The Ministry of Finance has produced a plan to reduce the number of state
employees in the Czech Republic, iDnes.cz reported. Almost one in every 20
Czechs works for the state and recently President Miloš Zeman criticised
the growing “army” of officials, the news site said.
Ministry officials say the plan is not radical and would not lead to many layoffs. However, it is the first such programme in a decade and follows increased hiring by state organisations under previous governments.
Under the scheme unoccupied positions that ministries keep as a back-up – and for which they receive cash from state coffers – would be discontinued. The Minister of Finance, Alena Schillerová, said this could save up to CZK 3.4 billion.
The Czech football league leaders Slavia Prague dropped points for the
first time this season on Saturday. After taking the maximum 12 points in
four rounds, Slavia were beaten 2:0 by Jablonec. The home side missed a
penalty when the score stood at 1:0.
On Tuesday the Prague side suffered a 2:0 away defeat to Dynamo Kyiv which meant they lost the third qualifying round of the Champions League 3:1 on aggregate.
The Czech women’s tennis number one, Petra Kvitová, has been knocked out at the semi-finals stage at the Cincinnati Masters. Kvitová lost 6-3 4-6 2-6 to Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands on Saturday for her first defeat in 17 consecutive semi-finals. The Czech world no. six had also been defeated by Bertens a fortnight previously.
The Czech Chamber of Commerce is beginning to receive applications for
workers from Serbia after the government agreed to speed up the process,
Czech Television reported on Sunday. A similar system has been in place for
Ukrainians for two years and today over 13,000 are employed in this
country. Up to 2,000 Serbs could receive Czech work permits.
The head of the Chamber of Commerce, Vladimír Dlouhý, said Serbs could be hired in the automotive industry and others involving trades. The organisation plans to open an office in Serbia itself. The Czech Republic is experiencing a record shortage of workers.
The youth and children’s organisation Pioneer (Pionýr in Czech) has
14,200 members today, the Czech News Agency reported, citing a
spokesperson. It is the successor to a communist-era association known as
Pioneer Organization of the Socialist Youth Union that had 100,000 members
in 1990, the year after the fall of communism in the country.
The scouts are more popular today, with just over 60,500 members in the Czech Republic.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO says he hopes Jan Hamáček of
coalition partners the Social Democrats resolves the situation at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs within two months at the latest. He made the
comment in an interview for Právo. At present Mr. Hamáček, who is
minister of the interior, is also serving as foreign minister in a
temporary capacity. The situation came about after President Miloš Zeman
refused the Social Democrats’ candidate for foreign policy chief,
Mr. Babiš said he expected the Social Democrats to put forward a different nominee. The prime minister said the current situation had to end as the Czech Republic would be celebrating the centenary of Czechoslovakia at the UN General Assembly, which begins in the last week of September.
Pope Francis will be driven in a Škoda car at the World Meeting of
Families 2018 in Ireland next week, the Czech News Agency reported. The
Czech-based automaker is an official partner of the major Roman Catholic
gathering and the pontiff is due to travel to the Irish president’s
residence in a Škoda Rapid next Saturday.
A number of Rapids have been specially fitted out for the World Meeting of Families, including with chrome poles to hold Vatican flags.
The Social Democrats say they are aiming to at least equal the 7-percent
showing the party achieved in the last general elections in upcoming
municipal elections, Novinky.cz reported. Previously one of the country’s
dominant parties, the Social Democrats are now aiming to hold on to one or
two of the 13 Senate seats they will also be trying to defend this October,
the news site said. After the last Senate elections that grouping had 25
Chairman Jan Hamáček said the Social Democrats had to take cognisance of the fact the party did not have 20 or 30 percent support but hovered around the 10 percent mark. He said a marked change could not be expected in the autumn.
The authorities in Prague have helped create a new beer brand aimed at
encouraging people to combat pollution by making more use of public
transport, iDnes.cz reported on Saturday. The city has teamed up with
brewers Lobkowicz to produce the lager Pražský chodec (Prague
Pedestrian), advertising for which includes the slogan Beer Against Smog.
Car usage is a major cause of the city’s air pollution problems, which
more people using public transport would help alleviate.
Mayor Adriana Krnáčová said city hall had been looking for just such an unusual means of highlighting the need to improve Prague’s air quality.
Advertisements for Prague Pedestrian have appeared bearing the city’s logo and that of Lobkowitz. The city has also funded a website for the brew.
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