Daily news summary

Lower house approves amendment to protect EU nationals on Czech labor market

The lower house of Parliament has approved an amendment to the law which would give the Czech Ombudsman’s Office the power to check whether foreign nationals from other EU states do not face discrimination at the workplace.

The amendment transposes an EU directive into the country’s anti-discrimination law. It will guarantee foreign nationals from EU member states equal opportunities on the labour market, including social and tax advantages.

The bill still needs to win approval in the Senate and be signed by the president.

Czech Foreign Ministry sending aid to hurricane Harvey victims

The Czech Foreign Ministry is releasing five million crowns in emergency aid to the victims of hurricane Harvey, the ministry said on its website. The money should go to buy water, food, medicines and hygiene supplies.

Czech Catholic charities are also sending aid. The Czech Bishops conference said it was sending 23,000 dollars to the Archdiocese on Galevston-Houston. There is a large community of Czech expats living in Texas.

Lower house refuses to lift ban of deliveries to Iranian nuclear plant

The lower house has refused to lift a ban on deliveries to the Iranian nuclear plant in Bushehr, in line with a proposal tabled by the Communist Party.

The law enforcing such a ban was passed in 2,000 in reaction to a Czech firm’s plans to deliver ventilation equipment for the plant.

The deal was criticized by Britain and the US amid growing suspicion that Iran was using civilian nuclear program to cover up its nuclear projects in the military.

An agreement has since been reached with Iran which resulted in the lifting of sanctions against the country in the nuclear sphere, but the majority of Czech MPs still voted against lifting the ban, expressing concern with regard to Iran’s nuclear program and arguing that such a move could damage the country’s close ties with Israel.

Czechia and Italy join to help Ivory Coast migrants

The Czech Republic and Italy are preparing a joint project to help migrants from Ivory Coast, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka told journalists after meeting his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni on Thursday.

The Czech Republic is to contribute with roughly one million euros to the project, helping to improve the living conditions of the people who are returned from other countries to Ivory Coast.

The Czech Republic has been against the redistribution of refugees from the very beginning and has only accepted 12 of the 2,000 it had been designated by the EU.

Unemployment rate to drop further

Labour market experts are expecting a further drop in unemployment, with the figure likely to dip under 4 percent in September, the ctk news agency reported.

The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent in July, and 4.0 in August. The lack of workers on the market is also expected to push up salaries.

The expectations are that unemployment will reach 3.7 percent in November before seeing a slight growth due to the end of seasonal work.

Met stars open 10th annual Dvorak Prague festival

The tenth annual Dvořák Prague festival got underway on Thursday night with a concert in Prague’s Rudolfinum. The festival opened with Antonín Dvořák’s Stabat Mater, featuring Metropolitan Opera Kristine Opolais and René Pape.

Over the next two weeks, the event will showcase performances by renowned soloists and some of the world’s best orchestras, including London Philharmonic Orchestra or Wienner Philharmoniker.

Weather forecast

Saturday should be clear to partly cloudy throughout most of the day with temperatures between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius. A cold front moving from the West should bring rain in the afternoon and evening.