Protesters slam bank's cooperation with Russian fossil industry

Plus: Olympians reclaim bronze from Russia, state of emergency extended over refugee wave, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 19.05.2022 16:53:00 (updated on 20.05.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

May 20, 2022

ACTIVISM Protesters slam bank's cooperation with Russian fossil industry

A dozen activists, supporters of the Stop Dirty Money group, appeared in front of the Raiffeisenbank branch in Prague-Dejvice this morning, demanding that the bank stop supporting the Russian fossil industry, which considerably contributes to the financing of the war in Ukraine.

The group staged a similar protest in April already. In March, Raiffeisenbank International said it was considering leaving Russia in the wake of the Russian military invasion of Ukraine.

OLYMPICS Czech biathlonists have bronze for relay at Sochi Olympics

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has definitively confirmed that Czechs Eva Puskarčíková, Gabriela Soukalová, Jitka Landová, and Veronika Vítková will get bronze medals for the women's biathlon relay at the Sochi Olympics of 2014 now that Russia was disqualified over doping. The Czech team finished fourth in the race, which was won by Ukraine, followed by Russia and Norway. 

All four Czech contestants will receive the bronze medals after having ended their careers. Puskarčíková was the last one to end her career this year. For her and Landová, the bronze will be the only Olympic medal ever won.

COVID Pandemic slows down in Czechia

The Covid pandemic further slows down in Czechia. The number of new Covid cases decreased in Czechia again with 2,201 new infections in the past seven days, almost 1,700 fewer than the previous week, according to the Health Ministry data. The incidence rate in the country is 22 new cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days, while a week ago it was 36. Differences across the 14 regions of the Czech Republic are not high anymore.

POLITICS State of emergency extended until end-June

The state of emergency has been extended until end-June to deal with the refugee wave as well as to fill gas holders. Before the heating season, they are to be filled at four-fifths at least, while now it was at least 30 percent. In the meantime, by July 1, the cabinet wants to push through amendments to the relevant laws that would enable the state to tackle the refugee wave without the need for a state of emergency. According to Vít Rakušan, this is the last extension of the emergency state. A state of emergency is a bureaucratic process that will not affect the population.

EUropean union Czechia to receive CZK 680 million from Brussels

Czechia will receive EUR 27.4 million (almost CZK 680 million) from the EU funds for tackling the wave of Ukrainian refugees, an EC spokeswoman told ČTK, adding that money will also be provided to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. The overall sum the EC will earmark from the EU's internal affairs funds for this purpose is 248 million euros. The money should mainly serve to finance food, transport, and accommodation of the people fleeing from the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

May 19, 2022

Ukraine Zelensky may address Czech parliament

Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil and Chamber of Deputies chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová are conducting talks on having Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky address both houses of Czech parliament, they tweeted today. They said that "everything is on the right path." Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Zelensky has spoken via a video conference link to the parliaments of the UK, Italy, Germany, and Israel, and the U.S. Congress. Last week, he addressed the lawmakers in Slovakia. In his speeches, he usually thanks the countries in question for support, asking them to intensify it. He also speaks about concrete Ukrainian needs and sanctions against Russia.

lawsuit Prosecutor rejects Feri's complaint, investigation continues

The public prosecutor rejected Dominik Feri's complaint against the commencement of criminal prosecution as unfounded, writes According to the server, Feri is accused of rape or attempted rape in the case of three girls, one of whom was underage. He faces up to 12 years in prison. With his complaint rejected, the investigation against Feri will continue.

BROADCASTING EC sues Prague over audiovisual media content rules

The European Commission today filed a lawsuit against the Czech Republic and another four European Union countries for not enforcing new EU rules for audiovisual broadcast content adopted in 2018. The EC asked the EU Court of Justice to set a fine, adding that the Czech Republic has failed to transpose the EU directive into the Czech law. The directive is aimed at improving the protection of child viewers, supporting cultural diversity on television, and extending the definition of unlawful and harmful content to apply to Internet video channels. Along with the Czech Republic, the EC has sued Slovakia, Ireland, Romania, and Spain.

WEATHER Tropical heat on Friday will end with storms

Friday should be the first tropical day in the Czech Republic this year, with high temperatures rising to 30 degrees Celsius. Strong thunderstorms in the evening will mainly affect mainly the northwest and north of Bohemia, but there could be thunderstorms in Prague as well. An alert is in effect for Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. It should rain less on the weekend, and the high temperatures will be a little lower than on Friday, according to the forecast by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ).  

POLITICS Lower house establishing working group to prevent obstruction

The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Czech parliament, will form a working group to prevent obstruction by the opposition from paralyzing the Chamber’s work, chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová told Deník N. The group, which will be headed by lower house deputy chairman Jan Bartošek, will discuss possible changes in the rules of procedure. In recent months, obstruction by the opposition ANO and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) have stalled the lower house sessions.  

Environment Average Czech sorted 71.8 kg of waste in 2021

Czechs sorted on average 71.8 kilograms of waste in 2021, or five kg more than a year ago. Some 77 percent of 1.33 million tons of disposable packages on the market in 2021 were recycled or re-used, according to data from the company Eko-kom, which organizes recycling and waste collection events in Czechia. In 2020, 76 percent of single-use packaging was re-used or recycled. Paper packaging was re-used the most as 91 percent of the paper waste amount was recycled or further used. Glass followed with 81 percent, plastic waste saw 75 percent of re-used material, and 63 percent of metal waste was re-used.

FOREIGN POLICY Chamber committee calls on govt. to leave pro-China group

The foreign committee of the Chamber of Deputies has called on the Czech government to leave the 16+1 platform for cooperation between China and the Central and Eastern European countries. The committee unanimously said the platform did not bring any significant benefit and only promoted one-sided Chinese interests. The platform was established 10 years ago. The committee said that since then, China's behavior has changed markedly. Lithuania quit the platform last year and allowed Taiwan to open an embassy in Vilnius, causing a rift in Chinese-Lithuanian relations.

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