Construction on Prague's newest bridge to begin this summer

Plus: Police investigate shooting in Czech hospital and unemployment continues to fall in May.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 07.06.2022 17:05:00 (updated on 08.06.2022) Reading time: 8 minutes

June 8, 2022

PRAGUE Capital to begin building Cubist bridge in August

The Dvorecký Bridge, which will connect Prague 4 with Prague 5, should start construction at the end of August or the beginning of September. It should be completed at the turn of 2024 and 2025. The bridge over the Vltava, which will serve trams, buses, cyclists, and pedestrians, will be built by the city for 1.075 billion crowns. There are still nineteen bridges over the Vltava in Prague.

The eastern outlet of the bridge will be at Žluté lázně north of Jeremenkova Street, the western one will be near the Lihovar tram stop. According to the deputy, the construction of the bridge should begin on the side of Smíchov. The final name of the new bridge is still being discussed.

SHOOTING Police investigate shooting in Czech hospital

Police are investigating a shooting incident that took place this morning in Trinec hospital. No one was injured and two people were detained, a spokeswoman for the Moravia-Silesia police said. One gunshot was heard after a conflict between a shooter and the security service of the healthcare facility. The police riot unit detained two people. Both were inebriated. The shot was fired after a verbal and physical conflict between the security guard of the facility and one of the detained men who opened fire.

ECONOMY Unemployment fell to 3.2 percent in May

Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell by another tenth of a percentage point to 3.2 percent in May. There are 235,468 job seekers in the register of labor offices, 8,190 less than in April. The number of job vacancies decreased by about 7,000 compared to the previous month, with employers offering 337,331 jobs. The new data published today by the Labor Office of the Czech Republic is in line with analysts' estimates. Last May, unemployment in the Czech Republic was 3.9 percent. The labor market continues to be affected by seasonal work, which is in full swing,

According to available sources, a total of 68,885 citizens gained work in the Czech Republic since the Russian invasion of Ukraine; at the end of May, 56,388 Ukrainians were currently working in the Czech Republic with temporary protection. Most of them in the Pilsen and Central Bohemia regions and in Prague. On average, there are 0.7 applicants per vacancy in the Czech Republic. Prague has the lowest unemployment rate while the mining region of Karviná has the most.

POLICE Dozens hospitalized after exposure to unknown substance

Rescuers treated 33 people following the leak of an unknown substance at a housing estate in Jablonec nad Nisou Tuesday night. Nine firefighters and two police officers were among those treated, the Czech Police said on Twitter. 

While all of those affected remained conscious, those with respiratory difficulties were transported to neighboring hospitals as a precaution. Officials are still awaiting the results of an analysis of the substance. The leak was reported to the fire department by one of the residents of the building around 7 pm.

equality Zeman would veto same-sex marriage law

During talks with Hungarian President Katalina Nováková Tuesday, Czech President Miloš Zeman said he would veto a law that would allow same-sex marriages. Following the meeting, he told reporters that not only from a linguistic point of view does the word marriage imply a union between a man and a woman be that he would support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. 

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Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies and the co-sponsor of the marriage equality amendment, Markéta Pekarová Adamová (TOP 09) said Zeman's opinion is irrelevant as his second presidential term ends in March next year. An amendment to the Civil Code that would allow same-sex marriage as of next year has been put forward in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament.

POLITICS Macron and Fiala talk Ukraine, energy security

In their talks at the Elysee Palace in Paris Tuesday night, French President Emmanuel Macron and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala agreed on the importance of the EU Council presidency that France will pass on to Czechia from July 1. The leaders also discussed energy security, support for nuclear power, and ending energy reliance on Russia. Fiala said he envisions the two countries partnering in the areas of defense and high-speed trains, the latter of which France boasts expertise in, he said. An honorary guard in ceremonial uniforms greeted the Czech PM upon arrival. The French and Czech flags flew above the heads of both statesmen who were on first-name terms.

TECH EU to introduce single charger for mobile phones or tablets

A single charger will be enough to charge all phones or tablets sold in the countries of the European Union from the autumn of 2024. Member States agreed with MEPs on Tuesday that electronics manufacturers will need to adapt their products to the USB-C standard. The directive, which aims to make life easier for consumers and reduce the amount of electronic waste, has received widespread support despite the opposition of the dominant American electronics manufacturer Apple. The agreement must be formally confirmed by the EP plenary and the Member States in the coming weeks.

