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Government and unions agree on wage rises in public sector

Trade unions have reached agreement with the government on wage rises in the public sector as of January 2019.

According to Finance Minister Alena Schillerová there will not be a blanket increase and employees with lower wages should get a bigger hike. The average raise for public sector employees will be at around eight percent.

The projected wage increases will cost the state budget some 25 billion crowns.

Social Democrats debate fate of unsuccessful nominee for foreign minister

The broad Social Democratic Party leadership is meeting to debate the problem regarding the party’s unsuccessful nominee for foreign minister. Party leaders have proposed shelving the issue until October 15th, ie. until after the Senate and local elections.

Miroslav Poche, whom the party nominated for the post, was rejected both by President Miloš Zeman and later by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. President Zeman refused to appoint him to office and the post was temporarily filled by party leader Jan Hamáček, who is also serving as minister of the interior.

Decision on financing of new nuclear reactors expected by end-year

A decision on the means of financing new nuclear reactors in the Czech Republic should be made by the end of the year, Trade and Industry Minister Marta Nováková told journalists on Friday.

At present three options are on the table: creating a new subsidiary of ČEZ with Dukovany and Temelin assets, opening the door to a foreign investor, and splitting ČEZ to transfer its nuclear plants to a state-owned company.

Minister Nováková said that either way, ČEZ would be expected to play a significant role, since the country’s top nuclear experts were there.

Woman charged with hate speech in connection with Teplice class photo

A 26-year-old woman has been charged in connection with an incident of hate speech on social networks after a class photo of first-graders in a school in Teplice, which appeared in a regional daily, sparked threats and racist comments.

The reactions to the mix of Czech, Romany, Vietnamese and Arab children in the group photo sparked a shocking reaction on social networks, with remarks that they were a class of terrorists and should be gassed. Police have been investigating the incident for close to a year now.

Unique sandstone formations vandalized

Prachovské skaly, unique sandstone rock formations in the Český Ráj Protected Landscape Area, have been vandalized by spray paint, Czech Television reported.

Police are investigating the incident and experts from Charles University are to meet to consider how the paint could be removed without damaging the centuries-old sandstone.

The management of the nature reserve is considering special security measures.

Kvitova in third round of US Open

Petra Kvitova advanced to the third round of the U.S. Open on Thursday, defeating China’s Yafan Wang 7-5 6-3.

“It was a tough game. I lost it in the first set but was able to rally in time,” Kvitove told journalists.

The Czech, who is hoping for a third Grand Slam title, will next face 26 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

Weather forecast

Saturday should be overcast and rainy around the country with day temperatures between 17 and 21 degrees Celsius.