Czech morning headlines: Prague Pride ends with massive parade

Plus: Czech lower house preparing windfall profit tax, ANO to ask PM to replace Rakušan as interior minister, and more headlines. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 13.08.2022 12:28:00 (updated on 15.08.2022) Reading time: 7 minutes

LGBT+ Prague Pride pride parade attracts 60,000 revelers

 Some 60,000 people joined the rainbow parade on Saturday, crossing the city center from Wenceslas Square to Letná Plain where the program continued into the night. The parade was led by Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib. Participants carried rainbow banners and flags. The festival ended the next day with workshops, a film screening, discussions, a picnic, and a mass. The Rainbow Parade was the most high-profile event during the weeklong festival for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender/transsexual (LGBTQ+) community.

Police say that no incidents occurred in connection with the parade, neither a breach of the public peace nor any other problems. On Na Příkopě street, revelers were confronted by a group of people quoting from the Bible, but participants didn't engage with protesters. The parade took part for the first time after a two-year pause caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This year's parade was car-free.

Economy Czech lower house preparing windfall profit tax

 The introduction of an extraordinary windfall profit tax should go through the legislative process by the end of the year, lower house speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová said, according to CNN Prima News. The tax will affect extraordinary profits made by companies in energy or banking that have been profiting disproportionately from the current economic situation without innovating their products.

"It's not their doing, but it actually falls into their lap somehow. Hence the windfall tax. We have prepared the initial basis with several variants, and we will discuss it. But in general, we do not object to a one-time tax being paid for a limited time in this extraordinary situation," Pekarová said.

Politics ANO to ask PM to replace Rakušan as interior minister

Lower house members of the opposition ANO movement will address an open letter to Prime Minister Petr Fiala asking for Interior Minister Vít Rakušan to be replaced over civilian intelligence head Petr Mlejnek's contacts with accused lobbyist Michal Redl, ANO lower house leader Alena Schillerová said in a televised debate. She did not rule out that ANO might provoke a vote of no confidence in Fiala’s government, in which Rakušan is a deputy prime minister and interior minister.

Weather Large temperature fluctuations expected this week

Czechs should prepare for temperature shocks in the coming week. During the day, the country will experience tropical heat, while at night the temperatures will drop rapidly. Thermometers will record differences that will approach 20 °Celsius. At the end of the following week, more traditional weather patterns for the end of summer will return, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ). Temperature fluctuations can be expected until Thursday. Experts expect the weekly maximum on Thursday when temperatures will reach 35 °C, dropping to 16 °C at night. The weekend should be in the spirit of 22 to 27 °C, at night temperatures should remain relatively high, between 20 and 15 °C.  

Aug. 14, 2022

Cinema Czech-Slovak movie wins top prize at Locarno Film Festival

The Nightsiren (Světlonoc), a co-production between the Czech Republic and Slovakia directed by Tereza Nvotová, won the Golden Leopard for Best Film at the Locarno Film Festival's Concorso Cineasti del presente section, which awards first and second features from emerging filmmakers. The Nightsiren is Nvotová's second feature film following 2017's Filthy (Špína).

"I am so happy, I did not expect this story from a small village in the Slovak mountains to impress the international audience so much," Nvotová said in her acceptance speech. "Evidently, the problems faced by our female protagonists are not so different from [the audience]."

POLITICS General Pavel to announce candidacy for president in September

General Petr Pavel, former Czech chief-of-staff and NATO representative, will officially declare his candidacy for Czech President in early September, he told journalists on Saturday at the Beskid Mountains. In early public opinion polls, Pavel has been one of the top two choices for Czech President alongside former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš.

"I expect to announce my candidacy in early September. I have not set the exact date yet. People will learn it in time," Pavel told reporters. He added that he wants to collect 50,000 signatures from Czech citizens to support his candidacy. The forthcoming Czech presidential election will be held in January 2023.

Sports Plíšková falls to Haddad Maia in Canadian Open semifinals

Czech tennis star Karolína Plíšková fell to Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-4, 7-6 (7) in a hard-fought match at the Canadian Open yesterday evening in Toronto. The unseeded Brazilian is having a Cinderella run at this year's tournament, having previously knocked out top-seeded Iga Šwiatek and Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.

