Czech Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová of the ANO party has said that
the country’s budget deficit could reach CZK 500 billion this year, Czech
Television reported on Wednesday.
The current planned deficit was aproved last month and lies at CZK 300 billion, but Ms Schillerová refused to dismiss the posibility of raising the limit.
Before the coronavirus pandemic the Czech government planned a deficit of CZK 40 billion in its 2020 budget.
The Visegrad Four, made up of the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and
Hungary, should find a unified position towards Germany and France’s
proposed European Union rescue deal, which intends to aleviate the economic
damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and
his Slovak counterpart Igor Matovič said in Prague on Wednesday. The
question is set to be discussed at the upcoming V4 summit on June 11.
Currently the members are split, with Czech Republic and Hungary being against the deal, while Poland and Slovakia have voiced their support.
A change to the territoriality of bailiffs, an end to unenforceable
repossessions, the creation of protected accounts and a change in the
calculation of income deductions, these are policies that NGOs working in
poverty relief want to see politicians adopt.
Twenty organisations, ranging from the Czech Helsinki Committee and Caritas Czech Republic to the Council of Seniors, say that such changes would help deal with the problem of excessive debt in the country.
An amendment on the law regarding the system of how repositions are enacted is set to be discussed in the Chamber of Deputies soon and will then be moved to the Senate.
The scale of bankruptcies and repossession threats in the country is very large, with 9 percent of the country’s population over the age of 15 being a target of repossession only last year. Reform in this area of legislation was also one of the main topics during the last elections into the Chamber of Deputies in 2017.
Austria will remove its border checks with the Czech Republic and all other
neighbouring states, excluding Italy, Austria’s Foreign Minister
Alexander Schallenberg announced on Wednesday. Neither a negative COVID-19
test, nor undertaking a compulsory two-week quarantine will be required for
Czechs to enter the country.
However, it is as of yet unclear whether the Czech Republic will do the same, or continue on its current timeline of opening up borders with Austria, Germany and Hungary on June 15.
As soon as the clocks hit 12pm on the night from Wednesday to Thursday,
travel rules between the Czech Republic and Slovakia will be restored to
the state in which they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, prime ministers
of both countries announced in Prague on Wednesday.
Until now, Czech citizens could travel to their eastern neighbour without a test only if they stayed no longer than 48 hours in the country, with entrance into both states only allowed at designated border crossings.
According to Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and his Slovak counterpart Igor Matovič, the opening of borders was agreed two days ago and was announced as a gift on the occasion of the Slovak prime ministers first visit to the Czech Republic.
A special commemorative mass for Eva Pilarová is taking place at noon in
Prague’s Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary On Strahov this
Wednesday. Pilarová, who made her name as one of Czechoslovakia’s most
popular singers during the 1960s and 1970s, died at the age of 80 on March
14, during the countrywide COVID-19 lockdown. A mass in her honour was
therefore postponed for an indefinite period.
Now, with the easing of measures countering the pandemic, the deceased singer’s husband Jan Kolomazník decided to organise the public mass.
A total of 62 new infections with the COVID-19 coronavirus were registered
in the Czech Republic on Tuesday, the sharpest increase in nine days, the
Czech News Agency reports. The ratio between the number of tests carried
out and infections discovered rose by 1 percent. The virus claimed one
casualty on Tuesday.
Prague has the highest number of infected in terms of regional comparison. Altogether, 2,158 individuals have tested positive in the capital resulting in an average of 166 cases per 100,000 people. In the second placed Karlovy Vary Region, that ratio is 155.
Meanwhile, South Bohemia has been faring the best during the pandemic, registering a ratio of just 29 cases per 100,000 residents.
The Federation of Jewish Communities in the Czech Republic registered
roughly 700 cases of anti-Semitism last year, twice as many as in 2018. In
95 percent of cases these took place over the internet, whether through
social media posts, anonymous commentaries, or forum entries.
The data is the result of a study published on the federations website. It highlights that the rise in incidents does not necessarily mean anti-Jewish feeling is on the rise in the Czech Republic, as data gathering and evaluation methodology has improved since previous studies. Furthermore, no cases of physical violence against Jews were registered last year.
Future US president John F. Kennedy visited Prague for several days in
August 1939, according to the Czech Television show Reportéři ČT.
Historians base the claim that Kennedy came to the city on correspondence
by JFK himself and above all on the memoirs of top US diplomat George
Kennan, who was American consul in Prague under the Nazi Protectorate of
Bohemia and Moravia.
Czech Television said the Nazis had allowed Kennedy, then 22, to visit the occupied city thanks to the fact that his father Joseph Kennedy, who was US ambassador to London, had supported appeasement.