The biggest grouping of Czech trades unions, the Confederation of Czech and
Moravian Trades Unions, is focusing on higher wages and a shorter working
week at a two day congress in the capital, Prague, beginning Friday.
The unions want to see a cut in the working week by 2.5 hours. They also want to see a 1,500 crown hike in the minimum wage from January next year from the current 12,200 crowns to 13,700 crowns. The unions point out that past increases in the minimum wage have not dented the performance of the Czech economy, as employers had warned.
The two-day meeting should elect a new leadership for the next four years. The only contender to be chairman is the current incumbent, Josef Středula.
The ANO party have called for emergency discussions between governing
parties at Prague City Council on whether the existing coalition will
The discussions should decide within the next 30 days whether the ruling grouping of ANO, the Social Democrats, and the so-called Three-Way Coalition continues in power or is dissolved.
ANO called for the procedure to be implemented after blaming members of the Three-Way Coalition for blocking a decision about the programme for Thursday’s full council meeting.
The meeting was due to discuss the demolition of Libeň Bridge, a move which many members of the coalition of three parties oppose. The 1928 bridge, with Cubist elements, is in a very poor state and the city council’s executive has called for it to be demolished and a new structure built in its place.
Elections for a new city council are due in the Autumn.
The Czech ministry of finance has lodged a new demand that customs officers
are allowed to investigate and pursue a much wider range of tax related
At the moment, they only have full competence with regard to Valued Added Tax and customs duties. Other tax related cases must be handed over to the police.
A similar attempt to widen the competences of the customs administration was made in 2016 by the then finance minister Andrej Babiš. It failed to win support from other government parties. Babiš is now prime minister and head of the biggest party, ANO.
Czech ice skating duo Anna Dusková and Martin Bidař have announced they
will go their separate ways.
Bidař says he wants to take opportunities to train abroad with a view to the next Olympics and preparations for them. Dusková though wants to stay in the Czech capital and finish her studies.
The duo won the world junior ice skating championships in 2016 and were regarded as the big hope for Czech ice skating. In last year’s European championships they were seventh.
Corruption watchdog Transparency International has sounded the alarm over
what it describes as undue haste by Prague City Council’s municipal
transport company to push through a joint venture deal with development
company Penta for part of a new metro line in the capital.
A final decision to clear the joint venture for developing stations and surroundings on the new D line should be cleared by the transport company board on Wednesday.
Transparency says many key questions about the venture and its ramifications have not been answered. Taking a few more months to iron out issues in a project likely to last 15-20 years and valued around 60 billion crowns would not cost anything, Transparency says.
A Czech held in custody in Ukraine for illegally selling devices for
bugging phone calls is a former officer with the special police unit for
combating organised crime, the server of Czech public radio has revealed.
It identified the man as Luděk Vokal, drawing on information given by a local court.
Vokal was detained in custody on Wednesday with bail set at around 4,500 euros. He must stay in Ukraine to help police with the investigation and could face a jail sentence of four to seven years if found guilty.
Some Czech media reported that a Czech diplomat was also detained but later released in connection with the case. The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it had no information.
Dealings between leaders of ANO, the Social Democrats and the Communists on
forming a government coalition are set to continue next week.
The newly elected chief of the Social Democratic Party, Jan Hamáček, announced the news on Thursday evening after the first joint meeting of the three party leaders. He refused to give any further details about the negotiations.
The coalition talks restarted on Wednesday after being broken off when ANO refused to allow a Social Democrat minister of the interior. Both parties have previously said that the Communist Party was acceptable if the Communists agreed to the government’s pro-European course.
A joint Czech-Slovak exhibition marking 100th anniversary of the foundation
of Czechoslovakia was launched in Bratislava on Thursday. The event at
Bratislava castle was attended by Slovak and Czech Prime Ministers, Petr
Pellegrini and Andrej Babiš, and Slovak President Andrej Kiska.
After a stint in Bratislava the show will move to the Czech National Museum in October, which by then will have reopened after major renovations.