Minimum wage to increase by 6.6 percent as of January
The minimum wage in the Czech Republic will be increased by 6.6 percent as of next January, a spokesperson for the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said on Thursday. The ministry plans further increases in July when the minimum wage is to grow by another 6.2 percent, according to a government proposal. The minimum monthly wage will be 7,660 crowns (or 311 US dollars), compared to the current 7,185 crowns. The minimum hourly pay is to grow to 45.20 crowns (or just under two US dollars). After the second increase, the minimum wage is to reach the equivalent of 330 dollars.
Microsoft, CzechInvest to open innovations centre in CzechRep
The US software giant Microsoft and the Czech government agency CzechInvest plan to open an innovations centre in the Czech Republic at the end of the year, Microsoft vice-president Neil Holloway said on Thursday. The centre should help Czech university graduates improve their skills, assist new software companies in starting business and develop new programmes on the Microsoft platform. According to Mr Holloway, Czech universities and independent software producers should take part in the project, too. The head of strategic products at CzechInvest Tomas Bohrn said the main goal of the centre would be to attract strategic projects in the development of software and microelectronics to the Czech Republic.
CVVM poll confirms high trust in President Klaus
According to a poll by the CVVM agency, seventy-one percent of Czechs trust President Vaclav Klaus. The findings confirmed the results of a poll by the private STEM polling agency, suggesting Mr Klaus's performance as president was positively assessed by 72 percent of respondents in October. The CVVM poll revealed that the Senate, the upper house of the Czech parliament, enjoys the least trust of respondents. The government is supported by 42 percent of respondents, the lower house by 26 percent and the Senate by 24 percent.
President to appoint new health minister on Friday
Czech President Vaclav Klaus has agreed to name David Rath the new health minister on Friday. This ends a battle between the President's Office and Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek, who failed to persuade the president to appoint Mr Rath a fortnight ago. At the time, Mr Rath headed a professional chamber representing doctors and President Klaus feared it could lead to a conflict of interest. Mr Rath gave up the post on Wednesday.
Czechs recall Nedved for World Cup playoff
Pavel Nedved will return to help the Czech Republic in this month's World Cup playoff against Norway after a 16-month absence, coach Karel Brueckner said on Thursday. The Juventus midfielder is in the squad for the first time since retiring from international football after the Czechs lost to eventual champions Greece in the Euro 2004 semi-finals. The former European Footballer of the Year hurt his knee in that semi-final with Greece and said he no longer wanted to play for his country because of the toll it was taking on his body. But in recent weeks the 33-year-old let it be known he would consider a return to the squad for the playoff.
We can expect overcast skies with occasional rain in the coming days. Daytime temperatures should range from 9 to 11 degrees Celsius.