The state budget deficit in May rose to 157.4 billion crowns, up from 93.4
billion crowns in April, according to figures released by the Ministry of
Finance on Monday. It is the highest monthly increase recorded since the
establishment of the Czech Republic in 1993.
In April, the Chamber of Deputies increased this year's state budget deficit to 300 billion crowns in view of the expenditures incurred by the coronavirus crisis. The highest yearly deficit so far -192 billion crowns -was in 2009 due to the global economic crisis.
At its session on Monday the cabinet is due to debate a list of so-called
high-risk countries, from which people returning to the Czech Republic will
be required to produce a COVID 19 negative test or undergo a 14-day
It will also identify “safe” holiday destinations to which travel should be problem-free. The latter should include Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Greece.
The government earlier announced that travel restrictions will be lifted in mid-June.
Rail operator RegioJet has announced it will start operating a direct rail connection between the Czech Republic and Croatia at the end of the month.
The traditional events linked to International Children’s Day are low key
this year due to the coronavirus restrictions pertaining to gatherings of
more than 300 people.
The International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Zlín, which is one of the traditional events linked to the holiday, has been postponed until September and a planned ride on a steam-powered train along the newly-reconstructed Negrelli Viaduct planned for June 1 was also moved to September.
However some small-scale events have been planned and some institutions, such as the National Museum are free of charge for children today.
The ministry of industry and trade and that of regional development have
issued a joint statement dismissing the conspiracy theories that claim 5G
technology helps transmit the coronavirus. The statement says the
information circulating on social networks is complete nonsense and there
is no credible scientific evidence for such a link.
The ministries of the interior and health have also issued statements refuting the connection between 5G and coronavirus and condemning the spread of fake news and scaremongering in connection with the pandemic.
The Czech government has been downplaying financial aid provided by the EU
to entrepreneurs and companies hit by the COVID-19 crisis, the news site
Neovlivni says a substantial part of the aid packages which the government presents as state assistance within the COVID I and II programs are financed by the European Union. In COVID I, close to half of the total sum of one billion crowns, comes from EU funds; COVID II, amounting to five billion crowns, draws entirely on EU finances, according to Magdalena Frouzová from the Czech Representation of the European Commission.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš previously wrote on Twitter that there is nothing to "thank" the European Union for since the money that goes into the COVID programs had already been allocated to the Czech Republic within the 2014-2020 period and had not been used up.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has said he will propose increasing state
subsidies for local projects in municipalities in order to make up for the
expenditures liked to coronavirus aid to small and medium-sized businesses.
In the past days municipalities have protested against the government‘s decision that the aid to entrepreneurs is to come from municipal budgets rather than state finances, saying they would lack money for vital local projects.
The prime minister said on Twitter that the state would more than make up for the compensation package by increasing state aid for local projects by 20 percent. He said the arrangement had been the only workable solution legally.
The outbreak in the Silesian Darkov mine, which has been one of the main
centres of the coronavirus pandemic in the Czech Republic over these past
two weeks, seems to be slowing down, according to newly released
information from the Regional Hygienist Office in Ostrava.
As of Sunday evening, 347 people from the mine and nearby settlement had been infected with the coronavirus. Aside from miners, this included some of their family members and workers commuting from abroad. However, Saturday saw just four new infections.
In relation to the outbreak, hygienists ordered increasing the rate of disinfection in the public places of surrounding towns and districts. Some towns, such as nearby Karviná asked people to stay in quarantine and not to leave their homes.
This Monday will see seniors in Czech high schools begin taking their final
exams (Maturita), specifically in mathematics, French and English.
According to the Education Ministry’s CERMAT centre, which organises the exams, some 68,036 students have registered to take the tests this year. A further 9,200 will be taking exams at a later date. The exams were originally supposed to begin in May, but were moved to June due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Social Democrats, who are currently in a minority government with Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš’s ANO party, will not support the government’s
proposal to ease the legislation regarding the issuing of some public
tenders, the leader of the Social Democrat deputies in the lower house Jan
Chvojka told Czech Television on Sunday. He said future support could only
come if the current proposal were further amended by the Chamber of
Meanwhile, Pavel Kováčik,the leader of the deputies of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, which supports the minority government, said that his party would be in favour of the proposed change in legislation. However, only under the condition that it would be used in a state of crisis, such as the one declared during the coronavirus pandemic.
The government justified the amendment by saying it would ease the administrative burden on issuing tenders in times of crisis. The proposal has been condemned by anti-corruption organisations Transparency International and Reconstruction of the State (Rekonstrukce státu).
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