The Chairman of the Civic Democrats, Petr Fiala, believes that another
wide-ranging closure of businesses in the Czech Republic, if there were a
second wave of the COVID-19 coronavirus, would be a mistake. Speaking at a
press conference on Thursday, he said it is necessary to prepare for a
second wave in a wave that would prevent crippling measures against the
operations of businesses.
The statement came before Thursday’s extraordinary session in the Chamber
of Deputies, which the Civic Democrats and Pirate Party hope will look into
the questions surrounding state purchases of medical equipment and the
financial support for citizens whose economic activity was impacted by the
The opposition has been critical of the fact that the vast majority of medical equipment used in containing the coronavirus was purchased from China, rather than domestic businesses and that many individuals did not receive sufficient financial support from the state when government measures rendered them unable to work.
A mobile museum on rails known as Legiovlak will return to the tracks on
Tuesday. The replica of a train used by Czechoslovak legionnaires in Russia
has been stopping at Czech towns and cities for several years now,
spreading awareness of Czechoslovak Legions and their contribution to the
creation of an independent Czechoslovak state.
By the end of November, the Legiovlak is scheduled to make a week-long stop in more than two dozen towns and cities around the country. Its first stop next week will be the West Bohemian town of Plasy, near Pilsen.
The annual Pilgrimage of Reconciliation from the town of Pohořelice to
Brno, commemorating the victims of the post-war expulsion of the Moravian
capital’s German-speaking population, will be postponed to September.
The event traditionally takes place in May, when the “Brno death march” took place in 1945. Some 20,000 of the city’s German-speaking citizens were rounded up by Czech paramilitaries in the wake of WWII and walked to the Austrian border. Around 1,700 are believed to have died of exhaustion on the way.
The Czech Republic should get almost 20 billion euros from the European
Commission’s special recovery fund to restart economies hit hard by the
coronavirus outbreak, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday, citing a
draft of the plan.
The European Commission on Wednesday called for a 750 billion euro recovery fund, a third of which would help Italy and Spain – the countries most affected by the epidemic. The commission plans to borrow the whole sum in financial markets.
Out of the sum, 19.2 billion euros should be allocated to the Czech Republic, while direct payments from the EU funds are to amount to 8.6 billion and the remaining 10.6 billion would be loans with advantageous interest rates.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Thursday he didn’t agree with unemployment playing a significant role in the aid distribution. He said that states that managed to keep low unemployment even during the crisis should not be penalised.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš spoke via videoconference with his
counterparts from several European countries which have “successfully
managed the coronavirus” on Wednesday, according to Mr Babiš’s Twitter
account. The discussion included the questions of opening up borders and
implementing smart quarantine measures.
During the conference, which included the leaders of Austria, Greece, Denmark and Norway, Mr Babiš also spoke about the eRouska app, which informs users whether they have come in contact with someone infected with COVID-19. He also presented the idea of creating an “immunity passport”, an international prevention system which would be based on data sharing.
This was the third of such videoconference meetings, with the first having taken place in April.
Petr Nečas, the Czech Republic’s prime minister from 2010 to 2013, has
been found guilty of two false testimonies by the Prague 1 district court,
Czech Television reported on Wednesday.
The statements were made to defend his wife who was his assistant while he was prime minister Jana Nagyova. She is accused of abusing the services of military intelligence while she was in the assistant position, using the intelligence agency to spy on Mr Nečas’ then wife.
The former PM’s lawyer Adam Černý told the Czech News Agency that his client will appeal the judge’s ruling.
Scientists from the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences in
Ceske Budejovice have successfully tested a potential new vaccine which
could be used to treat lyme disease. The treatment, developed by American
pharmaceutical researcher Sanofi, currently holds a 100 percent success
rate in treating the illness. The results of the tests were published
earlier this month in the NPJ Vaccines journal.
Lyme disease is an illness transferred by ticks. Only in the Czech Republic, around 4,000 people a year are diagnosed with the sickness.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has asked Poland to consider opening
further border crossings in the Liberec and Hradec Kralove regions after a
meeting with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Mr Czaputowicz asked that the Czech Republic allow transit for Polish workers through Czech territory into other countries. The Czech foreign minister said he will discuss the request at the next government meeting.
Forward David Pastrňák from the Boston Bruins finished top in the goal
scoring rankings in this year’s season of the NHL. Pastrňák shares the
top spot with Alexander Ovechkin from the Washington capitals. Both players
scored 48 goals. Pastrňák in 70 games, Ovechkin in just 68.
The play-off round will now decide which of the 24 teams that progressed into the next stage will win this year’s Stanley Cup.