Czech senator calls on Germany, Austria to examine Agrofert loans
Czech senator Lukáš Wagenknecht (independent, for the Pirates) has called on central banks in Austria and Germany to examine loans provided to the Agrofert conglomerate founded by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO).
Wagenknecht is hoping to learn more about how Agrofert operates since Babiš was compelled under Czech law to place it in trust funds, the news site Neovlivní.cz reports.
European Commission audits leaked to the press have found Babiš in conflict of interest because he continues to exert influence over Agrofert, despite placing it into trust funds in 2017.
Wagenknecht wants to determine whether Agrofert gave false or contradictory information to German and Austrian banks regarding beneficial ownership of the conglomerate.
The senator noted that in a Slovak register Babiš is listed as the controlling entity of Agrofert and its end beneficiary.
Government introduces night curfew and bans Sunday sales10/26/2020
The Czech government has announced a new set of restrictions aimed at bringing the coronavirus epidemic under control.
As of Wednesday, October 28, people will have to observe a night curfew between 9pm and 5am, employers have been asked to employ home office wherever possible, food and other stores selling essential goods, which still remain open, will have to be closed on Sundays and will have to close their doors by 8pm on weekdays.
People are being encouraged to shop twice a week instead of going out daily and minimize their contacts with others as much as possible.
PM proposes abolishing “super gross” wage10/26/2020
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš proposed the abolition of the “super gross” wage, as the base for calculating employee income tax, in the Chamber of Deputies on Monday.
The proposal would see income tax cut from the present 20 percent to 15 percent for low and medium income groups. People with an income of over 139,000 crowns a month would pay a 23 percent tax.
The abolition would be valid for two years only, allowing for changes depending on the country’s post-pandemic economic development.
Brno builds field hospital10/26/2020
Work on a field hospital for 300 patients has started in the Moravian metropolis of Brno.
As in Prague, the hospital should serve to treat less acute cases and patients on their way to recovery so that other hospitals can focus on serious cases of Covid-19 infection and essential care.
According to Health Minister Roman Prymula hospitals around the country will reach their capacity limit around November 10.
Tuesday should be partly cloudy to overcast with rain and day temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees Celsius.
Around 13,000 health professionals down with Covid-1910/26/2020
The number of health workers infected with coronavirus has now reached 13,000, significantly weakening the health system, the president of the Czech Medical Chamber Milan Kubek, told Czech Radio on Monday.
Some 2,600 doctors, 6,000 nurses and 4,500 paramedics are currently fighting the infection.
About a thousand medics get sick every day, Kubek said.
According to the Czech Statists Office, there are some 50,000 physicians and over 80,000 nurses in the Czech Republic.
Confidence in Czech economy drops10/26/2020
Confidence in the Czech economy fell by 4.5 points, month-on-month, to 86.4 points in October after five months of consecutive growth, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office.
Consumer confidence took the biggest hit, falling by 11.6 points.
After the spring drop, this is the second highest fall since the start of monitoring.
People are worried about possible lay-offs and cuts in wages due to the coronavirus restrictions.
Confidence among entrepreneurs dropped by three points to 86.5.
Czechs ignore health recommendations, go shopping in Poland10/26/2020
Czechs living near the border with Poland used the weekend to undertake shopping trips to the neighbour state after the authorities closed most shops in the Czech Republic, the news site Novinky.cz writes.
The news site says the main interest was in hobby markets where a fourth of all cars in the parking lot had Czech registration numbers and in clothes stores.
People making the trip also filled up their tanks since petrol is cheaper in the neighbour state.
Primary and secondary school students get week-long holiday10/26/2020
Primary and secondary school students are getting a week-long holiday starting Monday.
The government extended the usual fall holiday by two days in order to create a longer break and help curb the spread of the epidemic.
All schools were ordered to start operating online anyway since the decision was made because of the worsening situation.
Parents have been asked not to let their children out to play together and minimize contacts with others outside the family circle.
Czechia registers highest Sunday increase in Covid-19 since epidemic started10/26/2020
The Czech Republic registered 7,301 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday; the highest Sunday increase since the epidemic started in March.
Over 158,000 people are currently fighting the infection.
Over 5,300 people have been hospitalized, a fifty percent increase on last week and 800 of them are in a serious condition.
The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the Czech Republic has doubled in the past two weeks, and now stands at over 2,000.
Figures for the past week place the Czech Republic second in the world, after Andorra, in the number of corona-related deaths per capita.
Czechs warned to expect further tightening of coronavirus measures10/26/2020
Czechs have been warned to expect a further tightening of coronavirus measures this week if the steep increase in cases continues.
In a video address released on Youtube on Sunday the prime minister said the current figures were “catastrophic” and begged people to start taking the epidemic seriously.
He said that in view of the growing number of infected elderly people and the rising death toll it was almost certain that further measures would have to be taken soon.
The government is to address the issue in a video session on Monday afternoon.