Czech businesses are still struggling to find workers, the news site Ihned.cz reports. In August, labour offices in the Czech Republic posted more than 350,000 vacancies, which is the highest figure in the country’s history, the website wrote. The biggest demand is for construction workers, warehousemen, or truck drivers.
Faced by an acute labour shortage, the Czech government is looking to attract more foreign workers and streamline the processing of issuing work permits. In recent years, the country has in particular turned to Ukraine to help fill the gap. The government wants to do the same for workers from EU hopefuls such as Montenegro, Moldova and Serbia, as well as India and other Asian countries.
The Czech Army will acquire US combat and multipurpose helicopters Viper
and Venom. According to Defense Minister Lubomir Metnar, a combination of
two machines is more appropriate than the purchase of only multi-purpose
Black Hawk helicopters. The helicopters should be available in 2023.
The ministry received two offers for the purchase of helicopters from the US government in late June. The US administration offered either 12 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for 13.2 billion crowns or eight UH-1Y Venom helicopters along with four AH-1Z Viper helicopters worth 14.5 billion crowns. The price includes maintenance and training of personnel.
The bids were assessed by a committee made up of ministry and army representatives. The contract should be signed by the end of the year.
The Czech Ministry of Defence will receive an extra 1.2 billion in
government funding next year, bringing its 2020 budget to CZK 75.5 billion.
The further budget increase, was announced at a press conference by Defence
Minister Lubomír Metnar after he met with Finance Minister Alena
Schillerová on Wednesday morning. Mr. Metnar says the money will be spent
With this extra boost, the ministry, which is currently running a modernisation programme within the Czech armed forces, will receive CZK 8.8 billion more in funding next year compared to its current budget.
The country has previously pledged to reach the NATO member states defence spending target of 2 percent by 2024. Currently, military spending amounts to just 1.2 percent of GDP.
Scientists from the Technical University of Liberec have developed a
military uniform that changes camouflage depending on the environment, the
ČTK agency reports.
The camouflage fatigues are made from a material that contains thermochromic pigments and change colour depending on the environment.
If the temperature exceeds 37 degrees Celsius, the material changes from a mix of green and brown – the classic ‘forest’ colouring – to a mix of brown and beige – the classic ‘desert’ colouring.
The scientists spent two years developing the material so that it could withstand long-term exposure to sunlight and still return to the ‘forest’ colouring.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) has described the
irregular granting of Czech visas to Iranian entrepreneurs as having
resulted from an “individual failing” on the part of the recently
recalled Czech ambassador to Iran.
The daily Deník N reported on Wednesday that the Czech Republic had recalled career diplomat Svatopluk Čumba from Tehran early following an investigation of fraudulent practices in granting Schengen visas to Iranians.
According to the daily, the scheme allegedly also involved the Czech-Slovak -Iranian Chamber of Commerce, led by Jan Kavan, a former Czech Foreign Minister, and Zdeněk Zbytek, a former officer in the Czechoslovak Army who led a tank battalion during the Velvet Revolution.
Amb. Čumba allegedly granted 400 priority visas to individuals recommended by Kavan and in doing so circumvented standard procedures for granting Schengen visas.
Petříček said he was prepared to provide full details to the foreign affairs committee of the lower house of Parliament. The General Inspectorate of the Czech Foreign Ministry has been investigating the alleged practice.
The police force and the army are the most trusted institutions in the
Czech Republic, according to a poll conducted by the STEM agency.
The police force enjoys the trust of 72 percent of Czechs, the highest trust-rate in 22years, while the army has a 75 percent trust rating.
Trust in the police force has steadily grown since the fall of communism when it underwent reform and started projecting a new image.
In 1997 the police had a 25 percent trust rating, last year it was 65 percent. Trust in NATO has also seen a rise and is now at 60 percent.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic stagnated at 2.6 percent this June after
decreasingly slightly over four consecutive months, the Labour Office
announced on Tuesday.
The number of jobseekers in June fell to 195,723, a drop of about 5,000 compared to May, while the number of vacancies rose to 342,510.
The Czech unemployment rate is at its lowest level since May 1997. In Prague, it stands at 1.9 percent.
The Czech Ministry of Defence has signed a contract to purchase 62 Titus
armoured personnel carriers from the company Eldis Pardubice for over CZK 6
billion, a spokesperson said on Monday. The Czech Army should receive the
vehicles in 2022 and 2023.
The chief of the General Staff, Aleš Opata, said the Titus would replace the army’s current outmoded equipment. Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar said the contract would contribute to the modernisation of the country’s ground forces and successfully concluded a project begun four years ago.