200-year-old Petřín carousel reopens just in time for Children's Day

Plus: Prime Minister Petr Fiala will meet Pope Francis next week, the Czech economy saw greater growth than expected, and more.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 31.05.2022 16:20:00 (updated on 01.06.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

June 1, 2022

TRANSPARENCY Politicians' property statements to become accessible on request

The Czech politicians' property statements may soon become accessible in the Justice Ministry's registry on individual request, based on the draft amendment to the conflict of interest law submitted by the opposition ANO MPs and passed by the Chamber of Deputies in a summary procedure today. The approved amendment cancels the validity of the conflict of interest law for unpaid members of small town councils and unpaid deputy mayors of the smallest town councils, along with their duty to submit property statements.  The Chamber of Deputies previously received another broader draft amendment to the conflict of interest law, which, however, has raised controversies and has been blocked by the ANO movement so far.

POLITICS PM Fiala to meet Pope in Vatican next week

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican next Thursday to talk about current international issues and Czech aid to Ukraine, the Government Office announced today. Fiala will go to the Vatican from Berlin where he is to be an honorary speaker at a meeting of the German Eastern Business Association next Wednesday. Pope Francis will receive Fiala in the Vatican. The Czech PM will also have talks with Vatican diplomacy head Cardinal Pietro Paroli.

ELECTIONS Economist Nerudová running for Czech president

Economist and former Mendel University rector Danuše Nerudová announced today, after considering all pros and cons, that she has decided to run for president. Nerudová said the nation needed a head of state with the competencies and energy to side with people at difficult economic times. Nerudová identified three main challenges: "leading the nation out of the economic crisis, [mitigating] the impacts of the climate change, and return of dignity to people." Nerudová said, "I would like to be a president for all, not just for a certain fraction of citizens."

economy Czechia's economic growth higher than expected in first quarter

The growth of the Czech economy in the first quarter was one percentage point higher year on year than expected by the Czech National Bank in its May forecast. The difference was due to faster growth in gross capital formation and imports of goods and services than the bank's estimates. At the same time, the decline in exports was lower than estimated, Petr Král, Director of the CNB's Monetary Section, told ČTK today. According to updated data from the Czech Statistical Office, year on year growth in the Czech economy was 4.8 percent in the first quarter. The central bank's forecast for the first quarter projected growth of 3.8 percent.


Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 39m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 2+kk - 1 bedroom, 39m2

Hřímalého, Plzeň - Jižní Předměstí

Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 49m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 1+KK - Studio, 49m2

Petrská, Praha 1 - Nové Město

PRAGUE 200-year-old carousel returns to Petřín Hill for Children's Day

A wooden carousel that dates back hundreds of years was installed next to Prague's Petřín Tower last year. The carousel was brought to the Czech Republic by Prague City Tourism from Florence, Italy, where it was maintained from generation to generation over multiple centuries. From today visitors can ride the 200-year-old carousel again. The carousel reopens on Children's Day. Today tickets can be purchased at Petřín Lookout Tower or Mirror Maze and children can ride for free. The carousel, which has been on Petřín for the second year in a row, enjoyed great interest last year. It was part of efforts to revive tourism to Prague's Petřín Hill, which had been particularly affected by the pandemic and the lack of visitors to the Czech capital over the past year. The carousel will be open until September. Documents show that the carousel dates back to the early 19th century, but some sources put its birth in the late 17th century. In the past, the roundabout appeared in several Italian films. Another historical carousel, constructed in 1892 and now owned by the National Technical Museum, will start operating in Prague's Letna Park as of July 11.

RETAIL Fashion retailer Orsay leaves Czechia

German fashion clothing retailer Orsay is leaving the Czech and Slovak markets, reported Forbes magazine, citing anonymous sources familiar with the situation. The company should sell Czech stores by the end of June, the Slovak ones even a month earlier. Orsay, which sells women's fashion, has 90 stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In the Czech Republic, where the company employs 213 people, the company lost profit in 2020, when a coronavirus pandemic broke out and the stores had to be closed for several months. The loss exceeded 117 million crowns.

weather Meteorogical summer begins

Meteorological summer begins today and lasts from June 1 to August 31. In terms of temperature, not every day during this period can be considered a summer day, tweets Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. In meteorological terminology, a summer day occurs when the temperature reaches or even exceeds 25°C.

May 31, 2022

LGBTQ+ Lower house will reconsider for marriage for all

The Pirates will put forward a bill for same-sex marriage in the Chamber of Deputies. Pirate MP Olga Richter said the bill will be built "on a broader coalition platform," and the draft will be signed by one representative for each coalition party. Richter said registered partnerships do not give citizens the same rights and obligations as a married couple. TOP 09 chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová announced last week that she would sign and support the marriage proposal for all. However, not all coalition parties support the idea. A proposal for same-sex marriage passed the first reading in the Chamber of Deputies last April. However, the deputies did not have time to decide on the drafts before the elections.

Culture Karlovy Vary Film Festival to remember its artistic director

The 56th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, to be held July 1–9, will pay homage to the late film historian Eva Zaoralová with a film screening and a photo display. Zaoralová was the festival’s artistic director from 1995 to 2010. The festival also announced the 33 films in this year's competition sections that were selected from some 1,500 films. Seven Czech films will premiere at the festival both in competition and in the Special Screening section. There are no Russian films in the competition in Karlovy Vary this year, however, one Russian film condemning Stalinism in the 1930s will be screened in the Horizons section. The festival will also screen Ukrainian films in progress for professionals.

Crime Former Brno politician given 9.5 years in prison for corruption

The Regional Court in Brno sentenced former Brno-center district deputy mayor Jiří Švachula (for ANO) to 9.5 years in prison for corruption in public procurement, and found another eight individuals and two firms guilty. Švachula was also sentenced to forfeiture of several million crowns and luxury watches. According to the indictment, Švachula was head of an organized group and he originally faced up to 14 years behind bars for manipulating public contracts in the municipality. He denied the charges. The verdict can still be appealed. The Brno-center Town Hall from 2015 to ’19 allegedly gave public contracts with inflated values to selected firms.

Law Former minister’s defamation suit against Seznam.cz dismissed

A lawsuit by former interior minister Jan Hamáček against the owners of the Seznam.cz website and two reporters was dismissed by a Prague District Court. The suit was over a May 2021 story that said Hamáček intended to hush up allegations over Russia’s involvement in the 2014 Vrbětice ammunition warehouses explosions in exchange for Russian vaccines against Covid. Hamáček rejected the allegations and demanded CZK 10 million. Hamáček’s lawyers have not said whether they will appeal the verdict.

Ukraine Most Czechs believe Russia is responsible for war

Some 78 percent of Czechs said that Russia is to blame for the conflict, according to a survey conducted for the Slovak-based NGO Globsec. Among Central and Eastern European countries, a larger share of people sharing this view is only in Poland, at 87 percent. By contrast, people in Hungary, Bulgaria, and Slovakia are the least convinced that Russia started the war. The poll also showed an increased share of EU and NATO supporters in the Czech Republic.

Immigration Ten Syrian migrants found in truck near Benešov

Police found 10 Syrians staying in the Czech Republic without personal documents in a truck at the D1 highway in the Benešov district on May 20, the Central Bohemia police announced today. They are now being expelled from Schengen zone countries. The Kyrgyz driver of the truck has permanent residence in Czechia. He faces several years in prison for organizing and enabling illegal crossing of the border. The migrants were found in a Toyota Proace vanwith a Prague number plate. Since the beginning of 2022, the police detained 49 migrants including five children in Central Bohemia. They were mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Morocco and Bangladesh.

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