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24-09-2019

Social Democrats not to support move to take Zeman to Constitutional Court

In a vote scheduled for Thursday, the Social Democrats will not support taking President Miloš Zeman to the Constitutional Court for gross violation of the constitution, Novinky.cz reported on Tuesday. Representatives of the junior party in the governing coalition announced their intentions after a deputies’ group meeting.

The bill, which has already been approved by the Senate, would need the votes of three-fifths of the country’s 200 MPs to be passed. This is seen as very unlikely.

The senators behind the move initially accused the president and his staff of seeking to influence the judiciary. Seven other charges of violating the constitution have also been levelled against him, including not acting in line with official foreign policy and failing to remove or appoint a government minister.

Teachers declare strike alert after pay talks breakdown

Teaching trade unions in the Czech Republic have announced a strike alert. The move came after representatives failed to reach agreement on pay increases with the minister of education, Robert Plaga, on Tuesday. The head of the teachers unions, František Dobšík, said the amount the minister was offering was unacceptable.

Mr. Plaga proposed a rise of CZK 2,250 a month for all teachers and an average of around CZK 1,400 a month in bonuses.

The teachers unions had been demanding a 15-percent pay rise. They later revised that figure to 10 percent but insist that it should all appear in their members’ basic pay.

Study: Teachers’ pay still relatively low in Czech Republic

Despite increases in recent years, teachers’ pay in the Czech Republic remains low in comparison to that in other professions, according to a new study produced by the Prague-based Institute for Democracy and Economic Analysis. The report found that educators’ salaries in this country are among the lowest in all developed countries.

The authors said this is due to the fact the Czech Republic spends around a third less of its GDP on education than is common in developed states.

Following a rise in January, Czech teachers received an average of around CZK 36,200 a month in the first quarter of this year.

Czech PM criticizes climate change summit for putting rhetoric over actions

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has criticized the focus on words rather than actions at the United Nations Climate Action Summit at which he represented the Czech Republic.

Speaking to journalists the Czech prime minister said the Czech Republic would not get its voice heard at the conference despite the fact that it was adhering to the 2015 Paris Agreement targets. “There are many here who have failed in this respect, but are unveiling ambitious plans for the future,“ Mr. Babiš noted.

The Czech prime minister was not alone criticizing the hollow tone of the promises made. The BBC reported that China, India and Russia, were given the change to address the conference despite being the world’s biggest polluters.

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 16, made an emotional speech at the summit, slamming world leaders for their "business as usual" attitude and saying future generations would never forgive them if they failed to act.

Confidence in the Czech economy hits five-year-low

Confidence in Czech economy fell to 94.6 index points in September, the lowest in five years, according to data released by the Czech Statistics Office.

The business confidence indicator decreased by 0.7 to 92.9 compared to the previous month, as expectations deteriorated among retailers, and consumer confidence fell by 1.8 to 103.3 index points.

Business confidence in Czech Republic averaged at 93.20 index points from 1993 until 2019, reaching an all time high of 106.60 index points in February of 2007 and a record low of 69.10 index points in March of 1999.

Minister says postal service should be in profit within three years

Czech Post is not planning to shut any branches in villages, the minister of the interior, Jan Hamáček, said on Tuesday after a meeting with the chairman of the Union of Towns and Municipalities, František Lukl. The postal system falls under the Ministry of the Interior.

Mr. Hamáček said in a statement that Czech Post should go into profit within three years thanks to a planned restructuring.

Mr. Lukl said the mayors of small urban centres had been disquieted by Prime Minster Andrej Babiš, who said Czech Post was dead and should be transformed into a private company. This gave rise to fears of branch closures.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly overcast with some rain in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, with temperatures of up to 18 degrees Celsius. More rain and daytime highs in the high teens Celsius are also forecast for the following week.

24-09-2019