• 04/17/2024

    Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský is considering buying out Royal Mail, the British national postal service, Reuters and the Financial Times reported on Wednesday. Křetínský's investment company confirmed to Reuters that it tried to buy International Distributions Services (IDS), Royal Mail's parent company, earlier this month, but the offer was rejected. The Czech investor already owns 27 percent of IDS through his company VESA Equity Investment, but in recent months, he has been working informally with advisors on a possible takeover of the entire company, the news agencies said.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 04/17/2024

    Thursday is expected to be mostly overcast and rainy, although some parts of the country will see some sunshine. Daytime temperatures are expected to range between 5 and 10 degrees Celsius.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 04/17/2024

    Year-on-year inflation in the European Union decreased from 2.8 percent in February to 2.6 percent in March, while in Czechia, the inflation rate stagnated at 2.2 percent, according to the latest Eurostat data. A year ago the inflation rate was 8.3 percent in the EU and 16.5 percent in Czechia.

    Inflation in the Eurozone is gradually approaching the two percent target set by the European Central Bank. The ECB started raising interest rates in July last year with the aim of bringing inflation under control, but since last October it has kept its base interest rate at 4.5 percent.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 04/17/2024

    If Czechia were not part of the EU, the country would be faring a lot worse economically, according to an analysis by the Czech bank Česká spořitelna, the results of which were presented at a press conference on Wednesday. Since joining the EU, the standard of living in Czechia has improved, with GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power reaching 91 percent of the European average in 2023, compared to 80 percent in 2004, the analysis suggested. Real GDP per capita in the Czech Republic has increased by 40 percent since the country's accession to the EU, from CZK 249,000 in 2004 to CZK 675,000 in 2023.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 04/17/2024

    The Czech Senate has allowed for the adoption of new rules for same-sex partnerships, which gives them most of the same rights as married couples, using an unusual but legal manoeuvre, whereby they voted to simply remove the item from the meeting agenda to avoid a lengthy debate. This automatically allows the one-month deadline for the upper parliamentary chamber to discuss laws, which in this case falls on Thursday 18 April, to expire, meaning the amendment will go straight to President Petr Pavel to be signed into law.

    The unusual idea to strike the item from the agenda - the first time such a move has been used in the Senate's history - was suggested by Zdeňko Nytra, head of the ODS and TOP 09 parliamentary club. Nytra justified the proposal with regard to "what has happened recently" in discussions about the rights of same-sex couples, referring to the offensive language that was used by some MPs when the amendment was debated in the lower house.

    The removal of the amendment from the program, which was motivated by the desire to avoid lengthy and potentially hurtful and offensive debates about LGBT people's rights, was supported by 47 of the 77 senators present. Those who voted against the proposal were mostly senators from the Christian Democrat party.

    Author: Anna Fodor
  • 04/17/2024

    European citizens, including Czechs, have a growing interest in EU elections and a more positive attitude towards the European Parliament than ever before, suggests a Eurobarometer poll released on Wednesday.

    According to the survey, 38 percent of Czechs are interested in EU elections, which is 22 percent more than in 2019. However, this is still well below the European average of 60 percent.

    Some 58 percent of Czechs said they were likely to vote in the upcoming EU elections in June, an increase of 28 percentage points, but again less than the 71 percent across the EU that said the same.

    Only 32 percent of Czechs would like to see the European Parliament play a more important role in their lives, which is the lowest figure among the 27 EU member states. The EU average is 56 percent.

    Author: Ruth Fraňková
  • 04/17/2024

    Following talks with lawmakers in the US Congress on Tuesday, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said he was "moderately optimistic" about the chances of the US aid package for Ukraine winning approval in the House of Representatives.

    Speaking to reporters at the end of his two-day visit to the US, Mr. Fiala said the congressmen appreciated the big role Czechia is playing in helping Ukraine, as well as the Czech shells-for-Ukraine initiative.

    The Czech head of government concluded his US trip by paying tribute to the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk at his statue in the diplomatic quarter.

    Author: Ruth Fraňková
  • 04/16/2024

    Prime Minister Petr Fiala paid tribute to Václav Havel during his visit to the US Congress on Tuesday. On the occasion, he presented Congressmen Lloyd Doggett and Mario Díaz-Balart, who jointly lead the informal Friends of the Czech Republic group, with silver commemorative coins at the bust of the late Czech president.

    The bust of the first Czech President Havel was unveiled at the US Congress in November 2014. Havel, whose bust was created by Czech-American sculptor Lubomír Janečka, was only the fourth European to be honoured this way, after Winston Churchill, Raoul Wallenberg and Lajos Kossuth.

    At the end of his visit to the US, the Czech head of government will also commemorate the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk at his statue in the diplomatic quarter.

    Author: Ruth Fraňková
  • 04/16/2024

    Thanks to the Czech shells-for-Ukraine initiative, 500,000 pieces of artillery ammunition have already been purchased and there is no reason why it couldn’t be another million within the next twelve months, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said at the Hudson Institute on Tuesday.

    In his speech, in which he also talked about the Czechoslovak experience with communism, the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops led by the Soviet army in 1968, and the importance of NATO, the Czech Prime Minister highlighted the Czech assistance to Ukraine to date.

    He described Czechia as capable and reliable ally with a developed defence industry and good business contacts around the world. He also recalled Czechoslovak arms supplies to the young Israeli state in 1948.

    The Czech head of government concluded his speech by saying that without the United States, we couldn’t deal with the crises which we face today and which we will face in the future.

    Author: Ruth Fraňková
  • 04/16/2024

    Wednesday will be partly cloudy with occasional rain showers and day temperatures ranging between 7 and 11 degrees Celsius.

    Author: Ruth Fraňková

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