The number of newly registered Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic
continues to rise. According to Czech Health Ministry statistics, there
were 74 positive cases reported on Wednesday, which is the highest number
over the past 11 days.
Overall, the number of cases in the country has reached 9,941. 324 people have died and 6,752 have recovered from the disease. At the moment, there are 124 hospitalised with Covid-19, 13 of them in serious condition.
Experts from the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority have shortlisted
four localities for a potential deep storage facility for nuclear waste,
the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday. The original list included
nine locations around the country.
The four sites include the villages of Janoch in South Bohemia near the Temelín nuclear power plant, Horka in the Třebíč region, Hrádek in the Jihlava region and Březový potok in West Bohemia.
The waste storage facility should be built by 2065. The costs covering its construction and operation are estimated at around CZK 111 billion. The high level nuclear waste produce from the country’s nuclear power plants is currently being stocked on their premises.
The Czech low-cost airline Smartwings needs either a loan or a commercial
guarantee of CZK 1.7-2 billion from the state within the next few weeks in
order to survive, Smartwings Chairman of the Board Jiří Šimáně told
the daily Mf Dnes in an interview published on Thursday. He also warned
that if a second wave of the pandemic were to arrive Smartwings would need
The company has already stated it does not want the state to purchase a stake in the company. The rescue loan money could be spent on aircraft payments, employee salaries and other necessities, Mr Šimáně told Mf Dnes.
As many other airlines, Smartwings has been feeling the weight of the coronavirus impact on international air travel and is in danger of bankruptcy. The idea of bailing out Smartwings was floated by the government last month, but was met with mixed opinions among the public.
The Czech Ministry of Defence is planning to buy 52 Ceasar self-propelled
howitzers from French manufacturer Nexter Systems in a CZK 6 billion deal,
Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar has announced. Nexter has already been
approached and it is hoped that a contract will be signed by the end of
Once purchased, the army will move its current howitzers, DANA, into its reserves with no plans to sell these on.
The Czech Army is currently undergoing a long-term modernisation and the government is increasing annual spending to match the agreed NATO 2 percent threshold for defence expenditure. Mr Metnar said the Ceasar howitzers came out best in terms of army needs suitability and price.
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.