• 01/10/2022

    Film director and screenwriter Dušan Klein, a Holocaust survivor best known for a series of films about poetry, died on Sunday at the age of 82.

    Born Julius Klein, on June 27, 1939, in Michalovce (now in Slovakia), he survived internment as a child in the wartime ghetto and concentration camp Terezín.

    After the war, Klein went on to study film directing at FAMU in Prague and made his feature-length debut in 1964 with the psychological thriller Místenka bezráti.

    He was director of the Barrandov Film Studio from 1975 to 1991. The first three parts of his legendary “poetry” series in the 1980s attracted over 5 million viewers.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    Czech building societies granted a record amount of loans last year – some 113.4 billion crowns in total, up 66 percent year-on-year, ČTK reports.

    The increase was driven by increased interest in real estate as an investment opportunity along with rising interest rates and construction sector costs, according to the Association of Building Societies.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    Tuesday should see clear to partly cloudy skies but also fog. Average daytime highs of -4 to 1 degrees Celsius are forecast.

  • 01/10/2022

    Czech ambassadors to European countries have convened in Palace for a meeting in Černín Palace. Topping their agenda are preparations for the Czech EU presidency in the second half of 2022.

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský and Minister for European Affairs Mikuláš Bek announced ahead of the meeting that Czech priorities include bolstering the country’s influence within the EU, strengthening regional security, and supporting the development of science and research.

    The meeting of Czech diplomats is also due to discuss economic issues; energy, environment and climate change; and migration, among other topics.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    Prime Minister Petr Fiala is due to visit neighbouring Slovakia on Tuesday, for his first official visit abroad since taking office, as is the long-standing tradition.

    Fiala is to be received by President Zuzana Čaputová and hold talks in Bratislava with his counterpart, Eduard Heger and other Slovak officials.

    On the agenda are bilateral, regional and European issues. The latter includes tensions on the Belarus-Poland border and the build-up of Russian forces near Ukraine, as well as the European Green Deal on climate.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    Defence Minister Jana Černochová told a press conference on Monday that her priorities for 2022 include recruiting more soldiers and creating an investment fund for the sector to facilitate purchases of all military material and equipment.

    Černochová told reporters she wants to recruit some 2,000 soldiers annually, starting this year, up from the current 500 to 800 on average, and devote greater attention to the education of future professional soldiers.

    She said the purchasing fund could start operating by late 2023 and reiterated that from 2025 the Czech Republic will allocate 2% of its GDP to defence, as agreed in the government program, to meet the NATO spending commitments.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    The extraordinary but legally required pension increase to adjust to inflation will probably cost the Czech state more than 17 billion crowns this year, 5 billion crowns more than the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs had projected.

    Consumer prices in the Czech Republic continue to grow at an unusually high rate. In November, inflation rose 6 percent in annual terms, the biggest year-on-year rise since October 2008.

    Department head Marian Jurečka has yet to announce how much more money the ministry will ask for in the budget negotiations this year, National Budget Council chairwoman Eva Zamrazilová said in a debate on Czech Television on Sunday.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    The Czech unemployment rate rose to 3.5 percent in December, up 0.2 percentage points from the previous month, the Czech Labour Office announced on Monday.

    From March through November of last year, unemployment had dropped continuously. Office head Viktor Najmon said the slight increase in December was due to seasonal factors, with temporary contracts expiring at year’s end.

    Meanwhile, the new Czech government wants to create better conditions for foreigners on the domestic labour market in the coming months. The aim is to support local companies in areas in which there is a shortage of workers.

    Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Marian Jurečka (Christian Democrats), informed about this on Sunday on Czech Television.

    Author: Brian Kenety
  • 01/10/2022

    Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has called on the Czech Ambassador to China Vladimír Tomšík to avoid comments such as the words that he used to support the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. Mr Lipavský told this to Czech Television on Sunday.

    The request was made in reaction to Ambassador Tomšík’s statement to Beijing Daily last year, in which he said that, upon the request of Czech President Miloš Zeman he expresses support for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. The statement is problematic because several Western states have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Games due to China’s poor human rights record.

    Foreign Minister Lipavský said that Ambassador Tomšík’s comments do not fit into the revision of Czech relations with China, which is currently being prepared by the ministry. He said that he called the ambassador and asked him to avoid such statements.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 01/10/2022

    A total of 2,761 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the Czech Republic on Sunday, around 800 more than on the same day last week, according to data released by the Ministry of Health. While the number of detected cases has been growing for seven days in a row now in week-on-week terms, hospitalisations are at their lowest since early November. A total of 2,229 coronavirus patients were in hospital on Sunday, 670 fewer than on the same day the week before. Of these, 420 were in serious condition.

    The incidence number rose to an average of 438 cases per 100,000 people on Sunday. Prague remains the region with the highest incidence number - 754.

    Around 29,000 tests were carried out on Sunday, 2,000 fewer than on the same day last week.

    More than 19,000 people were vaccinated against Covid-19 on Sunday, with the vast majority of these receiving a third, booster dose. Thus far, 6.7 million people have been vaccinated in the Czech Republic of whom 2.8 million have received a third dose.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe

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