The Czech Republic’s biggest car maker, Škoda Auto, expects around a quarter of its production to be electric vehicles or hybrids by 2025 with the manufacturing likely centred on its Mladá Boleslav plant. That prediction was given by Škoda Auto’s board chairman Bernhard Maier at a meeting between top car company management and members of the Czech government. Škoda expects to produce its first electric car, probably the top of the range Superb, in 2019 but four or five electric models should be in showrooms within another six years.. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka later said that 1200 charging points for cars should be available by 2020.
Czech police detained 5261 illegal foreigners last year. That’s a drop of just over 3300 compared with the situation in 2015 during the height of the refugee crisis. Just under a third of those detained came from Ukraine. They were followed by citizens from Russia, Kuwait, and Vietnam. Syrians occupied fifth place but their numbers in 2016 were around half of those in 2015.
The governing council of public broadcaster Czech Television has brought forward the procedure to select a new director so that it will not clash with lower house elections due in October, Applications are invited by March 27 with the successful candidate chosen in a two round procedure over the following weeks. The winner will take up the post at the start of October. Current director Petr Dvořák’s existing mandate expires on September 30. The public broadcaster recently came under fire for its coverage of the US elections for allegedly favouring Hillary Clinton. An analysis of election night coverage sought to refute most of the criticism.
Wages in the Czech Republic rose by around 10-15 percent last year with the most significant increases for recent graduates, according to the results of a survey by the personnel agency Hays released on Thursday. Wages of top managers rose only marginally, it said. Some of the strongest rises were in the IT sector with staff shortages apparent nut just in Prague but also regional cities such as Plzeň, Ostrava, and Brno. Staff at service centres who were fluent in at least two foreign languages also saw wages rise by an average of 10-15 percent, the survey said.
Czech transport unions have issued a nationwide strike alert on the grounds that bus drivers have not been awarded the pay increases promised by the government and regional governments. Strike preparations are already well advanced in the northern Ústí region with March 8 pencilled in as the likely date. A nationwide meeting of union leaders should take place earlier on February 20. Bus drivers on scheduled routes were promised that their pay would rise from just over 70 crowns and hour to just short of 100 crowns an hour.
Czech ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr notched up his 1900th NHL point on his 45th birthday. Jágr, the oldest active player in the league, provided an assist in the 53rd minute to help the Florida Panthers to a 5:3 lead over San Jose. The San Jose sharks came back with two goals to draw the match and force extra time but Florida sealed a 6:5 win..
The weather on Friday will be cloudy with showers likely. Top daytime temperatures will range between four and eight degrees Celsius.