Czech news roundup: Friday, December 17, 2021


23:11 New Interior Minister promises better crisis management

Crisis management will be one of the core tasks of the Interior Ministry, the new Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told reporters on Friday. The central crisis cell, headed by the interior minister, should be a decision-making institution, Rakušan said after his inauguration by new Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Rakušan was the first new minister to be invested after President Miloš Zeman appointed the new government.

“We come to the Interior Ministry at a time when Covid is not behind us,” RakuÅ¡an said. “We, the government, are faced with a major task: crisis management which in the past two years has gone beyond legal definition. New bodies have been built such as the Government Council for Health Risks and others.”

22:09 New Czech prime minister inaugurates seven cabinet prime ministers

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala on Friday inaugurated the first seven members of his new government. Vít Rakušan (STAN) has been appointed First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior; Marian Jurečka (Christian Democrats) Minister of Labor; Ivan Bartoš (Pirates) Minister of Regional Development; Vlastimil Válek (TOP 09) Minister of Health; Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) Minister of Finance, Jozef Síkela (STAN) Minister of Industry and Trade; and Pavel Blažek (ODS) Minister of Justice.

21:20 Outgoing Prime Minister Babiš leaves letter to successor Fiala

Outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš handed a letter to his successor Petr Fiala when he stepped down because he wants to establish a new tradition similar to that of US presidents, Babiš said at his last ruling press conference on Friday. Fiala told reporters later that evening that due to his tight work schedule, he had yet to read the letter.

“I want to establish a tradition like the American presidents, who always leave a message [to their successor]. I wrote a letter to Prime Minister Fiala, “BabiÅ¡ said, adding that he did not intend to publish it.

“BabiÅ¡ left a letter on the table. It is the creation of a new tradition, but I cannot tell you if something has caught my attention because I have not read it yet,” said Fiala. .

9:00 p.m. Gripen planes fly over central Bohemia in Christmas tree formation

Pilots of six Czech fighter jets flew in the Christmas tree formation over the Czech Republic this afternoon on their training flight, the state spokeswoman said today -major at CTK. In the air, the fighters created a V-shape that resembled a Christmas tree.

The military tweeted that the planes took off from Caslav in Central Bohemia and flew over Pardubice and Podebrady in East Bohemia to Prague. They flew over the government office around the time the new government held its first meeting, which was just a coincidence, Dvorakova said. Originally, the planes were also to fly over Brno, but they changed the route due to the deteriorating weather conditions.

13:25 Arrest of former Slovak Prime Minister Fico confirmed

Slovak police have confirmed that the former Prime Minister and leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party Robert Fico was arrested yesterday. Fico is accused of instigating people to commit the criminal offense of gathering in groups of more than six, calling for a public demonstration at a time they are not allowed due to anti-Covid restrictions in Slovakia . He was released in the evening. Fico was arrested after calling for a protest in Bratislava against Covid restrictions; About fifty people came to the protest announcement when Fico got out of his car, he was quickly arrested by the police.

13:18 The President of the EC von der Leyen congratulates the new Czech Prime Minister

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen congratulated new Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala on the appointment of his new government today on Twitter, saying she looked forward to their cooperation. “I look forward to working with you in our common fight against the pandemic and for the success of the Next Generation (fund) in the Czech Republic and a sustainable green recovery in Europe,” she tweeted. The Czech Republic is expected to receive CZK 180 billion from this fund if it meets the EC conditions. The country could start withdrawing a substantial part of that money next year.

12:50 Czech man who died in London was not assassinated, police say

The Czech nurse whose body was found in a London park last week has not been murdered, according to London Metropolitan Police. The confirmation follows an earlier statement by UK authorities that the circumstances of the death of 32-year-old Petra Srncová were not considered suspicious. Srncová went missing for two weeks before his body was discovered by children in Brunswick Park, in the district of Camberwell, south London. A man detained in connection with the case was later released on bail pending further investigation into the case.

10:00 a.m. European debate on energy crisis inconclusive, says Babiš

Andrej BabiÅ¡’s last act as Czech Prime Minister on Thursday saw him discuss the current energy crisis at a European summit in Brussels. BabiÅ¡ called for the return of carbon quotas to commercial markets in order to ease energy pressures, and also pushed for the inclusion of nuclear power as a worthy “green investment”, to help the Czech Republic to respect its climate commitments. Yet leaders have apparently been unable to reach agreement on either subject; BabiÅ¡ said he was “sorry that my last (European) Council ended like this”. BabiÅ¡ noted, however, that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had previously promised to include nuclear power as well as gas on the list of viable energies to replace coal.

Transfer of power Babiš leaves his post as Prime Minister today

Today marks the end of Andrej BabiÅ¡’s term as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic. BabiÅ¡’s government hands over power to the new regime headed by Petr Fiala following the solemn appointment of Fiala cabinet ministers throughout the morning.

After a last press conference by the outgoing government, the 69 days of waiting for the succession of the new government since the elections of October 8 and 9 will come to an end, the new cabinet of Petr Fiala in front of journalists for the first time. 1:45 p.m. The Covid causes some slight complications in the award; the candidate for the post of Minister of Agriculture, Zdeněk Nekula, is in solitary confinement, so his post will be temporarily transferred to another minister.

Economy The cost of Czech mortgages continues to rise

The average mortgage interest rate in the Czech Republic rose to 2.70% in November, from 2.54% in October. This is the ninth increase in the average pass rate. Data on the development of Czech mortgage prices has been published by Fincentrum Hypoindex.

Despite rising interest rates, the data suggests that interest on mortgages is not slowing. Last month, banks arranged mortgages worth CZK 37.2 billion, an increase of CZK 5.1 billion from October. 11,369 separate mortgages were issued, 13% more than in October and 22% more than the same month last year. Analysts predict that the average interest rate will continue to rise in the coming months.

Media Controversy erupts over Czech radio appointment

More than 300 Czech radio employees have called on Managing Director René Zavoral to quash the appointment of Jitka Obzinová as head of the radio station’s news department. Critics say Obzinová manipulated news and lacked impartiality in his previous role as news director at TV Prima.

Obzinová allegedly imposed an anti-immigrant approach to reporting illegal immigration on TV Prima. It is also alleged that she imposed a position in favor of Miloš Zeman during the election campaign preceding his first presidential term. Zavoral said he would assess employee complaints; Czech National Committee of International Press Institute and Endowment Fund for Independent Journalism called on Director General to resign

Climate change The Czech Republic is among the ten worst CO2 emitters in Europe

A study by the Dublin-based emissions monitoring start-up Carbon Space found that ten countries are responsible for 92% of Europe’s carbon footprint. One of the ten incriminated countries is the Czech Republic, in ninth place for total emissions and third place for per capita emissions.

Germany emits the most CO2 of all European countries, followed by the United Kingdom, Italy and France. But a different picture emerges when we assess the level of emissions per inhabitant: on this criterion, Belgium comes first, followed by the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. The survey results come as Europe grapples with an energy crisis leading to price hikes and supplier bankruptcies.

czech cinema Karlovy Vary Film Festival deepens cooperation with online streamer

The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, within its parent company KVIFF Group, became the majority owner of Aerofilms, a major independent film distributor connected to a network of art theaters and operating the Czech equivalent of Netflix for art films, called Aerovod.

The acquisition of the company by the KVIFF Group will see content related to a special project in Karlovy Vary, which kicked off this summer as part of the festival. The shareholders of the festival seek to diversify its portfolio; Beyond the festival itself which will take place next year at the beginning of July, an online video library will be created allowing experiences outside the limits of the annual event.

Berta D. Wells