Daily news summary


Czech foreign minister in Manchester to discuss Brexit concerns with expats

Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček was on a one-day working visit to Manchester on Friday. Mr. Petříček met with Czechs living in Great Britain to discuss their concerns in connection with Britain’s departure from the EU.

The Czech Foreign Ministry recently opened a consulate in Manchester in order to give expats and companies additional support in resolving concerns linked to Brexit.

The Czech foreign minister also honoured the memory of Czech and Slovak soldiers killed in WWII who are buried at the Cheadle and Gatley Cemetery south of Manchester.

Czech accommodation facilities report record number of tourists in 2019

Czech hotels and other accommodation facilities saw a record number of tourists in 2019, according to Czech Statistics Office data released on Friday. The overall number of tourists accommodated in Czech hotels, bed & breakfasts, and at campsites reached 22 million, 3.5 percent more than in the previous year. The number of overnight stays also rose, reaching over 57 million.

More than 10.8 million foreign tourists visited the country last year. Most were from Germany, followed by visitors from Slovakia and Poland. The number of tourists from China and South Korea has dropped.

Labour ministry planning to target “problem” citizens

The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry is planning to put forward an amendment to the law which would cut housing allowances to people on the dole who are not actively looking for work and to parents who do not send their children to school.

Labour Minister Jana Maláčová said the move is to help the local authorities deal with “problem” citizens. However many local administrations and NGOs working with socially disadvantaged groups have criticized the idea, saying it will make the plight of people living in poverty even worse.

Social affairs committee not in favour of five week leave for all employees

The committee for social affairs in the lower house of Parliament has not recommended extending employees annual leave from four to five weeks.

The proposal that the law should guarantee a five week leave for all employees came from the Communist Party and only won support from the Social Democrats in the respective committee.

At present all public sector employees have a five week leave and some private companies offer an extra week as a bonus.

According to available statistics about four fifth of all workers enjoy a five week annual leave. Trade unions have been pushing for a five week leave for all, but employers are vehemently against it.

Police investigating case that caused public outcry

Police say they know the identity of the three women who led a group of pre-school children across a rail track when the red lights were flashing and the gates were down.

The incident, which happened in a Prague suburb, was recorded by Mall.TV which happened to be filming in the area and was placed on YouTube, causing a public outcry.

Police say they have questioned the women, but did not disclose whether charges had been brought against them. Hundreds of people die at Czech rail crossings every year.

Graphic novel about killing of ‘Butcher of Prague’

The Czech Republic’s annual Muriel Award for the best comic book or graphic novel of the year has been given to Článek II (or Article II), about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi governor of occupied Bohemia and Moravia. Heydrich, one of the main architects of the Holocaust, was known as the “Butcher of Prague”. He died of complications after being ambushed and shot in May 1942 by a British-trained team of Czech and Slovak paratroopers in an action code-named ‘Operation Anthropoid’.

Apart from the Muriel Award, the graphic novel about the assassination, written by Jiří Šimáček and illustrated by Ján Lastomírský, also won the main prize of the Czech Academy of Comics and a prize for best script.

The Muriel Awards, established in 2008, were handed out on Thursday evening at a ceremony at Prague’s Bio Oko cinema.

Weather forecast

Saturday should be clear to partly cloudy with day temperatures between 3 and 7 degrees Celsius.