The Czech economy is expected to grow by 2.6 percent this year, following a
3 percent expansion in 2018, according to the latest forecast from
For the coming year, the European Commission foresees growth of 2.5 percent, again mainly fuelled by solid growth in household consumption, with investment growth expected to ‘normalise’.
Private consumption is likely to remain the main growth driver and should continue to benefit from swift growth in wages and pension incomes, and robust consumer confidence, the EC said.
The trade balance is set to deteriorate over the forecast horizon and detract from GDP growth in 2019, before turning neutral in 2020, the forecast says.
The Prague intersection of Sokolská and Ječná streets in the city centre
has one of the highest pollution levels in the Czech Republic, according to
the Centre for Environment and Health (CpŽPZ).
The Centre took readings of nitrogen dioxide values at 200 locations in a total of nine regional capitals. The intersection at Sokolská and Ječná streets had among the top 18 highest levels in the country, Centre co-founder and chairman Miroslav Šuta told journalists.
Nitrogen dioxide is generated in the combustion processes of coal, wood, natural gas, benzene and diesel.
Other sites in Prague with exceptional high levels include the openings to the Blanka tunnel complex in Dejvice, and the Vychovatelna chateau in Libeň, and at the Central Bohemian Regional Authority in Smíchov.
Grammy-winning British musician Sting has had to cancel his sold-out Friday
concert at Slavkov, near Brno, due to illness.
The 70-year-old former frontman of The Police was also scheduled to perform this week in the European cities of Ghent, Munich and Stuttgart.
He is currently on a summer tour called Sting: My Songs, featuring the most popular songs he wrote for The Police and as a solo artist.
An estimated 3,800 foreigners worked illegally in the Czech Republic last
year, almost twice as many as in 2017.
According to a Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs report on combating illegal employment, four-fifths of them were Ukrainians. Many were Slovaks, Romanians or Bulgarians.
The overall numbers have risen because it is more costly for employers to lose out fulfilling orders than are the fines imposed for hiring illegal workers, the Ministry report says.
Its inspectors have focused mainly on construction worksites, warehouses and logistics centres, where hundreds of people are employed.
A preferential debt relief regime that now only applies to the elderly and
disabled will likely be extended to Czechs paying off debts incurred when
they were minors.
MPs voted unanimously on Wednesday to amend the Insolvency Act to allow the new category of debtor to be included in the preferential regime.
The amendment’s authors said that leading figures in the Senate had signalled its smooth passage in the upper house. If signed into law by the President, it could take effect in September.
An earlier amendment to the Civil Code would transfer debts of children under 15 to their parents or guardians.
Over 6,000 children in the Czech Republic are currently threatened with distraint orders while tens of thousands of young adults have debts carried over from childhood.
Communist Party chairman Vojtěch Filip has criticised the participation of
the Czech ambassador to Berlin in a meeting of the Sudeten German Homeland
Association last month, accusing Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček of
trying to demolish the Beneš decrees.
Mr. Filip said the Sudeten German group could not be a partner of the government and that he had never felt such disgust at a Czech foreign minister.
For his part, Mr. Petříček said nobody had questioned the Beneš decrees. He said Mr. Filip was acting like a parasite toward the past and what’s more was doing so a month late.
The Beneš decrees sanctioned the expulsion of Czechoslovakia’s German minority and the confiscation of their property after WWII.
The replacement of ice breakers on Prague’s Charles Bridge will take
until the end of November or the start of December, the city councillor in
charge of transport, Adam Scheinherr, told reporters. The CZK 29.5 job got
underway in the middle of June.
The existing ice breakers have been in place since 2006. The new ones will be made of oak, which should last longer, Mr. Scheinherr said. The 14th century Charles Bridge is the only one of Prague’s bridges to have such defences against the buildup of ice.
The replacement of the ice breakers is part of a broader technical renovation of Charles Bridge, which was interrupted in 2010. A number of arches are in need of repair, with the 14th one over Kampa island in a particularly poor state.
Barbora Strýcová has reached the semi-finals of a Grand Slam tennis
tournament for the first time at the age of 33. The Czech overcame
England’s Johanna Konta 7-6 6-1 in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon on
Tuesday to set up a clash with seven-time tournament winner Serena Williams
of the US.
Strýcová’s compatriot Karolína Muchová was knocked out in the quarter-finals, losing 5-7 4-6 to Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.
If the Social Democrats quit the government and the cabinet is
reconstructed, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of ANO would not need to seek a
fresh vote of confidence, the Communist Party’s Vojtěch Filip said on
Tuesday. Mr. Filip said the Social Democrats had around a third of the
seats in cabinet, meaning it would not be a major change.
The Communist Party chief said if other parties disagreed with this they could seek a vote of no-confidence. The Babiš government survived such a show of hands for the second time two weeks ago.
The Social Democrats are threatening to pull out of the coalition over the refusal of ANO leader Babiš to force the president to accept the resignation of the party’s arts minister.
Opposition politicians are planning to take President Miloš Zeman to the
Constitutional Court over his refusal to accept the resignation of a
minister, despite being requested to dismiss him so by Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš. The head of the Mayors and Independents party, Vít
Rakušan, said it was the last instrument at their disposal to curb the
head of state’s arbitrary behaviour, iDnes.cz reported.
Mr. Rakušan said when the prime minister was weak the whole country was the loser, warning that the country was headed for a quasi-presidential system.
Miroslav Kalousek of TOP 09 said his party would back the petition to the Constitutional Court.
The Civic Democrats have called for a return to the previous system under which the president was elected by Parliament not the public. However, the Mayors and Independents say the Constitution should not be amended just because of one bad experience.
President Zeman has refused to accept the resignation of the minister of culture, Antonín Staněk.
A group of senators is also planning to launch a complaint against Mr. Zeman at the Constitutional Court. They say they will decide on its final form after he meets Mr. Babiš, Mr. Hamáček and Mr. Staněk later this week.
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