Weekend headlines: Pavel presidency better for Czech-EU relations, says foreign press

Plus: Ice warning issued for areas of Bohemia this evening, Czech abroad show large support for Petr Pavel, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 14.01.2023 09:57:00 (updated on 15.01.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

International Foreign press: Pavel presidency better for Czech-EU relations

Retired NATO general Petr Pavel is the betting favorite to win the office of Czech President during the runoff vote against Andrej Babiš, and that would be a positive development for the EU, according to foreign press. "[A Pavel presidency would be] good news for European bureaucrats, who reckon a Pavel victory would make EU-wide negotiations smoother and prevent the Czech Republic from further isolating itself," writes Politico.

A Pavel victory would offer “warmer relations with the EU and stable policymaking as the ruling coalition would be bolstered by a supportive president,” writes the Financial Times. The New York Times, meanwhile, notes that whoever wins the Czech presidency, it will mark the end of an era for "an eccentric, hard-drinking incumbent who often put himself at odds with the Czech government and European allies by reaching out to Russia and China."

Election More than half of Czechs abroad voted for Petr Pavel

Petr Pavel advanced to the second round of the Czech Republic's presidential election yesterday, but he would have won it outright if it were up to Czech citizens living abroad. The retired NATO general won 56 percent of the vote from ballots cast outside of the Czech Republic, good enough to win the election outright, according to data from the election website.

A total of 15,881 ballots were cast by Czechs living abroad at 110 embassies and consulates across the globe. Danuše Nerudová came in second among Czechs abroad with 28.5 percent of the vote, with Pavel Fischer third at 7 percent. Andrej Babiš, who will face of against Pavel in the election runoff in two weeks, was supported by just 4 percent of Czechs abroad.

Weather Ice warning issued for North Bohemia

Temperatures are forecast to dip heading into the week, and an ice warning has been issued for areas in Bohemia, including Prague, by the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute for Sunday night through Monday morning. In addition, a warning of high winds is in effect for areas of Moravia through this afternoon.

A cold front with precipitation will move across the Czech Republic today, with scattered showers in the forecast for most locations. In areas of high elevation, snowfall is expected. Drivers as well as pedestrians as advised to be aware of ice forming on roads and walkways in Karlovy Vary, Liberec, Plzeň, Central Bohemia, and Prague through 10:00 a.m. Monday morning.

Sports Prague women's basketball team wins record 257 games in a row

USK Prague defeated Slovanka 126-71 in the Czech Republic's women's basketball league on Saturday, winning an incredible 257th game in a row and setting a new league record in the process. USK Prague last loss a game nearly a decade ago, taking a 73-72 to Gambrinus Brno on April 30, 2013.

Gambrinus Brno had previously dominated the league, and set the earlier record for consecutive wins at 256 from 1998-2007. During yesterday's game, USK Prague players wore jerseys bearing the number 257 to celebrate their expected victory.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Vote Czech polls reopen for second day of presidential election


Family house for sale, 139m<sup>2</sup>, 176m<sup>2</sup> of land

Family house for sale, 139m2, 176m2 of land

Učitelská, Praha 8 - Kobylisy

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 70m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 70m2

Kaštanová, Milovice - Mladá

Family house for rent, 175m<sup>2</sup>, 448m<sup>2</sup> of land

Family house for rent, 175m2, 448m2 of land

K Černé Skále, Hlásná Třebaň - Rovina

Polling stations throughout the Czech Republic reopened today at 8:00 a.m. for the second and final day of the first round of the country's 2023 presidential election. Eight candidates are vying to replace outgoing Czech president Miloš Zeman in March, with former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, former university lector Danuše Nerudová, and retired NATO general Petr Pavel leading preliminary polls.

Should no candidate receive more than fifty percent of the vote, which is expected, the leading two candidates will face off against each other in a runoff election in two weeks. Polling stations close at 2:00 this afternoon, and official results of the Czech presidential vote will be made public at the website volby.cz shortly thereafter.

Yesterday's Google Doodle celebrated the 2023 Czech election. Image: Google
Yesterday's Google Doodle celebrated the 2023 Czech election. Image: Google

War Russian attack interrupts Czech polls at embassy in Kyiv

The Czech Embassy in Kyiv has suspended its presidential polling this morning due to the Russian attack on Ukraine's capital. Martin Mužík, head of the Embassy's consular section, told Czech News Agency that embassy staff was unharmed and sheltering, and it was unclear when polling may be able to resume.

Kiev was reportedly hit by Russian missiles targeting local infrastructure early this morning. According to Reuters, a series of explosions were reported and an air raid siren was sounded. "Explosions in Dniprovskiy district. All agencies heading to the site. Stay in your shelters!" Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko alerted followers on Telegram.

Politics President must be able to unite society, says Czech Prime Minister

The Czech head of state must be someone who can represent the Czech Republic at an international level as well as unite Czech society, Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters after casting his ballot in the first round of the presidential election on Friday in Brno.

"We should have somebody at the head of the state whom we would not be ashamed of, who would be capable of uniting us and saying the right words at the right moment," said Fiala, adding that he expected high turnout at this year's election. "It is good when the citizens make use of their right [to vote] and do not let others to make the decision for them."

Education Charles University to participate in Wikipedia project

Teachers and students from Charles University will participate in a project that will help build the Czech edition of Wikipedia and related resources Wikimedia Commons and Wikidata. Charles University rector Milena Králíčková and executive director of Wikimedia CR Klára Joklová formalized the collaborative project yesterday.

"In accordance with its so-called third role in society, Charles University will support the creation and expansion of new dictionary entries for the Wikipedia encyclopedia and participate in their professional processing, especially by involving students and teachers in the 'Students write Wikipedia' project," Charles University vice-rector Martin Vlach stated in a press release.

Money Czech crown strengthens against dollar, euro

The Czech crown strengthened against both major world currencies heading into the weekend, closing Friday at CZK 23.96/EUR and CZK 22.13/USD according to the latest exchange rates posted by local server Patria Online. Both rates continue a trend to start 2023 with the crown seeing nearly 12-year highs in valuation against the two currencies. The last time the crown was below CZK 24/EUR was in 2011.

Prague Stock Exchange reported losses on Friday, meanwhile, losing 1.16 percent as it heads into the weekend at 1269.95 points. The banking sector and especially Erste Bank and Komerční banka reported the largest drops on Friday. Rising shares of energy company ČEZ and Philip Morris Czech Republic prevented bigger losses.

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