Plíšková, who has sixteen career titles, had previously played in the final at the 2021 Canadian Open, losing to Italy's Camila Giorgi. Later today, Haddad Maia will face off against Romania's Simona Halep in this year's Canadian Open final.

Music About 20,000 people attend Brutal Assault festival in Jaroměř

An estimated 20,000 people attended the extreme music festival Brutal Assault at the Josefov Fortress in Jaroměř this year. The festivities came to a close last night with performances by Leprous, Front Line Assembly, and the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem.

"The biggest interest was in Wednesday's and Thursday's headliners, Cannibal Corpse and Mercyful Fate," festival organizer Pavel Pavlík told reporters yesterday. "The biggest surprise for me was yesterday's closing act, the Czech Hentai Corporation. Such a wave of energy from the audience after four days at the last band late at night was absolutely incredible. That I didn't expect, especially with a Czech band."

Crime Czech fugitive makes Spain's most-wanted list

Norbert Kohler, a 44-year-old Czech citizen, ranks among the top ten most-wanted criminals in Spain, Spanish media have reported. Three of the top ten have already been arrested, while the remaining seven are considered at large in Spain. Police have requested help from the public in apprehending them.

Kohler is suspected of smuggling a total of 212 kilograms of cocaine into Spain, as well as laundering money obtained from the sales of cocaine. Spanish authorities are also searching for the fugitive over crimes he was previously convicted of in the Czech Republic.

Aug. 13, 2022

Politics Former Czech PM under investigation for tax evasion in France

France's financial prosecutor has opened a preliminary investigation regarding suspicion of money laundering and tax evasion in connection with the purchase of real estate by Czech politician Andrej Babiš, writes the French newspaper Le Monde. The case stems from information obtained during the release of the Pandora Papers last year.

According to French investigators, Babiš reportedly transferred 15 million euros (381 million crowns) in 2009 between various companies in the British Virgin Islands, the United States and Monaco. This money was ultimately used by the Monaco-based company to purchase sixteen luxurious properties in France, including the Château Bigaud on the French Riviera.

Sports Tennis star Plíšková makes semifinals at Canadian Open

Czech tennis star Karolína Plíšková has made the semifinals at Canadian Open in Toronto after defeating China's Cheng Chin-wen 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Friday. Plíšková, the 14th seed in the tournament, will face Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia tonight at midnight Prague time for a chance to advance to the final.

Haddad Maia knocked out top-ranked Iga Šwiatek earlier in the tournament before topping Olympic winner Belinda Bencic on Friday. The winner of the match will face the winner of the semifinal between American Jessica Pegula and Romanian Simona Halep in the Canadian Open final on Sunday.

Finance Czech gasoline prices hit lowest levels since March

The cost of fuel at Czech gas stations has hit its lowest level since march as Tank ONO, one of the country's leading providers, lowered the price of Natural 95 gasoline at its stations to 37.90 crowns per liter. Just ten days ago, the price Natural 95 at Tank ONO stations stood at 41.90 crowns per liter.

Other stations are expected to follow suit, and prices are expected to continue to dip over the next week. "The reduction in wholesale margins on the European market is very favorable for drivers, especially for gasoline," Boris Tomčiak from financial investment company Finlord told local media.

Crime Czech murder rate on the rise in 2022

A total of 90 murders have been reported in the Czech Republic through the end of July this year, which is 25 more than during the same period in 2021, according to official police statistics cited by The highest percentage of murders - more than half - are in cases that feature personal relationship between the victim and the killer.

The most recent murders included in the police stats are the case of a triple murder in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm in which a 49-year-old man shot his partner and two young children before turning the gun on himself. The incident was the third murder case in the Zlín region in recent months.

Police Use of force against woman at political rally justified, say police

The use of force against a woman who attacked policeman at a political rally for the ANO party in Český Krumlov last week was justified and adequate, Czech Police President Martin Vondrášek told journalists on Friday. Still, police did not follow proper tactics and some rules were violated, he added.

Vondrášek said that plainclothes officers at the rally made a mistake when they intervened between opposing groups without properly identifying themselves as police officers. The woman who was detained by officers had previously stated that she hit a plainclothes officer without realizing that he was a member of the police.

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