The council of the current rulling coalition of the ANO party and the
Social Democrats agreed on Wednesday to lower the rate of the planned
digital tax to 5 percent. If passed by Parliament, the tax will be payed by
internet companies operating with a budget of EUR 750 million or higher. A
further condition is that these companies' annual turnover in the
Czech Republic is at least as high as CZK 100 million.
Originally the plan was for the tax to be 7 percent. However, Finance Minister Alena Schillerová proposed a lower rate on the basis that the original rate was the highest among countries which are planning to implement the digital tax.
Czech travel agencies have been noticing a marked increase in sales of
trips abroad since last week, the Czech News Agency reports.
According to the marketing director of the Alexandria travel agency, Petr Šťastný, the rise in sales has significantly exceeded expectations. When it comes to foreign travel, the most popular destination for flights is Greece. When it comes to traveling by car people are most likely to look for holidays in Austria, Croatia, Hungary or Italy says Jan Bezděk, the spokesman of one of the largest travel agencies CK Fisher.
Information on the current travel status for each country can be found on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, where there is newly an interactive map.
Thursday will see temperatures range between 21 to 23 degrees Celsius. Rain is expected in the northern parts of the country, with the exception of Prague. Meteorologists have also issued a warning that heavy rains are expected in Southern Bohemia and storms in Western Moravia this Wednesday until midnight.
If elections into the Chamber of Deputies were held in May, the ruling ANO
party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš would receive 33.7 percent of the
vote, a 2.9 percent increase compared to voter preferences measured in
March, ahead of the coronavirus countermeasures adopted by the government.
The poll was conducted in the final days of May by polling agency STEM.
The opposition Pirate Party came in second with 12.8 percent of the vote, followed by the Civic Democrats with 11.4 percent. Both parties have seen their share fall compared to previous months.
The Social Democrats, who are currently in coalition with ANO, saw their share of the hypothetical vote rise to 8.9 percent. The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia would come in fifth with 7.3 percent, followed by the right-wing Freedom and Direct Democracy party which would receive 6.5 percent.
The last party to surpass the 5 percent minimum to get into the Chamber of Deputies are the Christian Democrats, with 6.1 percent of the vote. The current opposition TOP 09 and Mayors and Independents parties both polled below the threshold.
The STEM poll suggests voter turnout would see 55 percent of eligible voters turn up to voting stations.
Filming is in progress for an upcoming movie called Jako letni sníh (Like
summer snow), which is set to focus on one of the most famous Czechs Jan
Amos Komenský, the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday citing a press
announcement from the Executive Director of the Zlín Film Office
Magdaléna Hladká. The film is to premiere in cinemas and on Czech
Television later this year.
The director of the film Lubomír Hlavsa said that he wants to present Komenský from a new angle. He has chosen the meeting between the Czech philosopher and Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn as a connecting line in his narrative. Actors Alois a David Švehlík will feature in the main roles.
Komenský’s place of birth is estimated to have been in one of the villages or towns in the Zlin region. A member of the protestant Unity of the Brethren, Komenský chose to move into exile after losing his property and writings during the Thirty Years War. Working as an educator and theologian, he led schools and advised governments across Protestant Europe. Eventually settled in Amsterdam, where he died in 1670.
During the coronavirus pandemic the amount of gold purchases rose by
hundreds of percentage points in the Czech Republic, the country’s
leading gold dealers told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday, although they
refused to release specific data.
Currently, the price of gold on world markets is around USD 1,720 for a troy ounce. In mid-May the price reached a seven year high of USD 1,765 per ounce.
According to gold dealers the high demand for gold and silver caused a shortage of the metals offered on markets. Furthermore, nearly half of the world production of gold bars, some 1,500 tons, is based in the Swiss canton of Ticino, where refineries of precious metals were closed from March 20. This two to three month interruption has resulted in severely limiting the amount of gold that is on sale, David Marášek, the statutory director of Zlato.cz which focuses on gold sales, told the Czech News Agency.
Finance Minister Alena Schillerová has been named the Czech Republic’s
most influential woman by Forbes magazine. It is the first time Ms
Schillerova came first on the list. Last year she came in second behind
Věra Jourová, the current Vice President of the European Commission for
Values and Transparency.
The finance minister administers the CZK 1.7 trillion state budget, a role that is especially important during the coronavirus pandemic where a multitude of relief measures for the Czech economy are being put in place.
Ms Jourová came in second, followed by Prague’s High State Attorney Lenka Bradáčová in third place. Meanwhile, Ms Schillerová’s colleague, Labour Minister Jana Maláčová, came in second on Forbes’ list.
During its upcoming EU presidency in 2022, the Czech Republic wants to
focus on developing the union’s internal market, security, digitisation
and new technologies, State Secretary for European Affairs Milena
Hrdinková told the Committee on European Affairs of the Chamber of
Deputies on Wednesday. Other priority areas include sustainability and
Ms Hrdinková highlighted that the list of priorities will be narrowed down in the future, depending on how the situation in the EU develops, and that this is a work in progress. This stance was supported by some deputies from the lower house, who fear that such a wide range of priorities may make these plans hard to realise.
The first official priorities list should be announced next year.
Dozens of people attended a memorial at Lidice near Prague on Wednesday to
commemorate a Nazi massacre of local people on June 10, 1942. Survivors and
witnesses of the atrocity and senior politicians including President Miloš
Zeman gathered at the event, which for the first time is not public, due to
public health concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nazis slaughtered the inhabitants of Lidice and completely demolished the small village, intending to wipe it off the map for eternity, in retaliation for the assassination of governor Reinhard Heydrich.
Anti-government demonstrations took place in Prague and 160 other places in
the Czech Republic on Tuesday evening. Around 1,500 people attended a
demonstration on the capital’s Old Town Square organised by protest group
Million Moments for Democracy, who say that Andrej Babiš’s government
failed to implement sufficient economic measures in response to the
coronavirus crisis and that some procurements of medical equipment were not
The organisers created a grid of temporary markings on Old Town Square ahead of the protest that signalled where participants should stand to ensure social distancing.