The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic rose to 3.6 percent in May, up
0.2 percentage points from the previous month, Minister of Labour and
Social Affairs Jana Maláčová announced on Friday. At the end of last
month, 266,144 people out of work, a rise of 12,104 from April.
Maláčová said thanks to state aid, employers laid off or furloughed far fewer workers than anticipated, given temporary closings of businesses due to emergency measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
She said the majority of people who recently started looking for work had been employed mainly in the services, catering, tourism, hotel and transport sectors. Although the Czech unemployment rate is at a two-year high, it remains among the lowest in the European Union.
Czech ice hockey and NHL legend Jaromír Jágr may playing for club Sparta
Prague in the coming season, the daily Sport writes.
In the 2019/2020 season, which ended prematurely due to the coronavirus pandemic, Jágr’s club Rytíři Kladno was relegated from the Czech Extraliga to the second division after a single season in the top flight.
For Jágr to join the arch rival of Kladno, his hometown, would be quite a coup, especially from an economic standpoint, Sport writes: Sparta can fill Prague’s massive O2 arena with help from Jágr, and Kladno would also benefit from it.
Jágr, who recently turned 48, said in March he was weighing up his future and whether it was worth continuing to play in the Czech league, leaving open whether he would retire after nearly 30 years in professional hockey.
The Czech Republic will fully open its borders with Austria and Hungary at
midday Friday, Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček announced following a
government session early on Friday morning.
According to Mr Petříček, negotiations with Germany are still underway. As of Friday, 12 a.m., Czechs can return from Germany without the need for a negative COVID-19 test. However, travel restrictions are still in place in Germany for people travelling from the Czech Republic.
Mr Petříček said more restrictions on travel between the Czech Republic and other European states could be lifted on June 15.
Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabi Ashkenazi, has accepted an
invitation from his Czech counterpart, Tomáš Petříček, to visit the
Czech Republic. The head of Czech diplomacy made the announcement on his
Facebook account on Thursday.
During a telephone conversation on Thursday evening, the two foreign ministers discussed a joint session of the Czech and Israeli governments and cooperation between the EU and Israel.
Relations between the Czech Republic and Israel cooled over a newspaper article by Mr. Petříček and two of his predecessors, Lubomír Zaorálek and Karel Schwarzenberg, published at the end of May, in which they opposed Israeli plans to annex Jewish settlements on the West banks.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called a special session of the cabinet
for Friday morning. The government is due to decide about lifting of all
restrictions on border traffic with Germany, Austria and Hungary. The Czech
Republic’s border with Slovakia was fully opened on Thursday.
The Czech Prime Minister made the announcement during his visit to Karlovy Vary on Thursday. He didn’t rule out that the border restrictions could be lifted as early as Friday midnight.
The annual festival Tanec Praha dedicated to contemporary dance gets
underway on Thursday under the title Keep on Dancing! Due to the
coronavirus pandemic, the festival organizers were forced to create an
alternative programme, focusing on the domestic art scene.
Among other things, visitors can see the premiere of a site-specific project Lungs of Žižkov, called Struggling with Language, and the performance DUETS, which takes place behind the glass walls of the Trade Fair Palace.
The festival will continue in Prague and 17 other towns and cities around the Czech Republic until June 29.
The average gross monthly salary in the Czech Republic increased by five
percent in the first quarter of this year to CZK 34,077, according to data
release by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday.
In real terms, taking into account inflation, wages increased by 1.4 percent which is the lowest figure since the end of 2013.
The median wage, a midway between the highest and the lowest levels, was CZK 29,333, up by 5.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Some 80 percent of employees earned wages between CZK 15,761 and 53,850 CZK. Two thirds of employees earned less than the average wage.
A replica of the Marian column removed from Prague’s Old Town Square over
a century ago is due to be erected on its former site on Thursday.
The original 17th century Marian column was torn down shortly after the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 by protestors, who considered it a symbol of Austrian rule.
Works on reinstalling the replica of the Baroque column started in February after years of heated debate over whether the column should be restored.