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PM Babiš: govt won’t change salary proposal in face of teachers’ strike

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has said the planned teachers’ strike over salaries on Wednesday is unwarranted and the government will not respond to it.

Teacher unions last week announced plans for the all-day strike after their demands for a 10 percent salary increase was not met. Babiš and Minister of Education Robert Plaga (ANO) had offered an 8 percent raise.

Over 6,000 schools, nearly 60 percent, have so far confirmed that they will take part in the strike on Wednesday, the unions said, while others will display a logo signifying their support.

The average monthly gross salary of a teacher was around 36,200 crowns in the first quarter of 2019 while the national average stood at 32,466 crowns. The unions have been pushing to raise teachers' salaries to 130 percent of the average.

Czech soldiers train for tight border security scenario

Nearly 300 Czech soldiers, fire-fighters and customs officers are taking part in a joint training exercise at the Czech and Slovak border to prepare for the possible introduction of border checks in the event of a serious security threat, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats) said on Monday.

The joint exercise of the army and emergency services takes place at a 49-kilomtere stretch along the border in the region of Moravia-Silesia. Although the numbers of illegal migrants have not been increasing, the army has to be able to react quickly in case the situation suddenly changes, Mr. Hamáček told journalists.

Last year, police detected 4,992 foreigners who were illegally in the Czech Republic. That was 254 more than in 2017 and 269 less than in 2016. As in previous years, the largest group was comprised of Ukrainians.

Pirates voting on possible dismissal of deputy chair Jakub Michálek over ‘bullying’

The Pirate Party is holding an online vote through 10:00 p.m. Monday evening on whether to dismiss deputy chairman Jakub Michálek for allegedly having bullied subordinates and creating an atmosphere of fear and stress in the workplace.

The head of the party’s personnel department, Jana Koláříková, raised the issue last month after receiving numerous complaints.

Michálek has denied bullying subordinates, saying that he merely demanded high standards from his colleagues, and refused to step down. He is also head of the opposition party’s caucus in the lower house of Parliament.

Party members can vote either yea or nay to dismiss him or to postpone a decision until the Pirate’s national forum in Ostrava this January.

Putin awards Russian ‘Order of Friendship’ to Czech composer Petrov of ‘Krtek’ fame

Russian President Vladimir Putin has awarded Czech composer Vadim Petrov the ‘Order of Friendship’, Russia’s highest state honour for foreigners.

Petrov, who was born in Prague to a Russian noble family, was granted the honour on 26 October, for strengthening the friendship and mutually enriching the cultures of the two nations and nationalities.

According to the Russian Embassy in Prague, Petrov often drew on Russian musical heritage in his compositions, wrote music for Russian TV films.

Petrov has composed nearly 1,300 works for theatre, film, radio, and television, including for Russian productions.

In the Czech Republic, Petrov is best known for composing music for the Krtek (Little Mole) cartoons and the Krkonoše Fairytales. Last year, Czech President Miloš Zeman awarded him the Medal of Merit.

NKU report: Czechia lacks legislation to fight drought

The Czech Republic is lacking long-term measures as well as necessary legislation to fight drought, concludes a report by the Supreme Audit Office (NKU) carried out at the ministries of agriculture and environment.

The report also says there are not enough grant programmes focusing on the problem of drought, with the exception of Dešťovka, a programme encouraging households to save water by using rain water storage.

According to the Supreme Audit Office, damages caused by drought last year amounted to 24 billion crowns. Minister of the Environment Richard Brabec (ANO) categorically rejected the findings, saying ‘thousands of anti-drought projects’ are in place.

Respekt: Syrians reject Czech PM’s proposal to build centre for war orphans

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said in an interview with the weekly Respekt published on Sunday that the Czech Republic’s plan to build a centre for war orphans has been rejected “by the Syrian side”.

He said the Syrians did not want the Czechs to build the centre themselves and proposed their own project, which “was about six times more expensive than ours” and so he rejected it.

Babiš has been a consistent opponent of accepting refugees on Czech territory, arguing that facilities should be for them in their home countries of in neighbouring states.

Ice hockey: Jakub Vrána scores first NHL hat trick, as Caps beat Flames 4-2

Czech ice hockey forward Jakub Vrána has scored his first ever hat-trick in the NHL, leading the Washington Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.

The 23-year-old Czech international scored all of the Capitals goals through the first two periods of Sunday’s game and was named the most valuable player of the match.

Vrána now has nine goals to his credit this season.

Weather outlook

Tuesday should be cool and cloudy with occasional rain throughout the day. Average daytime highs should range from 8 to 12 degrees Celsius.