Defence ministers from six European countries met at Prague Castle on Monday to discuss greater defence cooperation and coordination of measures to deal with the inflow of refugees. The meeting is taking place within the framework of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) grouping which consists of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, and Croatia. The organisation was created in 2010 with the Czech Republic occupying the presidency this year. The refugee crisis has dominated the agenda over the past two years. The countries decided to carry out a joint exercise on protecting their borders later this year.
Car production in the Czech Republic during the first five months of the year ending May rose by 5.2 percent to almost 625,000 vehicles compared with the same period in 2016, according to the Automobile Industry Association. The rise came in spite of a fall in output from the TPCA joint venture car plant. The Czech Republic’s biggest car producer, Škoda Auto, has upped production by 14 percent with just over 380,000 cars manufactured.
Sociologist and politician Petr Matějů has died at the age of 66. Professor Matějů was known in the field of sociology for his studies of inequality and elites in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. He was elected a member of parliament for the Freedom Union party and served as a deputy minister for education between 2006 and 2007. He also made a name for himself with a wide ranging proposal for reform of university education and financing.
The ANO party of Andrej Babiš has increased its opinion poll lead over other parties according to June’s survey of intentions by the STEM agency. It found ANO way ahead with support from 32.8 percent of respondents likely giving them 92 seats in the 200-seat lower house. The communists were placed second with 12.7 percent and the current leading government party, the Social Democrats, third with 11.4 percent support. The poll was carried out in the days running up to June 15. Social Democrat prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka announced his attention to stand down as party and election leader on June 14 due to poor poll ratings. The latest poll would also see the Civic Democrats and Christian Democrats wins seats in the parliament. ANO gained 28.3 percent and the Social Democrats 16.6 percent in STEM’s April survey.
The current heat wave affecting the country will continue Tuesday with daytime temperatures reaching 33 degrees Celsius in Prague and the surrounding district. Scattered cloud could temper the temperature in the far west and north of the country. The heat wave is seen continuing until at least Friday.
The price of new flats in Prague climbed by an average 23 percent in the year to the end of April according to figures released by the consultancy Deloitte. The average price per square metre now stands at 90,400 crowns. Deloitte highlighted the fact that the new flat offer was down by around a quarter on the same period a year earlier. Smaller and more affordable flats were being snapped up almost immediately meaning that many buyers were faced with more expensive options, it added.
Around 53 percent of existing jobs could disappear due to the twin effects of digitalisation and greater use of robots, former prime minister and head of the current premier’s team of experts, Vladimír Špidla, warned at a conference in Prague on Monday. Špidla said the main challenge is to cope with the transformation and disappearance of existing jobs and prepare for new ones, especially in the services sector. A background study by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs suggests around 10 percent of existing jobs, around 400,000 posts, could disappear over the next 20 years due to the increased use of robots.
The Czech national football team lost its opening match at the UEFA U21 Championship in Poland on Sunday by a score of 2:0 against Germany. The latter scored at the close of the first 45 minutes and the start of the second half and could have added a third goal five minutes from time if goalkeeper Zima had not saved a penalty. Czech player Schick, meanwhile, squandered two big chances in the Euro U21 match.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott