Weekend headlines: Large-scale demonstration set for Prague today

Plus: Zdeněk Svěrak inducted into Anděl Awards Hall of Fame, Czechia tops Ukraine in Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 15.04.2023 11:38:00 (updated on 16.04.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Protest Large-scale demonstration to take place in Prague today

Organizers from the initiative Česko proti bídě (Czechia against Poverty) expect up to 300,000 people to take part in a protest at Prague's Wenceslas Square this afternoon from 2:00 p.m. The group made headlines following a protest at the same location last month, during which demonstrators attempting to gain access to the National Museum clashed with police.

The demonstration is intended to protest "not only economic poverty, but also moral poverty," according to Jindřich Rajchl, chairman of the the non-parliamentary party PRO. The party has spoken out against Czech support for Ukraine, but emphasized on Friday that they were not pro-Russian. Speakers at today's protest will include opposition SPD deputy Jaroslav Foldyna, who also took part in the March demonstration.

Entertainment Zdeněk Svěrak inducted into Anděl Awards Hall of Fame

Czech singer Miro "Meky" Žbirka dominated the 2023 Anděl Awards, the Czech Republic's version of the Grammy Awards, awarding the country's top bands, musicians, and other musical personalities. Žbirka won awards for both Best Album and Best Song of 2022 at a ceremony last evening in Prague.

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Actor, playwright, and lyricist Zdeněk Svěrak, meanwhile, was inducted into the Anděl Awards Hall of Fame by no less than Czech President Petr Pavel. "This is a person who is a cultural constant for me, his work has accompanied me my whole life," Pavel said when introducing Svěrak last night. "He entertained and educated me many times."

Sports Czechia tops Ukraine in Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers

The Czech Republic's women's tennis team topped Ukraine 3-1 in the Billie Jean King Cup qualification round and have advanced to the playoffs, which will be held later this year. Markéta Vondroušová defeated Katarina Zavacka 6-3, 6-4 to secure the victory for the Czech Republic.

Due to the 3-1 lead, a final doubles match that would have broken a 2-2 tie was not held. Vondroušová had previously defeated Marta Kostyuk on Friday, giving her two wins in the tournament; teammate Barbora Krejčíková finished 1-1. Elsewhere in Billie Jean King Cup qualifying action, team USA knocked out Austria, Italy topped Slovakia, and Germany defeated Brazil.

Automotive Czech insurers will no longer cover uninsured Ukrainian vehicles

The Czech Insurers' Bureau will no longer cover damages from uninsured Ukrainian drivers for free and instead will assess their accidents individually, it said in a press release on Saturday. Since March 2022, damages from Ukrainian drivers were covered for free for six months after they crossed the Ukrainian border.

At present, there are about 4,000 uninsured Ukrainian motor vehicles in use throughout the Czech Republic. Through the end of last month, the Czech Insurers' Bureau dealt with 179 cases of uninsured damages related to Ukrainian vehicles, covering 18.9 million crowns in total.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Sports Czechia leads Ukraine in Billie Jean King Cup qualifiers

The Czech Republic's women's tennis team leads Ukraine 2-1 after three matches in qualifying play for the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup in Belek, Turkey this weekend. Barbora Krejčíková and Markéta Vondroušová both won their opening round matches on Friday, before Krejčíková fell to Marta Kostyuk 6-3, 1-6, 4-6 this morning.

This afternoon, Vondroušová will match up against Katarina Zavatska in the fourth match. Should a decisive fifth match be needed, it will be a doubles bout between Karolína Muchová and Linda Nosková against Ljudmila Kichenok and Dajana Jastremska. The winners of this weekend's qualifying round will advance to the Billie Jean King Cup playoffs in November.

Weather Flood warnings issued across the Czech Republic

Due to heavy rainfall heading into the weekend and rising water levels in local rivers, flood warnings have been issued by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute for areas in the central, southern, and western parts of the Czech Republic, including areas of the Central Bohemian region south of Prague.

A low-level flood warning (from a three-degree scale) has been issued for most of the areas, with a high-level warning issued for Chrudim in the Pardubice region and an extreme-level warning issued for Dačice in the South Bohemian region. With rainfall letting up on Saturday morning, the situation is expected to calm down as of Saturday evening.

Politics Czech PM Petr Fiala embarks on 10-day trip across Asia

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will embark on a 10-day trip across the Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan this evening. The PM will be joined by a 30-member business delegation, that includes manufacturers of aircraft technology, weapons, and engineering companies.

"We will visit countries that are interested in cooperation with the Czech Republic," Fiala stated before his trip. "They are countries that can to some extent create a counterbalance against Chinese dominance, which is obvious and which we must get rid of not only as the Czech Republic, but as the whole of Europe, and create alternative markets."

Sports David Pastrňák finishes NHL season second in goals scored

The Boston Bruins topped the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Thursday evening to finish the 2022-23 regular season with an NHL-best record of 65-12-5. Star right winger David Pastrňák from the Czech Republic finishes the season second in goals scored with 61, just three behind Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers.

Pastrňák set career highs in goals, assists (52), and points (113) this year, finishing the season tied for third in points with Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov. He has become just the second Czech player to score 100 points in a season alongside Jaromír Jágr, and fell one goal shy of Jágr's Czech record of 62 goals. Pastrňák's Boston Bruins will open the 2023 NHL playoffs against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday, April 18.

Tech Survey: Nearly 40 percent of Czechs pay by mobile phone

Nearly 40 percent of Czechs pay for goods purchased in-person with a mobile phone or smart device, according to a study conducted by Mastercard on 1,200 respondents in December. That number has more than doubled since four years ago, when about 19 percent of Czechs said that they pay for goods with their smart phone.

"Payment cards in various wearable devices have become the new market standard in the last few years," says Michal Čarný, general director of Mastercard for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. "Customers prefer the most convenient and fastest methods of payment. And in the case of a watch or smartphone, entering a PIN code for larger amounts is also unnecessary."

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