The Czech Republic will take no more immigrants from Italy and Greece shared out under the EU’s quota system, interior minister Milan Chovanec announced after the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday. The agenda item was described as secret but the outcome was not. Chovanec said the current allocation system was dysfunctional and worsened the existing security situation. Under the agreed share out the Czech Republic was expected to take around 2600 immigrants. So far it has taken just 12 from Greece. The Czech Republic could face fines from the European Commission when it reviews how states have met their commitments after September.
The average Czech monthly wage in the first quarter of the year rose by 5.3 percent compared with a year earlier to 27,889 crowns. Subtracting the effects of inflation, the real rise comes to 2.8 percent. The rise was slightly higher than the expectations of most analysts with the pace faster than the 4.2 percent recorded for the last quarter of 2016. The median wage (where half of the earnings are higher and half lower) in the first quarter was 23,704 crowns.
The government has given the Czech police a two year extension to boost its numbers according to an already agreed plan. The Cabinet agreed the new time frame on Monday under which the police should now recruit 4,000 extra staff by 2022. The extension was sought because recruitment so far has fallen behind expectations. At the end of 2016, 61 new positions were unfilled with the police facing a total staff shortfall of around 1,360. The target is for the total to reach 44,000. Interior minister Milan Chovanec has long underlined the low starting pay of police, with monthly wages starting at 17,000-18,000 crowns. He said a new warehouse employee could get 25,000. A 10 percent wage increase for police is due to take effect from July 1.
Czech president Miloš Zeman refused to take part in an initiative of his Slovak counterpart, Andrej Kiska, to jointly honour the two parachutists who led the assassination attack on acting protector of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich, in May 1942, according to a report in the news weekly Respekt. The move to jointly honour Czech parachutist Jan Kubiš and Slovak Josef Gabčík on the 75th anniversary of the attack was refused without any reasons given, the weekly added. Instead of the Prague joint ceremony planned, Kiska posthumously promoted Josef Gabčík to the rank of major general. The killing on Heydrich as he drove into Prague was the most significant assassination of a leading Nazi during WWII. The president's spokesman later described the story as a 'lie' but added that the Czech head of state had a long term previous engagement at the date suggested.
In tennis, top Czech men’s singles player Tomáš Berdych has announced the end of his cooperation with Croatian coach Goran Ivanisevic. The cooperation began in August last year but Berdych was sidelined soon after by injury and then experienced a series of poor results. He slipped out of the men’s top 10 and is now ranked 14th. Perhaps his best performance was reaching the final of the Lyon Open just ahead of the French Open. At the French Open, Berdych lost in the second round to a little known Russian opponent.
Karel Dobeš will lead Czech attempts to have the European Banking Authority (EBA) re-sited from London to Praguem the government decided on Monday. A similar post was already created by the government with Dobeš tasked then to pave the way for Prague hosting the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA). The government has prioritised landing the EBA headquarters over the European Medicines Agency which must also move out of London due to Brexit.
In football, the Belgian national team to take on the Czech Republic in a friendly on Monday night will be without captain and star player Eden Hazard. The 26-year-old Chelsea attacker twisted his ankle and is out of the game. The game against Belgium is a warm up for the Czechs for the World Cup group qualifier on June 10. The Czechs are currently third in the group, with two points less than second placed Northern Ireland.
No Czechs are believed to have been killed or injured in the terror attack in London on Saturday night, according to Czech public service broadcaster Czech Radio. Czech ambassador to Britain, Libor Sečka, told Czech Radio that the identification of some victims is still though continuing. The identities of some of the victims has been released by police. The attack, in which a van was used to ram people and the attackers then used knives, resulted in seven deaths and almost 50 injuries. The three suspected attackers were shot by police.
The ANO party of Andrej Babiš would win 31.5 percent of the vote in an election with the current biggest party in government, the Social Democrats, coming in fourth place, according to a poll conducted by the TNS Kantar agency. The Social Democrats would pick up just 10 percent of support trailing the Civic Democrats (11.5 percent) and communists (10.5 percent) according to the poll. Approval of prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s action in the recent government crisis was just 18 percent with 76 percent giving a negative verdict.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’