The deficit in public finances in 2020 will reach 5.1 percent of the gross
domestic product (GDP), whereas last year it saw a surplus of 0.3 percent
of the GDP, according to a document mapping the Finance Ministry’s
The overall public debt should rise to 37 percent of the GDP this year, up from last year's 30.8 percent of the GDP. In 2021, public finances should see a deficit of 4.1 percent of the GDP and the public debt should amount to 40 percent of GDP.
Due to the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis the Finance Ministry raised the projected deficit for 2020 from 40 billion crowns to 300 billion.
A group of senators has petitioned the Constitutional Court to annul a
regulation allowing the blanket surface application of a poison against
voles, the so-called Stutox II, in fields, orchards, meadows and vineyards
at risk of severe damage to crops and fruit.
The regulation was issued in March by the Central Agricultural Inspection and Testing Institute (ÚKZÚS).It allows a limited and controlled use of Stutox on land where the so-called harmful threshold of voles has been exceeded five times.
Environmentalists say Stutox II presents a serious threat to birds and other animals, including household pets, and that its use violates the law on landscape protection.
Many Czech firms and businesses hit by the coronavirus restrictions claim
that the government’s support programs have left them out in the cold or
that the financial aid has been late in coming.
In the first wave, the Czech-Moravian Guarantee and Development Bank received 3,200 applications for state support, but according to the bank, less than 200 companies will receive help. The others have been told they do not fulfil the stated conditions for aid.
The Vice President of the Confederation of Industry and Transport Radek Špicar says the coming days may decide the fate of many Czech companies.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade is already preparing a third aid program for entrepreneurs, but just days ahead of its launch companies still do not know the exact conditions for aid within COVID III.
The car maker Skoda Auto has renewed production in all three of its plants
located in Mladá Boleslav, Kvasiny and Vrchlabí, company board member
Bohdan Vojnar told the ctk news agency on Monday.
The plants are operating on two instead of the usual three shifts in order to leave time for the strict hygiene measures that need to be taken between shifts.
The car makers 2,500 Polish workers will not be able to return to work for the time being. Skoda Auto stopped production on March 18.
The number of registered coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic reached
7404 on Monday morning, up by 52 on Sunday, the smallest daily increase
since March 14. 4,628 persons are fighting the disease, of those 360 are
hospitalized. Over 2,500 people have recovered, 221 people have died.
While the situation has been improving around the country the Cheb area on the country’s western border reports a sharp increase in the number of cases. The town Mariánské Lázně reports 51 cases, an increase of 42 in the past week.
More shops and services reopened around the country on Monday within a
phased-out easing of the government-imposed coronavirus restrictions.
Shops the size of up to 2,500 square meters that have their own entrance and are not located in large shopping centres are free to reopen, under strict hygiene conditions, as are driving schools, gyms and fitness centres, although without the use of showers and changing rooms.
The Prague Zoo also reopened to visitors on Monday, although tickets are only available online.
The government will also reportedly debate the possibility of speeding up the reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants. According to the present timetable pubs cafes and restaurants with outdoor spaces can reopen on May 11, indoor spaces as of May 25.
The Czech Republic is open to discussions about the transfer of the statue
of Marshal Ivan Konev, which until recently stood in Prague 6, to Russia,
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček told the daily Hospodářské Noviny.
The statue of the marshal had raised controversy in the Czech Republic due
to the marshal’s participation in the brutal suppression of the Hungarian
uprising in 1956 and was removed by the local authorities in April after it
was repeatedly vandalized. The decision sparked outrage in Russia, which
accused Prague of violating the 1993 treaty signed between the two
The Czech foreign minister dismissed the accusation saying that the 1993 treaty only commits both sides to the dignified treatment of each other’s monuments and their protection from damage.
The statue of the controversial marshal who liberated Prague in 1945, but also had an active role in crushing the Hungarian Uprising and building the Berlin Wall, has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between the two countries for some time.
There is not enough support in the Chamber of Deputies to vote in favour of
the government's intention to prolong the current state of emergency
until May 25, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said on Czech Television
on Sunday. If the motion were not to pass, the prime minister said it would
mean an end to the current precaution measures enacted over the past month
and a half.
A state of emergency is currently enacted in the country to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and is set to run out on April 30. However, earlier this week the government agreed to propose it be extended until May 25.
Care in hospitals could return to normal by the end of June, the director
of the country’s largest health insurance company, VZP, Miloslav Ludvík
said on Czech Television on Sunday. Hospitals in the country were asked to
postpone their planned operations by the Ministry of Health to focus on the
coronavirus pandemic, with large sections of staff allocated to treat
patients affected by COVID-19.
The VZP director went on to say that the insurance company has calculated its losses associated with the coronavirus pandemic to lie at around CZK 31 billion. The government’s decision to raise the level of insurance payments, along with the company’s own reserves will help mitigate the losses.
The head of Prague’s Motol hospital, Zdeněk Kabátek, said that the spread rate of COVID-19 is the same as with other coronaviruses registered over the past 7 years and is considerably lower than, for example, when it comes to measles. He went on to say that he “heavily criticised” the World Health Organisation for what he said was a lacking methodological role which would educate people about the virus and stop people from being “scared”.