Daily news summary


Neckermann travel agency says it will get its Czech clients home safely

The travel agency Neckermann, which is part of the bankrupt British travel agency Thomas Cook, has issued a statement saying the collapse of its mother company should not affect its own clients.

The head of marketing at Neckermann, Jan Šrámek, said the travel agency has approximately 1,100 Czech clients abroad who should return on schedule with no foreseeable problems.

The return flights have been covered and everything should go according to schedule, Šrámek said.

He noted that in connection with the recent developments the company might have to scrap the foreign holidays of clients who have not yet left but gave assurances their money would be refunded in full.

According to the head of the Association of Czech Travel Agencies Jan Papež, the problem could affect Czech clients who had bought their holidays in Germany or Great Britain.

Minister planning state-subsidized crèches

The minister for labour and social affairs, Jana Maláčová, is planning to re-introduce state-subsidized crèches as of 2021.

The minister has stressed the need to address the lack of facilities for children under the age of 3.

Parents who need to place their child in a day-care facility either find so-called children’s’ groups, which are fairly expensive, or try to enrol them in kindergartens.

Under the new system children’s groups would be transformed into crèches and the state would subsidize all children under the age of 4 with a sum of 5,000 crowns a month.

The sum paid for by the child’s parents should not exceed a third of the minimal wage (presently 4,450), Maláčová said.

Children over the age of four would be placed in kindergartens. There are currently 45,000 two-year-olds in kindergartens.

2019 Jaroslav Seifert Prize to go to philosopher Miroslav Petříček

The 2019 Jaroslav Seifert Prize will go to the esteemed Czech philosopher, writer and translator Miroslav Petříček for his work Filosofie en noir, published by Charles University press. The award will be handed over at Prague City Hall in December.

The Jaroslav Seifert Prize is a prestigious Czech literary prize created by the Charta 77 Foundation in Stockholm in January 1986.

The prize is named after the Nobel Prize winning Czechoslovak writer, poet and journalist, Jaroslav Seifert, and is awarded for an outstanding work of poetry or fiction published in the course of the past three years in the Czech Republic or abroad.

During the communist era it was awarded to authors in exile.

Pavel Podruh wins Outstanding Young Person Award

Pavel Podruh, founder of the Czech start-up Self-Sufficient Houses, is the first Czech ever to receive the Outstanding Young Person Award given by Junior Chamber International (JCI). He was awarded for innovations in the field and for promoting the idea of ecologically-friendly housing.

The Outstanding Young Person Award is an international programme celebrated annually by JCI to honour young persons or leaders that have had an impact on positive change in the community or have achieved something outstanding in their chosen field.

Municipalities given a year to make their web-pages disability-friendly

Municipalities around the country have been given a year to make their web pages user-friendly for disabled and elderly citizens, according to a new Interior Ministry regulation.

This will necessitate a suitable presentation with regard to size, style and layout and a text that is optimal for reading programs for the blind. Newly-set up web pages must meet the criteria from the outset.

The ministry said even the smallest municipalities should have no problem meeting the criteria since work on their web pages is usually done by IT specialists via outsourcing.

Weather forecast

Tuesday should be overcast with rain around the country and day temperatures between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius.