Daily news summary

ANO congress re-elects unopposed party leaders Babiš, Faltýnek

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš was re-elected chairman of the ANO party he founded on Sunday as, running unopposed. Jaroslav Faltýnek was reelected first deputy chairman and faced no opponent ahead of the party congress vote.

Mr Babiš received 206 votes out of 238 delegates present at the national assembly. Thirteen delegates voted against him and 19 abstained. In the last party congress, he received 195 votes out of 210 delegates, and in 2015 was elected unanimously.

As for Mr Faltýnek, two candidates for the first deputy chair post withdrew their candidacies in the eleventh hour. He received 190 votes, or roughly 80 percent of the 237 delegates present.

The two ANO party leaders have consistently been ranked the country’s most popular politicians in polls of eligible voters over the past six months.

MEP Dita Charanzová to head ANO ticket for European elections

Czech MEP Dita Charanzová has been chosen by the ANO party congress leadership and regions to head the party’s ticket for European elections this May.

Before being elected to the European Parliament in 2014 as an independent, she worked in the Czech diplomatic service for over a decade. During that time, she was posted for four years at the Permanent Representation of the Czech Republic to the EU.

In the European Parliament, Ms Charanzová is a member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) political group.

Czech assets rose to 5.2 trillion as of end-2017, FinMin says

Total assets of the Czech Republic amounted to 5.2 trillion crowns at the end of 2017, up 1.3 percent year on year, according to consolidated financial statements published by the Ministry of Finance. As an accounting entity, the country posted a profit of about 181 billion crowns last year, up 43 percent in annual terms.

The consolidated financial statements provide information on the financial situation and performance of all entities of the state administration and self-government of the Czech Republic as if it were a single economic unit.

Included therein are 18,138 units, including ministries and other authorities, regions, municipalities, health insurance companies and significant holdings held by the state administration and local governments.

Czechs in big cities exposed to harmful levels of noise, Health Ministry map shows

Most Czechs living in big cities are exposed to levels of harmful noise levels, according to a noise map published by the Ministry of Health.

People exposed to above 40 decibels of noise at night are prone to suffer sleep disorders and insomnia. Those exposed to above 55 decibels during the day, the equivalent to the noise of a busy street, are at greater risk of having high blood pressure.

According to the map, 90 percent of Czechs sleep in an environment where the average level exceeds 40 decibels and 10 percent where the level is even higher than 60 decibels.

PM Babiš pledges to abolish “super gross” tax wage, reduce burden on families

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš pledged in a speech before his ANO party’s biannual congress on Sunday to abolish the “super gross” tax wage as part of a wider tax reform effort that would reduce taxes on employees.

In effect since 2008, the super gross wage is the base for calculating the employee income tax. It is the sum of an employee’s gross wage plus social and health insurance premiums.

Mr Babiš, who founded ANO and is again running unopposed in the election for party chairman, said he also wants to revise social benefits policies to be more pro-family. He equated a decline in Czech birth rates with a high tax burden.

Average Prague residential rental price hits CZK 340 per sqm

Average rents in Prague rose by 3 percent last year to CZK 340 per square metre, a slower pace than in the previous year, according to Trigema, a leading developer.

The steepest average rise was in Prague 7 (11.4 percent) followed by Prague 1 (by 8.5 percent) and Prague 3 (by 8.1 percent).

The highest average rents were in the city centre, at CZK 433 per sqm in Prague 1 and CZK 389 per sqm in Prague 2. The lowest were in Prague 9 (CZK 299 per sqm) and Prague 10 (CZK 303 per sqm).

The number of available rental units in Prague fell by 15 percent year-on-year to 6,324 last year, according to Trigema.

Weather outlook

Monday should be clear and warm with average daytime highs of between 8 to 12 degrees Celsius.