• 05/07/2021

    A memorial act at Prague Castle is set to take place on Monday at 7:30pm, the Czech News Agency reports. Nearly 30,000 candles will be lit on the castle’s courtyards, accompanied by music played by the Castle Guard’s official band.

    Thus far, 29,608 people have died in the Czech Republic after contracting COVID-19. More than 1,6 million people have tested positive for the virus.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    Health Minister Petr Arenberger said that the possibility of travel, as well as access to certain venues, such as sports and cultural events,  will serve as motivation for young people to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Asked on Friday about when the vaccine will become available for young people, Mr Arenberger said that people over the age of 16 should be able to register from the beginning of June.

    The next group eligible to register for the vaccine will be 45 to 49-year-olds from May 12, according to the health minister. He also expects that it will become possible to vaccinate children between the ages of 12 to 16 years old.

    Around 155,000 people between the ages of 55 to 50 have so far registered for the coronavirus vaccine, of which 108,000 have received at least one dose.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    It should be overcast on Saturday with temperatures around 14 degrees Celsius.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    The Chamber of Deputies approved new legislation regarding the so called “Kurzarbeit” scheme on Friday, which reimburses part of the private-sector wages in order to discourage layoffs and limit working hours during the coronavirus epidemic.

    The plan would see employees receive at least 80 percent of their salary for periods when they were unable to work. The state would compensate these salaries, paid out by companies, by 80 percent up to the limit of 150 percent of the average national wage.

    If approved by the Senate, the legislation could be activated in July.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš will brief EU leaders at Saturday’s informal summit in Porto about the recent findings related to the Vrbětice munitions depot explosion in 2014, which evidence suggests was caused by Russian intelligence. Ahead of his flight on Friday, Mr Babiš told journalists that the topic will also be brought up by European Council President Charles Michel in a subsequent news conference.

    Written conclusions about the explosion will be delivered at the European Council meeting on May 25, the Czech prime minister said.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell from March’s 4.2 percent to 4.1 percent in April, according to freshly released data from the Labour Office. This is the lowest rate of unemployment registered since December. The number of jobs that were available in April also rose in year-on-year terms by more than 10,000.

    According to the director of the Labour Office, Viktor Najmon, the coming spring period has seen a demand for seasonal jobs. Labour Minister Jana Maláčová said that the government’s Antivirus salary support programme also helped alleviate a crisis on the job market.

    The areas of the country most affected by unemployment were the Karlovy Vary and Usti nad Labem regions (6 percent), followed by the Moravian-Silesian Region (5.8 percent). The Pardubice Region fared best in April with unemployment lying at just 2.8 percent. In Prague, unemployment lay at 3.6 percent.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    A newly released poll, conducted by the Median agency in April, shows that the coalition of the Pirate Party and the Mayors and Independents are in the lead with 27.5 percent. The current ruling ANO party came in second with 21 percent of the vote, 3.5 percent less than in March.

    The SPOLU (Together) coalition of the centre right Civic Democrats, the TOP 09 party and the Christian Democrats, polled at 17 percent, half a percentage point lower than in the previous month. The Freedom and Direct Democracy party came in fourth with 11.5 percent, followed by the Social Democrats with 6.5 percent and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia whose predicted vote fell to 6 percent in April, down from 7.5 percent the previous month.

    The minimum threshold for a party to get into the Czech Chamber of Deputies lies at 5 percent. The poll was conducted from April 1 to May 4.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    The head of the Lany Forrest Administration Miloš Balák was sentenced to three years in prison on Friday for attempting to manipulate a public tender related to repairs around the slopes of the Lány game reserve near the Klíčava reservoir. Libor Tkadlec, from the company Energie stavební – báňská ESB, received a 3.5 year sentence. Meanwhile, the company itself has to pay a CZK 5 million fine as well as being prevented from taking part in public tenders for several years.

    The sentence was handed out by the district court in Kladno. The defendants say they are not guilty and will have the option to appeal the court rulling.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 05/07/2021

    The Czech Republic, which had the highest new coronavirus infection rate in the European Union from February to mid-March, now ranks 15th in the bloc, according to the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC).

    The Czech Republic over the past 14 days had an average of 298 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Cyprus had the highest infection rate in the EU (1,145 per 100,000 inhabitants), followed by Sweden (692) and Croatia (673).

    As for deaths per capita in the last two weeks, the Czech Republic is 8th worst, with 78 deaths per million inhabitants. Hungary had the highest number (259 deaths per million inhabitants), followed by Bulgaria (187) and Poland (157 dead), according to the ECDC.

    According to the Czech Ministry of Health, there have been 111 cases per 100,000 inhabitants here on average in the past 7 days. The government has set a threshold of 75 cases per 100,000 inhabitants to open outdoor spaces for restaurants and hotels to 25 percent capacity.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 05/07/2021

    A bill to compensate women unlawfully sterilised mainly by the former regime passed a second reading in the lower house of Parliament on Thursday. If the bill becomes law, victims – mainly Romani women – could apply for a one-off payment of CZK 300,000.

    Beginning in 1966, Romani women and others where systematically sterilised without their full and informed consent as a way of controlling their birth rate. State policy in Czechoslovakia fully regulated the practice in 1971, as the Czech Public Defender of Rights noted in a 2005 report.

    The statute of limitations on financial compensation for non-pecuniary damage is three years. Without special treatment from a judge, hundreds of victims would therefore be ineligible for compensation. Women who underwent sterilisation between 1 July 1966 and 31 March 2012 are eligible for compensation. According the bill’s authors, up to 400 people could apply.

    Author: Brian Kenety

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