16:05 Acquitted Czech stranded in Pakistan over visa issues
Czech Tereza Hlůšková remains stuck in Pakistan despite being cleared of drug trafficking allegations earlier. Hlůsková was detained with nine kilograms of heroin at Lahore airport in January 2018. She was initially convicted, but was later acquitted of all charges. Now her return from Pakistan is delayed because she does not have the correct visa to leave Pakistan. MEP Tomáš Zdechovský confirmed the complicated situation, adding that the Czech Foreign Ministry was fighting to bring Hlůšková home. Hlůšková denied any guilt in the drug case, saying she had traveled to Pakistan as a model and the heroin must have been placed in her luggage without her knowledge.
13:00 Greenpeace calls for environmental protection near Turów mine
Greenpeace has called for any deal on Poland’s controversial Turów coal mine to ensure sufficient environmental protection while safeguarding water supplies for Czechs living across the border near the mine. The NGO calls on the Czech Republic not to give in to Polish demands on the mine, which include less compensation for damage caused by mining activity to the neighboring Czech environment. Greenpeace’s intervention comes as the new Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková begins her first talks with her Polish counterpart Anna Moskwa about the mine.
12:30 Babiš should be released from immunity from prosecution
The lower house of the Czech parliament is likely to release former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from parliamentary immunity so he can be prosecuted in the ‘Stork’s Nest’ case of alleged EU subsidy fraud. The House committee ruling on immunities recommended that MPs release Babiš for prosecution after hearing a case from prosecutor Jaroslav Šaroch. Babiš and a former councilor are accused of defrauding subsidies of CZK 50 million for the construction of the Čapí hnízdo (Stork’s Nest) farm and conference center. Babiš denies any wrongdoing.
11:06 Activists chain themselves to the Nusle bridge at rush hour
Five people chained themselves to the busy Nusle road bridge in Prague and police were forced to use coercive means to remove them, a police spokesperson told CTK this morning. Police arrested the group on suspicion of a crime and launched an investigation into their identity and motives. A photo posted on Twitter shows five people, holding a banner reading “Don’t be fooled” in Polish and “Coal is suicide” in Czech.
The Polish sign could refer to today’s negotiations between Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) and her Polish counterpart Anna Moskwa over the Turow mine. Politicians will discuss reaching an agreement on the ongoing activity in the Turow mine near the Czech border, its environmental impact and compensation for the Czech Republic.
Economy National Bank analysts’ bleak economic forecast
A new analysis of Czech National Bank Economists have confirmed inflation fears in the Czech Republic, with prices rising too quickly and an inflationary spiral threatening to unleash. ČNB analysts say inflation may return to normal levels in the fall, but even then it won’t go away completely.
According to the analysis, the ČNB will inevitably have to raise interest rates to fight inflation. Otherwise, high inflation will remain a feature of Czech life for a long time to come. The base interest rate is currently 3.75%, the highest since 2008. As a result, analysts are warning individuals and businesses to expect more expensive mortgages and loans, although those with savings can already benefit from higher interest rates.
sport Kvitová, injured, leaves the Australian Open
Czech tennis star Petra Kvitová has left the Australian Open after losing to Sorana Cirstea in the first round. The two-time Wimbledon champion continued her poor recent grand slam record below, losing the match 2:6 2:6.
Kvitová has been struggling with a wrist problem since the start of the year and didn’t perform well in the first round. She made a total of 39 unforced errors and did not break her opponents’ serve in the match, which ended after just one hour and twelve minutes. Despite her recent poor performances in Melbourne, Kvitová reached the Australian Open final in 2019.
Race relations No ‘Czech George Floyd’, Roma death analysis concludes
An expert analysis of the death of Roma man Stanislav Tomáš in Teplice last year concluded that the police were not responsible for the man’s death. The case was initially branded a Czech “George Floyd” example of racially motivated police brutality when it made international headlines in 2021, with footage showing police officers kneeling on Tomáš’s neck before his death. in an ambulance.
The new analysis, however, concludes that Tomáš died of a heavy drug overdose. Yet criticism has recently been leveled at the inquest, saying insufficient attention was paid to inconsistencies in the testimonies of police officers involved in the incident and paramedics who later arrived at the scene.
Music Czech star Jakub Hrůša wins prestigious international music award
Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša won the Best Symphonic Music category at the International Classical Music Awards for his recording of Anton Bruckner’s 4th Symphony with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Hrůša is Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; he is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hrůša is considered one of the most exciting stars in the world of classical music. Another figurehead of the Czech music scene, pianist Ivo Kahánek, has been nominated for an ICMA for a recording of the complete piano works of Antonin Dvořák. The ICMAs award prizes in 16 categories, with a panel of experts evaluating artistic performance as well as creativity in the choice of repertoire.
Weather A return to winter hits the Czech Republic
Freezing temperatures returned to the Czech Republic today, with many regions reporting snow and ice. Pedestrians in Prague should watch out for icy conditions this morning, although the Czech capital has so far been less severely affected than other localities.
In the Liberec region, drivers are advised to exercise caution due to frozen roads. Meanwhile, in the South Bohemian region, a total of 156 salt spreaders have left to make the roads passable again. Ice is also a problem in Moravia, with the Olomouc region reporting particularly dangerous roads at higher altitudes. The current ice problems could be a sign of things to come, as meteorologists expect heavy snowfall later this week, even at lower elevations.