in Donbas

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is intensively dealing with the situation with the transport of the body of a Czech killed in Donbas, reports ČTK. The Office handles the matter as a standard consular case, it does not want to comment on it. The man lost his life in a fight with the Russian army on Friday. According to available information, he was the first of the Czech volunteers to join the Ukrainian armed forces. According to information from social networks, the victim was a man from Třebíč. Czech Television stated that he died after being hit by a mortar grenade, and that he worked in Ukraine for several months. 

ARCHITECTURE Austria casts second-largest bell in Czechia for Prague

After several months of preparation in the Grassmayr bell workshop in Innsbruck, a large bell weighing 9,801 kilograms. The bell #9801 and the initiative of the same name commemorate bells that were requisitioned during the Second World War. The inscription on the casing also communicates this mission: "I speak with the voice of thousands of bells silenced by war." The bell will arrive in the capital in August and be placed on Rohan Island, from which it was taken in 1942 to the Hamburg factories.

environment Czech-Polish agreement on Turow mine partly fulfilled

Twenty out of 90 points of the Czech-Polish agreement on the Polish lignite mine Turow have been fulfilled, Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková said after the first meeting of the Czech-Polish commission today. The underground barrier that is to stop the outflow of water from the Czech Republic will be finished by June 30, the minister said.

Poland plans to continue and gradually extend the Turow mine until 2044, and it gave a go-ahead to the extension regardless of the objections of the neighboring Czech Republic and Germany. Czechia and Poland signed the bilateral agreement on the mine, agreeing on 45 million euros in compensation for the damage caused by the mining in Turow and five-year supervision conducted by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

politics EC fines Czechia over agricultural subsidies

The European Commission has fined the Czech Republic more than CZK 85 million for errors in agricultural subsidies. It also includes sanctions for former prime minister Andrej Babiš's conflicts of interest. The Czech Republic must pay roughly CZK 1.1 million for this irregularity. Czechia can appeal the decision to the EU Court of Justice within two months. An audit of Babiš's conflict of interest took place in the Czech Republic at the beginning of 2019. The former prime minister has long denied the mistakes.

weather Strong thunderstorms hit Czech Republic

After a tropical Sunday, very strong storms hit the Czechia. They occurred, for example, in the Olomouc region and also west of Prague. Thunderstorms are already causing damage in some places. Meteorologists expected a rare occurrence of strong storms with gusts of wind around 70 kilometers per hour and, to a lesser extent, hail and torrential rain. They issued warnings until 20:00 for the entire Czech Republic, with the exception of the north and southwest of Bohemia. 

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