On Friday, some 10,000 healthcare workers rallied in Prague to protest against the policies of Health Minister David Rath. Private practitioners, dentists, pharmacists and patients' associations protested against the minister's radical reforms which they say are proving destructive for the system and dangerous for patients. Over 100,000 people signed a petition demanding David Rath's dismissal. Minister Rath belittled the protest as mere pre-election propaganda of the opposition Civic Democrats. Meanwhile, amid growing problems in the sector and
It has been 16 years since the fall of Czechoslovakia's Communist regime. The Czech Republic, once a country of emigration, has now become one of transit and immigration, with the main immigration groups coming from Ukraine, Vietnam, Slovakia, and Belarus. In 2004, the latest official statistics say, around 2.5 percent of the country's population were legal immigrants. A decade earlier, it was less than half that rate. This transformation, as well as new immigration policies brought on by the country's accession to the European Union, calls for
When the Czech Republic joined the European Union on May 1st, 2004, the doors to European Structural Funds opened. The money allotted to the Czech Republic for projects in the 2004 - 2006 period stands at nearly 457 million Euros, or roughly 14-and-a-half billion Czech crowns. No small potatoes. One of the key elements of Brussels' strategy is to promote life-long learning in order to increase citizens' chances of employment. In concrete terms, the political aim of the European Union is to eliminate marked economic and social differences within
In Business News: new legislation should make bankruptcy proceedings run more smoothly, while a labour code approved this week has been dividing opinion; the OECD gives the Czech Republic advice on how to improve its economy; it seems the Czech Republic may renege on a pledge to increase the share of its power generated from renewable resources; digital broadcasting can now be received by a third of Czech households; and beer exports were up 17 percent last year.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic last month was just over 9 percent. This is not as bad as in neighbouring Germany, or Poland, but it does give cause for concern. The Labour Ministry has now drawn up a plan to find work for more people without actually having to create new jobs. The cabinet launched the pilot project on Wednesday.
Social Democrat and Communist Deputies joined forces to push through a
much disputed new labour code during a session of the Lower House of
the Czech Parliament on Wednesday. The opposition Civic Democrats and
the two junior ruling coalition parties, the Christian Democrats and
the Freedom Union, have expressed fears that it would increase the
authority of trade unions and threaten the flexibility of the labour
The lower house also approved an amendment to the consumer protection law, which - among other things - would allow for entrepreneurs who violate the law to be fined up to 50 million crowns. The maximum fine currently stands at one million crowns. The labour code and amendment have yet to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President.
The European Commission has just released a report on employment urging original EU members to ethink restrictions on the movement of labour from new EU countries. The report was prepared by EU Commissioner and former Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. It has been nearly two years since the EU expanded to include former communist bloc countries like the Czech Republic, but only three - the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Sweden - opened their labour markets outright. Although estimates show that the number of new migrant workers has been fairly
To conclude the Visegrad Four Prague summit, leaders signed a declaration on Saturday appealing to the governments of EU member states who have not already done so, to open their labour markets to workers as of May 1, 2006. But is the opening of labour markets a realistic request and what countries will most likely do so?
For some 1,300 workers last week as well as the Czech government the suspension of production at the country's LG Philips Displays plant - the 2nd largest investment project in the country - came as a shock. With parent company LG Philips Displays Holding filing for bankruptcy, the obvious question was: would the subsidiary company follow suit? The Czech government - specifically the Ministry for Industry and Trade - has been trying to prevent just that.
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’