The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today
#1 Czechia rekindles ties with Poland to resolve energy crisis
The Czech Republic and Poland have renewed cooperation on the Stork II gas pipeline, with both countries backing the project, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala told reporters at the Karpacz Economic Forum on Tuesday evening following talks with the prime minister. Polish Mateusz Morawiecki. The development of the Stork II gas pipeline, which would lead from the Czech border to Świnoujście in Poland, will allow greater diversification of natural gas deliveries in Europe while reducing dependence on Russian gas. Read more.
#2 Czech Prime Minister elected “Man of the Year” in Poland
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala received the Polish Man of the Year 2022 award at the opening of the 31st Economic Forum in Karpacz last night. “It’s a great honor for me. I know who has already received this award – Lech Walesa, Vaclav Havel and John Paul II. They are excellent personalities whom I respect enormously,” Fiala said on the occasion, saying that he had accepted the price. as an expression of support for Czech-Polish relations, but that he felt somewhat embarrassed.
#3 Two tickets for the Babiš show, please!
The public can watch the trial of former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his former aide Jana Nagyova in the Stork’s Nest subsidy fraud case. Admission tickets will be issued every day at the Municipal Court in Prague, a spokesperson told ČTK. The courtroom has a capacity of 80 seats, but if interest arises, balcony seats can accommodate an additional 36 spectators for the September 12 proceedings. The former prime minister and his aide are accused of grant fraud and harming the financial interests of the EU. If found guilty, they face up to ten years in prison. Both suspects have previously denied the charges.
#4 Czechia could deploy up to 1,200 troops to NATO’s eastern border
The Czech military will be able to deploy troops to NATO’s eastern border to boost defense under a new plan passed today in the Chamber of Deputies. In total, up to 1,362 soldiers could serve in foreign missions in 2023 and 2024. The new plan was heavily influenced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Defense Minister Jana Cernochova told MPs. Up to 1,200 troops will be used to enforce NATO’s eastern border in Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary.
#5 Drop in food and gasoline sales and drop in online shopping
The year-on-year decline in retail sales accelerated slightly to 7.2% in July from a revised 6.9% in June. The new data reflects lower sales of fuel, non-food items and food. Retail sales fell in the Czech Republic for the third consecutive month, according to data released Wednesday by the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO). So what are we spending on? This year, consumers are paying more and more at the pharmacy.
#6 It’s 4:20 a.m. somewhere: Million Marijuana March rolls through Prague
Marijuana legalization has failed to come to Czechia, despite the country’s lingering misconception as a party haven with liberal drug laws. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite: although possession is decriminalized, recreational use remains illegal. This could change if a new law is passed that would legalize the cultivation, sale and consumption of cannabis. The Marijuana Million March takes place today in Prague’s Old Town Square in an effort to raise awareness of the issue during a meeting of drug coordinators from other European countries as part of the Czech Presidency of the EU Council. Read more.
#seven Diphtheria cases on the rise in the Czech Republic
This year, the laboratory of the National Institute of Health (SZÚ) confirmed four cases of diphtheria, which had not occurred in the Czech Republic since the 1990s. The first case was recorded in May in a patient from Vysocina. In recent months, two younger siblings and an elderly patient have fallen ill. Vaccination against diphtheria is compulsory in the Czech Republic.
TIP: Do you know which vaccines are compulsory in the Czech Republic? Learn more about childhood immunization schedules here.
#8 New Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Czechia this week
Vaccines against new variants of Covid-19 are being distributed in some EU countries this week, European Medicines Agency (EMA) chief Emer Cooke said today ahead of an informal meeting of health ministers. EU Health which took place in Prague under the Czech Presidency of the EU. The Czech Medical Association has confirmed to CTK that the appropriate vaccines will arrive in Czechia this week. Cooke stressed the need for strong vaccination campaigns in the fall and winter.
#9 Stormy days ahead for Czechia
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (ČHMÚ) has issued a strong thunderstorm warning for torrential rain with totals of around 30mm, hail and wind gusts of up to around 70km/h. The warning is valid from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday for the regions of Prague, Středočeský, Plzeňský, Karlovy Vary, Ústí and Liberec.
On Thursday, the storms will first affect the whole of Bohemia, for which the warning is valid from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., then move to Moravia and Silesia, where the warning is issued from 3:00 p.m. hail and wind, it is likely that there will be heavier rain than Wednesday, with a volume of precipitation of up to 40 millimeters.
#10 Watch Apple Keynote from Czech Republic
The live broadcast of the Apple Keynote presentation starts on Wednesday, September 7 at 7:00 p.m. (Czech time). The show will last about an hour and a half, during which, in addition to the iPhone 14 (Pro), the world will see the next generation Apple Watch, AirPods Pro 2 and Apple TV.
#11 Hollywood arrives in Prague for the world premiere of “Jan Žižka”
Monday saw the red carpet premiere of “Jan Žižka” directed by Petr Jákl at the Slovanský dům in Prague. The early life story of Czechia’s most famous warlord features major Hollywood stars, including eighty-nine-year-old two-time Oscar winners Michael Caine and Ben Foster, Matthew Goode, Til Schweiger and Sophie Lowe. The film is the most expensive Czech film ever made with a budget of approximately CZK 450 million. It hits theaters tomorrow. Read our review and see how to find the English version here.
#12 The Lennon Wall gets a makeover
Artists from 27 EU countries as well as guests from Ukraine and Norway started redecorating the Lennon Wall in Prague to create the Wall of Freedom and Energy on the occasion of the Czech Presidency of the EU. The organizers intend to take a picture of the wall and then print it on an inflatable wall that will tour several European cities. A total of 30 artists will cooperate on the joint piece, said artist Pavel Stastny. “We deliberately chose the theme of freedom and energy because this (Lennon’s) wall is our symbol of freedom, peace and love,” he said. Learn more here.