Daily news summary
Czech National Bank raises basic rate by 0.25 percentage points
The Czech National Bank hiked interest rates on Thursday by 0.25 percentage points to bring the basic rate to 0.5 percent.
It’s the second rate hike this year following a previous one in August. That was the first rate increase since 2008.
The latest move had been widely predicted by economists. There are also expectations that the bank could follow up with a further rate rise this year and at the start of 2018 faced with a booming domestic economy.
Rebuffs for Andrej Babiš over Cabinet posts
More personalities have declared that they have turned down approaches from ANO leader Andrej Babiš to be ministers in the Cabinet he is seeking to put together.
The head of the association of small and medium sized businesses, Karel Havlíček, said he rejected an offer to be minister of industry and trade.
Composer and rector of the Janáček Academy in Brno, Ivo Medek, announced he did not want to be Minister of Culture. Babiš said earlier that he had already filled seven to eight positions.
Former head of Slovak National Memory Institute came under pressure over Babiš case
The former head of Slovakia’s National Memory Institute says he came under pressure over the case of ANO leader Andrej Babiš and the archive evidence suggesting he was an agent for the communist era secret police, StB.
Ondrej Krajňák said in an interview with Czech Radio that he came under political pressure over the case from some politicians that wanted to preserve good relations with the Czech Republic and was encouraged not to pursue the case with such vigour.
The Slovak Constitutional Court recently overturned an earlier court ruling clearing Babiš of cooperating with the secret police. Babiš says he will appeal.
Krajňák resigned over legal changes to the status of the institution that holds the former police archives.
Czech exhibition recalls Masaryks’ contribution to creation of Israel
Czech foreign minister Lubomír Zaorálek and the Israeli ambassador to the Czech Republic David Meron have launched an exhibition recalling the contribution of Czechoslovakia’s first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, and his son, Jan, to the creation of Israel.
Meron recalled president Masaryk’s visit to the then Palestine in 1927. The Czech foreign minister said many Israelis today remember the contribution Czechoslovakia made to the founding of the new state in 1948 by deliveries of arms.
The communist regime had mistakenly hoped a communist style regime would evolve in the new Jewish state.
Marek Hilšer announces support for Czech presidential bid
Doctor and activist Marek Hilšer says he has won enough support from members of the upper house of parliament, the Senate, to run in upcoming presidential elections. Hilšer declared in a press conference Thursday that he had backing from 11 senators and the signatures would be presented to the Ministry of Interior the same day. Hilšer should join another seven candidates, including current head of state Miloš Zeman, who have said they will run.
Prague public transport scores high in international survey
Prague has been ranked fifth in a survey of the world cities with the most sustainable public transport. Hong Kong placed first in the Sustainable Cities Mobility Index produced by Arcadis, part of London’s Centre for Economic and Business Research.
The study’s authors rated cities according to three main factors: social, environmental and economic. Prague lost points because of occasional traffic jams and air pollution. The Czech capital finished just ahead of sixth-placed Vienna, with which it is frequently compared in terms of public transport, the news site iDnes.cz said.
Czech female graduates earn far less than male counterparts
Female university graduates in the Czech Republic earn an average 29 percent less than their male graduate colleagues, according to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Women who have completed third-level education are paid an average CZK 15,000 less than their male counterparts.
The Czech Republic has the second highest gap between pay levels for male and female graduates in the European Union. The average gap across the bloc is 22 percent.
Court says prisoner’s overdose death was more than disciplinary issue
A Prague court has quashed a lower court’s verdict that the death of a prisoner from an overdose of methadone was solely a disciplinary issue of misconduct. The municipal court overruled the earlier decision of the Prague 4 district court which did not find a criminal case to answer.
A mix up over medical does with prisoners having the same surname resulted in the death of the prisoner at Prague’s Pankrác jail last year with one officer alleged not to have taken steps which could have saved the prisoner’s life.
The weather on Friday will be cloudy with sunny intervals. Top daytime temperatures will range between 9 and 13 degrees Celsius.