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IMF evaluation sees no major problems with Czech economy

The Czech economy faces no real threats with relatively high economic growth seen in the next years, according to an International Monetary Fund evaluation of the country.

The annual evaluation said it could see no major imbalances, budget policy was prudent, and rising wages are a response to the need to fill jobs, according to the IMF.

It sees economic growth this year at 3.7 percent and in 2019 at 3.2 percent. That’s slightly down on the 3.9 percent and 3.4 percent forecasts of the Czech National Bank. The IMF sees mid-term Czech growth averaging at 2.5 percent.

Foreign missions should be discussed individually says ANO deputy leader

ANO deputy leader Richard Brabec has said that communist party reservations about Czech army foreign missions abroad could be dealt with on an individual basis.

Brabec was responding to the threat from the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia that it would not support the proposed minority coalition government of ANO and the Social Democrats if a policy pledge to boost foreign missions remains. Communist party leaders said they had problems about increased participation in missions in Iraq and Afghanistan and the possibility of the Czech army playing a role in a NATO rapid reaction force in the Baltic States.

Negotiations between party leaders are expected to take place Thursday. The support of 15 communist members of parliament is needed for the minority coalition in the lower house.

Russian visitors expected to rebound this year

The number of Russian tourists visiting the Czech Republic is expected to rebound this year according to the state tourist promotion office, Czech Tourism.

It now predicts that around 600,000 Russians will visit the country. That compares with a drop to 548,000 in 2017. The record for Russian visitors was in 2013 when the total number of visitors was estimated at around 800,000.

One problem highlighted by the tourism office is the time taken to get visas, usually around a week whereas it is sometimes to three days in other countries.

Czech government opposed to boosted legal aid for poor

The Czech government has turned down a proposal from the lower house of parliament aimed at boosting legal aid to the poor. The proposal from the communist party that the state meets at least part of the costs of civil cases for the poor was turned down.

The communist party has repeatedly backed the move in the past. The government also rejected a proposal from the STAN party aimed at boosting clients’ rights when changing foreign currency. It would have given them the right to back out of transactions within two hours.

And a proposal from the same party allowing high placed government officials to remain on regional councils was also rejected.

Transport minister Ťok considering not playing role in next government

The ANO-appointed minister of transport, Dan Ťok, has announced that he does "not much" wish to be a member of a new government that acting the prime minister, Andrej Babiš, is attempting to form, Czech Television reported on Wednesday.

Mr. Ťok joins the minister of justice, Robert Pelikán, and the minister of foreign affairs, Martin Stropnický, in signalling an intention not to continue serving under Mr. Babiš. The transport chief is due to annouce a definitive decision on his future by the end of the week.

PM proposes annuities as solution to major shortage of nurses

The acting prime minister, Andrej Babiš of ANO, has suggested annuities as a possible solution to a major shortage of nurses in Czech hospitals. At present hospitals lack around 2,500 nurses. Mr. Babiš said annuities could attract back into the profession those that had left it for other sectors.

Annuities are received by former police officers, soldiers and fire and customs officers, generally on completing 15 years of service.

The Association of Nurses has proposed that its members receive CZK 5,000 a month, a suggestion that the ANO appointed minister of health, Adam Vojtěch, said he would look into.

Petr Čech says Arsenal continuity needed with new manager: report

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Čech has said continuity is a fundamental principle for the club’s new manager who will take over from retiring Arsène Wenger. The 35-year-old Czech said failure to respect that principle could threaten the club with the same problems as Manchester United after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Čech’s comments were reported in the London daily, the Evening Standard. The front runner to take over from Wenger is former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta, according to British media reports. Čech said Arsenal’s main league problem this year was dropped away points.

Weather

The weather on Thursday is expected to be cloudy with rain across most of the country. Top temperatures will range between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius.