Slovak president Zuzana Čaputová and Yemeni Human Rights activist
Tawakkol Abdul-Salam Karman will be among the foreign guests at this
year’s annual Forum 2000 conference.
The 23rd edition of the conference, whose theme this year is ‘Recovering the Promise of 1989’, gets underway on October 13. It will include lectures and round-table debates on a variety of topics, including the challenges facing liberal democracies today.
The tradition of the annual gatherings of world leaders and thinkers was established 23 years ago by the country’s first post-communist president Vaclav Havel.
President Miloš Zeman is set to attend an official reception organised by
the Chinese Embassy at Prague’s Žofín palace on Wednesday. The event
marks 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the
Czech Republic (then Czechoslovakia) and China.
Recently bilateral relations have been strained by a deepening feud between
the Mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, and Beijing, which has resulted in the
cancellation of several cultural events involving Prague ensembles in
Czech-Chinese relations have also been hit by a scandal involving the Czech branch of the Chinese company Huawei, which is suspected of collecting sensitive data on officials and businessmen through its employees.
MPs have rejected legislation that would have allowed cyclists on minor
roads or cycle paths or people canoeing on the country’s rivers to have a
small amount of alcohol in their blood. The Chamber of Deputies had
previously voted to allow canoeists to consume half a mille of alcohol
before taking to the water.
The Senate then sent the bill back to the lower house with the demand that the change also apply to cyclists. However, the amended bill only received 89 of the required 101 votes from MPs on Tuesday evening.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says he will discuss the Czech Republic,
Europe and global problems in an address to the United Nations General
Assembly on Wednesday afternoon, New York time.
Mr. Babiš told reporters that he would raise the issue of climate, including the fact that a number of large states were not fulfilling their commitments regarding the environment. He added that climate was not the only problem facing the world, saying he would also refer to other challenges, including poverty and access to water.
World leaders have been speaking at the UN General Assembly all week.
In a vote scheduled for Thursday, the Social Democrats will not support
taking President Miloš Zeman to the Constitutional Court for gross
violation of the constitution, Novinky.cz reported on Tuesday.
Representatives of the junior party in the governing coalition announced
their intentions after a deputies’ group meeting.
The bill, which has already been approved by the Senate, would need the votes of three-fifths of the country’s 200 MPs to be passed. This is seen as very unlikely.
The senators behind the move initially accused the president and his staff of seeking to influence the judiciary. Seven other charges of violating the constitution have also been levelled against him, including not acting in line with official foreign policy and failing to remove or appoint a government minister.
Teaching trade unions in the Czech Republic have announced a strike alert.
The move came after representatives failed to reach agreement on pay
increases with the minister of education, Robert Plaga, on Tuesday. The
head of the teachers unions, František Dobšík, said the amount the
minister was offering was unacceptable.
Mr. Plaga proposed a rise of CZK 2,250 a month for all teachers and an average of around CZK 1,400 a month in bonuses.
The teachers unions had been demanding a 15-percent pay rise. They later revised that figure to 10 percent but insist that it should all appear in their members’ basic pay.
Czech Post is not planning to shut any branches in villages, the minister
of the interior, Jan Hamáček, said on Tuesday after a meeting with the
chairman of the Union of Towns and Municipalities, František Lukl. The
postal system falls under the Ministry of the Interior.
Mr. Hamáček said in a statement that Czech Post should go into profit within three years thanks to a planned restructuring.
Mr. Lukl said the mayors of small urban centres had been disquieted by Prime Minster Andrej Babiš, who said Czech Post was dead and should be transformed into a private company. This gave rise to fears of branch closures.
Despite increases in recent years, teachers’ pay in the Czech Republic
remains low in comparison to that in other professions, according to a new
study produced by the Prague-based Institute for Democracy and Economic
Analysis. The report found that educators’ salaries in this country are
among the lowest in all developed countries.
The authors said this is due to the fact the Czech Republic spends around a third less of its GDP on education than is common in developed states.
Following a rise in January, Czech teachers received an average of around CZK 36,200 a month in the first quarter of this year.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Czech Republic goes into quarantine to slow down coronavirus spread
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Czechs resort to making DIY facemasks in face of their shortage