Representatives of the government, businesses and employee unions failed to
agree on what the minimum wage should be in 2020, Minister of Labour Jana
Maláčová (Social Democrats) announced on Twitter.
Maláčová said she has therefore asked Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) to convene representatives of the coalition government to agree on the level as soon as possible.
Unionists have demanded the minimum wage increase by 1,650 crowns next year for full-time workers to 15,000 crowns a month. Employers have agreed to an increase of 700 crowns at most.
Christian Democrat party leader Marek Výborný may be stepping down for
personal reasons. His wife died suddenly in late September, and he has
three small children to care for.
The opposition party has called a meeting for Tuesday to discuss the situation. Výborný was only elected party chairman in March. He replaced Pavel Bělobrádek, who had held the post for eight years.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) is heading to Ukraine on Monday evening
for a two-day trip aimed at furthering bilateral trade and showing support
for Ukraine’s territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression.
Babiš will be accompanied by Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček (for ANO) and a delegation of 85 Czech entrepreneurs, led by Czech Chamber of Commerce chairman Vladimír Dlouhý.
In Kyiv, Babiš is due to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, as well as President Volodymyr Zelensky.
He will place particular emphasis on discussing the Ukrainian government’s efforts to put in place reforms and integrate into European Union structures.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček (Social Democrats) on Monday honoured
12 people for their contributions to diplomacy, including nine who worked
to ensure a successful transition to democracy after the Velvet Revolution.
Several of the recipients were honoured in memoriam. They included the first post-communist foreign minister, Jiří Dienstbier Sr., who was awarded a posthumous Medal of Merit for Diplomacy, and the late German diplomat Klaus Kinkel, honoured for advancing Czech-German relations.
Medals of Merit for Diplomacy were also handed to former Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg (TOP 09) and former Czech Ambassador to NATO Karel Kovanda, who had been named awardees in March but were not then available to receive them.
Honoured for their post-Velvet Revolution diplomatic work were Slovak actress Magda Vašáryová, who served as Czechoslovak ambassador to Austria, and Jiří Gruša, a long-time ambassador to both Germany and Austria.
In addition, Felix Kolmer and Tomáš Kosta, both survivors of Nazi concentration camps who were involved in the process of reconciliation between Czechs and Germans, were also awarded.
Marek Dalík, a former lobbyist convicted of trying to solicit a bribe in
connection with a military hardware contract while an advisor to the then
prime minister has been granted conditional release from prison.
Dalík was sentenced to five years in prison for seeking a bribe of CZK 50 million from the US-owned Austrian arms maker Steyr in 2007 to smooth a deal for the Czech Army to buy its Pandur armoured personnel carriers.
The District Court in Znojmo on Monday conditionally released Dalik from prison with a probationary period of five years. He has served half of his prison term.
The Czech national football team lost 0-1 to Bulgaria in their last game of
the EURO 2020 qualifiers, which took place in Sofia on Sunday. The only
goal of the match was scored by a header from Vasil Bozhikov in the 56th
minute. The goal was allowed, despite replays suggesting it may have been
scored from an offside position.
The match took place without any audience due to the fact that Bulgaria had been given a two match stadium ban after fans' racist behaviour during their previous game with England.
The result had no effect, as the Czechs had already qualified for the European tournament after beating Kosovo 2:1 on Thursday. They finished second in their group, six points behind England.
The annual Memory of Nations awards, which honour participants in the
turning points of 20th century history, were handed out in the National
Theatre in Prague this Sunday on the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
This year, most of the recepients were from the former Eastern Bloc
countries that neighboured Czechoslovakia.
Hungarian political prisoner László Regéczy-Nagy, Polish Solidarity leader Wladyslaw Frasyniuk, German political prisoner Dietrich Koch, Slovak actress Dalma Špitzerová, and Czech Miroslav Hampl, who helped prisoners in uranium mines, all received the award - a silver medal depicting a lion.
After attending commemorations in Prague earlier on Sunday, Czech Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš flew to Slovakia to honour the victims of communism.
The ceremony took place at the Freedom Gate memorial near the Slovak castle
of Děvín by the border with Austria, where many died while trying to
cross the tightly guarded border with the West during the Cold War.
Mr. Babiš laid a wreath at the memorial and said that it was important that Czechs and Slovaks were celebrating 30 years since gaining freedom and democracy. Above all, he stressed the importance of free elections, something, that he said was the most important goal of the Civic Forum and its Slovak equivalent, Public against violence, at the time.
His Slovak counterpart Peter Pellegrini said that it is precisely the Freedom Gate memorial which shows the tragic nature of the communist regime.
On Sunday, at exactly 17.11 (5.11pm Central European Time), chruch bells
across the country rang out to honour the victims of communist era
persecution and those who stood up to it. At the same time, many of the
country's public and private radio stations played the song Modlitba
pro Martu (A Prayer for Marta), which many Czechs see as one of the anthems
of the revolution.
The song was sung by Marta Kubišová, a singer known for her resistance to the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, who was banned from performing by the regime from 1970 until 1989, when she sang to the public during the revolution. She sang the same song at Saturday's special anniversary concert titled Samet 30 (Velvet 30), finishing her performance with the national anthem.