The Czech biathlon star, Gabriela Koukalová has announced the end of her
career. The double Olympic silver medallist at Sochi and two-time World
Championship winner made the announcement on social media on Tuesday. The
29-year-old athlete said she decided to focus on other areas of life.
Koukalová last competed in March 2017, when she came second in the mass start event at a World Cup meeting in Oslo. She stopped competing due to an ongoing problem with her calves.
The government has approved a Finance Ministry proposal to impose a higher
consumer tax on tobacco, spirits and gambling.
The tax on cigarettes and tobacco should go up by 10 percent, that on spirits by 13 percent. Certain forms of gambling should also see a tax increase from 23 to 25 or even 30 percent.
The proposed hikes would increase state revenues by approximately 10 billion crowns a year. If approved by Parliament and signed by President Zeman the amendment would come into force as of January 2020.
A meeting of the tripartite –government officials, employers and trade
unions –on Monday failed to reach agreement on wage hikes in the public
sector in 2020.
The Finance Ministry is proposing a 2 percent wage hike for public sector workers next year, with teachers alone getting a 10 percent increase.
The proposal won support from employer representatives, but was vehemently opposed by trade unions who are demanding an 8 percent increase for civil servants, a 15 percent hike for teachers and a 10 percent increase for non-teaching school staff.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček presented the opening address at a
three-day international conference titled Prague European Summit that began
in the Czech capital on Monday.
This year’s conference is subtitled Europe at a Crossroads and the panel debates will afford an opportunity to analyze the outcome of the European elections and consider where the EU is heading.
Other areas of debate will focus on European competitiveness, artificial intelligence, rule of law, the Eurozone and Brexit.
The Prague European Summit, which has been an annual event since 2015, will also hear an address by the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš.
Russian crude oil deliveries to the Czech Republic, via the Druzba
pipeline, were renewed at mid-day on Monday, according to the pipeline’s
state management. The month-long fall out, which affected a number of
countries, was caused due to contamination of the oil with high levels of
The oil refinery in Litvinov which processes Russian crude oil was forced to request two loans from the Administration of State Material Reserves. The price of petrol on the market was not affected.
Social Democrat leader Jan Hamáček, whose party suffered a humiliating
defeat in the European elections, has said he would not be stepping down
over the debacle, nor making any changes in the party leadership.
Hamáček said the new leadership had not had time to shift course since the party’s relatively recent election conference and that it would analyze and address the reasons behind the party’s defeat.
Losing four seats in the European Parliament is a bad blow and the party clearly needs to make a strong restart, Hamáček said. He said the party would now focus on preparing for the regional elections in the fall of next year.
In the European elections the Social Democrats only gained 3.9 percent of the vote, meaning they will not be represented in the EU Parliament.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has confirmed that his party would support
Věra Jourová for the post of EU commissioner. However he said his party
would prefer for the Czech Republic to get a different portfolio,
preferably that of commissioner for internal market and services.
Mr. Babiš said he would discuss the matter with his coalition partner, the Social Democrats, and was ready to consider any candidate they would put forward.
Věra Jourová has served as EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from the ANO Party which won the elections to
the European Parliament with 21.18 percent of the vote, told reporters on
Monday that the Social Democrats debacle in the European elections would
have no influence on the work of the coalition government.
He said he considered his party’s victory a great success in view of the fact that it had been the target of an intense and vulgar smear campaign from the media and political rivals.
The prime minister refused to comment on the Social Democrats's poor showing in the European elections
The Czech Republic’s total debt amounted to CZK 2.34 trillion at the end
of the first quarter of 2019, up by CZK 161.5 billion in annual terms,
according to the Czech Credit Bureau (CRIF) database.
The volume of non-performing debt fell by CZK 4.1 billion to CZK 32.4 billion. The number of people who had problems making consumer debt payments fell 17 percent year on year. The number of people who failed to pay their housing loans fell by 16 percent.
The average amount of short-term debt “at risk” stood at almost CZK 98,000 at the end of the first quarter of 2019. This concerns debts in which three consecutive monthly instalments were not paid or were declared due by the creditor.
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