Real estate Average mortgage rate rose to 5.71 in June

The average mortgage rate at the beginning of June was 5.71 percent and has risen by 0.38 percentage points over the last month. The growth rate has slightly slowed, according to new data from the Fincentrum Hypoindex. Since the spring, the mortgage rate has been calculated using a new methodology based on data from the fifth working day of each month. The methodology reflects the current average mortgage offer rate for 80 percent of the property value.

June 7, 2022

Crime Trial date set for subsidy fraud case involving Babiš

The Prague Municipal Court will begin its proceedings on the Čapí hnízdo case, which sees former prime minister Andrej Babiš and his aide Jana Nagyová accused of subsidy fraud, on Sept. 12. A judge dismissed Babiš’s request for a preliminary hearing, SeznamZprávy reports. If convicted, Babiš and Nagyová face up to 10 years in prison. Babiš called the case a "fabricated and calculated attempt to criminalize" him, and noted that the trial date falls just before Senate and local elections. The public prosecutor is seeking a three-year suspended sentence with five years probation for both Babiš and Nagyová and fines of CZK 10 million and CZK 500,000 respectively.

Politics Czech and Hungarian presidents praise V4 cooperation

President Miloš Zeman is against the loosening of cooperation within the Visegrád Four group, comprising the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland, he told journalists after meeting his Hungarian counterpart Katalin Novák today. He said today's conversation at Prague Castle related to bilateral cooperation in the arms industry and energy production. Novák praised the cooperation among the Visegrád Four and said she believed it would continue in the future. The Czech Republic and Hungary are joined by a long-term friendship, Novák said. She added that Zeman's value system resembled her own values. Their discussion also touched on the war in Ukraine. Both presidents agreed on condemning the Russian aggression. "I appreciate the aid that the Czech Republic provided to many refugees," Novák said.

LGBTQ+ Same-sex marriage amendment proposed in lower house

An amendment to the Civil Code that would allow same-sex marriage as of next year has been put forward in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament. The motion was signed by one deputy from each of five political groups: Mayors and Independents (STAN), TOP 09, the Pirates, the Civic Democratic Party (ODS), and ANO. It was not supported by any lawmaker from the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) or Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

Under the legislation, same-sex spouses would have the same rights as those of the opposite sex including shared property, eligibility for widow's and widower's pension, and parental rights. The bill must be debated and approved before being sent to the Senate. President Miloš Zeman, however, said today he would veto the law and would instead back a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of man and woman.

Crime Police catch couple wanted over stabbing incident

Czech Police have detained a couple wanted in connection with a stabbing incident that occurred last week in Prague’s Vršovice neighborhood. The police stopped a woman today at the Florenc metro station, and after checking her identification discovered she was wanted. Because she was traveling with a dog, the police asked her to call someone to take care of the dog. The man who arrived was also the subject of a manhunt and was arrested as well. The woman was accused of making dangerous threats and faces two years in prison, and her partner is accused of attempted murder and faces 20 years. The stabbing incident was a dispute over a mobile phone. The victim collapsed on the sidewalk after being stabbed several times and was taken to a hospital.

Agriculture Farmers' protest march will limit traffic in Prague

Due to a planned protest march by farmers on Wednesday, traffic will be restricted around Wenceslas Square and in other locations. Representatives of the Czech Agrarian Chamber, the Czech Agricultural Union, and trade unions will hold a protest meeting in the morning in Lucerna Palace, where the unions also invited representatives of the governing coalition. They want to express their dissatisfaction with the government's decision to change how farm subsidies are allocated. In the afternoon, a protest march to the government office will take place; the unions have not yet announced a specific route. Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Marian Jurečka will attend the meeting at Lucerna because Agriculture Minister Zdeněk Nekula is in Covid quarantine.

Covid Health Minister: Covid re-vaccination will be free in the autumn

Re-vaccination against Covid-19 will be covered by the public health insurance for all in the Czech Republic at least this autumn, while the most suitable time for a booster dose is from the end of August until mid-October, Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said. The Health Ministry is negotiating the purchase of further vaccines that might be bought jointly for the entire EU and would like to agree on it by July, he added. The vaccination must start at the end of August or the beginning of September, as the most dangerous period is from end-October to February, so the risk groups should be fully vaccinated by mid-October, Válek said. Read more in our Covid update.

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