Weekend headlines: Last surviving Czech RAF pilot passes away at 100

Plus: Czech Republic to drop requirement for mandatory Covid quarantine, six Czech tennis stars advance at Miami Open, and more headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 25.03.2023 10:01:00 (updated on 26.03.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

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Military Last surviving Czech RAF pilot passes away at 100

WWII veteran Emil Boček, the last surviving Czech member of the pilots who fought with Britain's Royal Air Force, has passed away at age 100, Brno's Community Center for War Veterans has announced on Facebook. Boček had celebrated his birthday just one month ago, and was congratulated by King Charles.

"General Boček fought for our country to be democratic, free, and independent. May he rest in peace," Czech PM Petr Fiala wrote on Twitter. Boček, a native of Brno, had been living at a home for senior citizens in his hometown. He recently told Brno mayor Markéta Vaňková that he had fond memories of serving with the RAF. "Those were good times. The spitfires, they were excellent machines," he said.

Politics Czech Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies visits Taiwan

Markéta Pekarová Adamová, Speaker of the Czech Republic's Chamber of Deputies, arrived in Taiwan on Saturday accompanied by a large delegation that greeted officials at Taipei Airport. Pekarová Adamová flew to Taiwan from South Korea, where she discussed bringing medical supplies from Korea to the Czech Republic.

She previously stated that she would discuss both business and political matters during her visit to Taipei; she is scheduled to meet with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in the coming days. "The Czech Republic is a democratic country with its own policy of diplomacy. No one can dictate what it should do, and there is no reason to interrupt cooperation between the two countries," Pekarová Adamová told Taiwanese radio, referring to Chinese criticism of her visit.

Transportation Number of electric vehicle charging stations up 30 percent

The number of electric vehicle charging stations in the Czech Republic rose by more than 30 percent over the past year, according to new statistics provided by the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade. There are currently 1,364 electric charging stations at more than 1,200 locations across the country.

A year ago, there were just 944 charging stations in the country. Transport Minister Martin Kupka recently announced that the Czech Republic will spend around six billion crowns on the development of charging stations near highways and in cities in the coming years. There are currently 15,000 fully electric vehicles registered in the Czech Republic.

Culture Ukrainian refugees help clean up Jihlava

About 30 Ukrainian refugees, including children, helped clean a municipal park in Jihlava on Saturday during a community event organized by the local Ukrainian community and the organization F Point. The event was held to say thanks to the city for their assistance in helping Ukrainian refugees.

"We also wanted the event to parry the moods of some Czechs who say that the Ukrainians deprive them of money and are messy people," F Point's Radim Fiedler said. "I have been working with [refugees] for one year. I admit having some bad experiences with them, but positive experiences far prevail."

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Culture Czech landmarks to go dark tonight during Earth Hour

Landmarks across the Czech Republic will go dark tonight during Earth Hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monuments, bridges, parks, and other places across the country will participate in turning off the lights; a full map of locations that will go dark tonight can be found on the official Czech Earth Hour website, and individuals are also invited to take part in the event by switching off their own lights at home.

In Prague, the landmarks that will turn off the lights tonight include the Petřín Lookout Tower, which stands above the city. Castle Špilberk in Brno, the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Kolín, Town Hall in Liberec, the tower at the Ostrava New Town Hall, and many other locations across the country will also participate.

Health Czechia to cancel requirement for mandatory Covid quarantine

The Czech Health Ministry is planning to remove the requirement for a mandatory seven-day quarantine upon testing positive for Covid, according to a new amendment proposed by the Czech Health Ministry. Under the new amendment, an individual's doctor would be able to recommend specific measures upon a positive Covid test, for example based on where they work. The change would take place in mid-April.


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"In a situation where a responsible entity has enough information about the main epidemiological characteristics of [Covid-19], it is realistic to evaluate the degree of risk of its further spread, especially in connection with the health status of the person being assessed and his immediate surroundings," the ministry states in the proposed amendment.

Sports Six Czech tennis stars advance to third round of Miami Open

Six Czech tennis players have advanced to the third round of the Miami Open as Karolína Plíšková, Petra Kvitová, Barbora Krejčíková, Markéta Vondroušová, Karolína Muchová, and Marie Bouzková all defeated their opponents heading into the weekend. Each of the Czechs won on straight sets save for Bouzková, who topped Russia's Anna Blinkova 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

The Czech stars will next play on Sunday, with only five able to advance as 17th-seeded Plíšková and Vondroušová face off against each other. Kvitová, the top-ranked Czech in the tournament at the 15th seed, will face Croatia's Donna Vekić, 16th-seeded Krejčíková will face American Madison Keys, and Muchová will match up against Romania's Sorana Cîrstea. Bouzková draws the toughest match, against second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka.

Politics Czech government to debate request for EU loan

Mikuláš Bek, the Czech Republic's Minister for European Affairs, will submit a proposal to request a loan of CZK 68.8 billion from the European Commission to the Czech cabinet next week, he told Czech News Agency on Friday. Bek added that he originally anticipated the loan to be in the range of CZK 100-200 billion.

"For the moment, the negotiations on the government level are still not over and further changes will probably be made within our negotiations with the European Commission, and the result cannot be anticipated," Bek said. He previously stated through a spokesperson that projects supported by the loan would include the adaptation of the Trans-Alpine oil pipeline (TAL) and the construction of the Czech-Polish gas pipeline Stork 2.

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