Summary of the news of the Czech weekend: Saturday 11 December 2021
5:00 p.m. Czech Olympic snowboard champion suffers terrible accident
Czech Olympic champion Eva Samková, 28, suffered a nightmarish accident during the Snowboard World Cup in Montafon, Austria. Samková broke both ankles in a sudden fall and required immediate surgery. His team hopes to make news from his condition more public at the start of the week. Samková participated in a team competition in which the Czech representatives won a silver medal; Samková was injured during the last maneuver of the race. The accident could make his participation in the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics impossible. Samková won a gold medal for the Czech Republic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Politics Fiala will not change ministerial candidates
New Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said in an interview released today that he has no plans to change his list of ministerial candidates and expects the new Czech government to be finalized next week. Fiala said he was not surprised by President Miloš Zeman’s rejection of Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský’s project, but that the new coalition was ready to challenge the president. Fiala noted that the Czech Republic is a parliamentary democracy and not a presidential system. The next steps to ensure that the desired ministers take their positions will be presented on Monday, Fiala said.
16:05 Czech Republic takes bronze in Floorball World Cup
The Czech national floorball team beat Switzerland 4-3 at the World Cup in Helsinki, Finland to take third place in the tournament. This is the third bronze won by the Czechs in the floorball world cup, with the national team also winning a silver medal in 2004. A tense match was decided in added time with a goal of the Czech team. The Czechs lost in the semifinals to host nation Finland on Friday night with Finland facing Sweden for the trophy tonight.
Covid measurements Police union leader dissatisfied with compulsory vaccination
The leader of the independent Czech police union, Tomáš Machovič, criticized the government’s decision to make Covid vaccines mandatory for health workers, soldiers, firefighters and police from March 2022. Machovič said that he believed that neither the current nor the future government had clear plans for the degree, and that the police union would push for it to be canceled. It is still unclear how the decree will be applied and what penalties could incur those who still refuse to be vaccinated. New health minister Vlastimil Válek said the decree presented by the outgoing government would be amended.
Economy Czech Republic retains Fitch credit rating
International agency Fitch reviews again assigned the Czech Republic a credit rating of AA-, meaning the country’s rating has remained stable despite the effects of the pandemic. The agency warns, however, that the new government will introduce austerity measures, and Fitch has downgraded his estimate of the Czech Republic’s economic growth this year. However, the agency reduced its estimate of the Czech deficit to 4.1% of GDP, from 5% previously forecast.
Fitch warned, however, that the Czech deficit would remain higher in the coming years than the average for other countries in the same credit category. The agency assesses a country’s credit rating based on the likelihood that investors will receive appropriate loan repayments. The rating has a significant effect on the willingness of investors to lend to the State or to another entity in the country.
Technology Czech tech giant Avast acquires Evernym
Avast, a Czech leader in digital security and privacy software, announced the acquisition of Evernym, a US company specializing in the development of innovative products using decentralized digital credentials, enabling a more secure online experience. The company gives customers control of their online presence by keeping their personal information out of centralized databases, and has been awarded the “Technology Pioneer 2021” award by the World Economic Forum.
Ondřej Vlček, CEO of Avast, noted that trust in online security has been compromised due to a lack of adequate arrangements for people to prove who they are online. The acquisition of Evernym will aim to strengthen Avast’s capabilities in the area of online data protection. The deal is expected to close this month, with products using Evernym technology expected to be available in 2022.
Pandemic Czech mental health deteriorates during Covid
New data suggests that demand for psychological counseling is on the rise in the Czech Republic, with interest peaking during the pandemic, which has led many to turn to online counseling as an alternative to in-person sessions.
The Covid crisis has led to a particular increase in the number of people seeking answers to domestic problems: demand for partner therapy has increased by 16% while therapy for alcoholism has increased by 14%. The average price of a counseling session has also changed due to increased demand: in Prague, a single counseling session has increased to CZK 1,000 on average.