Daily news summary

Union negotiators advised to demand up to 9 percent higher pay in 2018

The Czech Confederation of Trade Unions has recommended that union negotiators push for pay rises of seven to nine percent next year. The issue was discussed at a meeting in Prague on Tuesday attended by around 1,300 delegates from throughout the country.

The confederation’s leader, Josef Středula, said the figures were a guideline and that unions would make pay demands depending on the situation at concrete firms.

Delegates also discussed working conditions, with union leaders saying they plan to press for reduced hours without a cut in earnings.

EP’s budget control committee investigating Czech PM

The European Parliament’s budget control committee has started debated a complaint regarding suspected conflict of interest on the part of Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that Transparency International recently addressed to the European Commission.

The complaint was made on the grounds of information which suggests that although Babiš put his billion-crown conglomerate Agrofert into a trust fund to comply with a strict new conflict of interest law, he is still the person controlling the company.

Transparency says the findings may have serious implications both as regards the conflict of interest law and EU funding policies.

The Greens in the European Parliament have said Babiš should not take part in the decision making on the new EU budget, if a part of it were to end up in his pocket.

The Czech prime minister has dismissed the accusations as nonsensical.

Czech population grows by over 15,000 in first six months of 2018

The population of the Czech Republic grew to just under 10,625,500 in the first half of the year, according to official data released on Tuesday. That figure was around 15,400 higher than at the end of 2017.

More people died than were born in the Czech Republic in the January to July period and the rise has been attributed to immigration, mainly from Ukraine and Slovakia.

Terror hostage drama staged at Prague’s Congress Centre

A major anti-terrorism exercise was held at Prague’s Congress Centre on Tuesday morning, the news site iDnes.cz reported. The operation, entitled DEMON 2018, simulated 40 armed people taking around 2,000 audience members at a musical show hostage and killing five of them.

During the simulation armed figures were seen holding hostages by windows on three floors at the building. It culminated with the police bringing the situation under control and disarming the “terrorists”.

Former top diplomat takes over at Confederation of Industry and Tourism

A former senior figure in Czech diplomacy, Tomáš Prouza, has become president of the Czech Confederation of Industry and Tourism, the agency announced on Tuesday. Mr. Prouza was previously the Czech Republic’s state secretary for European affairs.

The trained economist said that he would work to achieve the best possible conditions for those sectors and to ensure Czechs benefited from being part of the large European market. Mr. Prouza takes up the new post at the start of October.

Jarolím sacked as Czech football team manager

Karel Jarolím has been sacked as manager of the Czech international soccer team. The 62-year-old was reportedly removed hours after a 5-1 loss in a friendly against Russia on Monday night that followed defeat in the Czechs’ first game in the new Nations League competition.

Jarolím had earlier blamed himself completely for the debacle against Russia, saying he deserved a public execution. Speculation has now turned to who will replace him, with Jaroslav Šilhavý – who led Slavia Prague to the domestic league title in 2017 – named as favourite.

Weather forecast

It should be sunny in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 28 degrees Celsius. Rain is expected in the following days but the weekend should be mainly bright.