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14-02-2018

Government approves Czech Republic’s accession EU fiscal pact

The Czech government on Wednesday approved the country’s accession to the EU fiscal pact. By signing the document, the country vows to abide by the pact’s budget restrictions. The decision still has to be ratified by the parliament and signed by president Miloš Zeman.

The intergovernmental Fiscal Stability Treaty was signed in March 2012 by all EU member states with the exception of the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom.

Minister promises amendment following taxi driver Uber protests

The minister of transport, Dan Ťok, says he will push to change the law in response to repeated protests by Prague taxi drivers against Uber. The minister made the comment on Wednesday morning, prior to a government meeting to which the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, invited representatives of the taxi drivers.

Under Mr. Ťok’s proposed bill, ferrying passengers would be considered a binding rather than loose form of self-employment. This would mean that Uber and similar services – which taxi drivers regard as unfair competition – would only be able to operate if their drivers possessed taxi licenses.

Social Democrats for removal of Okamura as deputy speaker

The Social Democrats say they will join a move to oust Tomio Okamura of Freedom and Direct Democracy as deputy speaker of the lower house. The head of the party’s deputies group, Jan Chvojka, said the Social Democrats would support a Christian Democrat-organised push to remove Mr. Okamura over comments he made about the Lety WWII concentration camp for Romanies.

The Christian Democrats’ deputy leader Marian Jurečka said he welcomed the support but feared some ANO MPs would refuse to take action against the Freedom and Direct Democracy chief after he said Lety, where over 300 people died, was largely unguarded and prisoners were free to come and go.

The Czech Pirate Party, TOP 09, the Mayors and Independents have already given their backing to removing Mr. Okamura. The Civic Democrats are due to discuss the matter.

Catholics stage protest against cardinal Dominik Duka

A group of Czech Catholics gathered in front of the Archbishop’s Palace in Prague on Wednesday to protest against Prague Archbishop Dominik Duka. At the meeting, the organizers published a letter addressed to Pope Francis, in which they urged him not to prolong Cardinal Duka’s mandate as the Archbishop of Prague.

Among the reasons stated in the letter are the alleged nationalist tendencies of the church in the Czech Republic. Cardinal Dominik Duka, who has been serving as Prague Archbishop since 2010, will have to officially submit his resignation in April, when he turns 75. However, the Pope may decide to extend his mandate.

Škoda Auto sees best monthly sales result in January

Czech car maker Škoda Auto recorded its best monthly result ever in January. The company sold 103,800 cars in January, which is an increase of 10.7 percent on the previous year, according to a press release on Wednesday.

Despite a 4.5 percent slump in sales on the previous year, the mid range Škoda Octavia remains the company’s best-selling model with 35700 cars delivered to the market in January. It is followed by the lower range Škoda Fabia, which recorded a 7.2 percent increase in sales on the previous year.

Czech inflation slows in January to 2.2 percent

The pace of annual Czech inflation slowed in January to 2.2 percent from December’s 2.4 percent, which is the lowest figure since last April, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Wednesday.

Slower increases in the costs of growth of food and soft drink prices was one of the main factors for the fall. Compared to the previous month, prices increased by 0.6 percent in January.

Weather

Thursday is set to be overcast with snowfall in higher altitudes. Daytime temperatures are expected to range between two and six degrees Celsius.

14-02-2018