The Czech government has approved measures to monitor the environmental impacts of the planned expansion of the Turów brown coal mine located in the close proximity to the Czech border. The expansion was approved by the Polish authorities, despite Czech concerns that it would threaten water sources for villages on the Czech side, as well as severely increasing noise and dust pollution.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose to 2.9 percent in December, up from
2.6 percent in November, according to data released by the Czech Labour
Office on Thursday.
Despite the rise, it is the lowest figure for the period of December since 1996. According to the statistics, there are currently 215,500 people seeking employment.
The lowest unemployment rate was in Prague, with 1.9 percent, while the highest number of unemployed, 4.4 percent, was registered in the region of Moravia-Silesia.
A hospital in the central Bohemian town of Benešov which was hit by a
cyber-attack on December 11 is once again fully operational. The attack
paralyzed the institution for days since staff were unable to use x-rays,
ultrasound or laboratory instruments and could not exchange information
with other hospitals.
Just last week a similar attack paralyzed the OKD coal mining company which was forced to stop mining in all of its mines for security reasons.
The cabinet is due to debate a proposed amendment to the law on cyber security in the coming days, which would give Military Intelligence broader powers, among others the right to continuously monitor public communications networks.
In his traditional Christmas message to the nation, President Miloš Zeman began as usual on a positive note – highlighting the country’s economic successes – before turning to what he views as problematic areas. In a 16-minute televised address otherwise void of religious symbolism, Zeman also branded himself a “climate heretic” and urged Czechs to think for themselves rather than follow “false prophets”.
The coal mining company OKD which was hit by a cyber-attack on Monday is
renewing operations in all its mines on Friday after the installation of an
independent internal computer network.
Coal mining was suspended in the wake of the attack for security reasons, despite the fact that methane detectors remained fully operational.
The OKD company’s computer network was hit just two weeks after a similar attack paralysed a hospital in the central Bohemian town of Benešov.
A commemorative ceremony took place in Stonava in the north-east of the
Czech Republic on Friday to honour the thirteen miners who died after a
methane explosion at the ČSM hard coal mine exactly a year ago. Twelve of
the dead were Polish nationals.
Among those attending the event were Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Polish ambassador to the Czech Republic Barbara Ćwioro, representatives of the OKD company, which operates the mine, and relatives of the victims.
The blast, which occurred about 880 metres below the ground, devastated some of the underground areas with poor visibility, obstructing the efforts of the rescue units.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic remained at 2.6 percent in November, the
same as the previous month, the Czech Labour Office announced on Monday.
The number of jobless increased by 771 to 197,289, which is the lowest figure for the month since 1996, while the number of vacancies increased to 339,000. Last November, unemployment stood at 2.8 percent.
The lowest rate of unemployment, 1.8 percent, is in the Pardubice region, which is followed by Prague with 1.9 percent.
After nearly 130 years in service, the coal mine in Lazy located in the
Moravian-Silesian Region was closed on Thursday. Its current owner OKD,
told the Czech News Agency that further mining would require billions of
crowns in investment and was no longer economically viable for the company.
Some 100 miners will remain on location to work on refilling, others have been moved to some of the recently re-nationalised company’s four other mines in the region.
The once picturesque village of Libkovice lay nestled in a small valley not far from the hilltop where legend has it the primal Father Čech decided his people would settle in Bohemian. Founded nearly a millennium ago, Libkovice was the last town slated for liquidation after 1989 to make way for coal mining operations. Its residents, together with environmental activists faced off against freshly minted capitalists in an ultimately futile battle to save the village, which lay above a rich seam of coal. But the sad story has one silver lining: the
Working groups of the so-called Coal Commission expect to draft plans to
end coal mining in the Czech Republic sometime after 2030 onwards in order
to reduce C02 emissions. The scenarios should be ready in January.
The Czech Republic is the fifth-biggest polluter in Europe and the 20th in the world in terms of CO2 emissions, and the key reason is the share of coal-fired power plants in the country’s energy mix.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has said new nuclear power units must be built, even if in breach of European law, to offset the loss of electricity generated by coal.
The Coal Commission advisory board is co-chaired by the ministers of environment and industry, and includes experts appointed by relevant stakeholders, including industry, labour unions, NGOs and communities in coal-producing regions. Some members expect the coal-exit to take place in 2040 at the earliest.