The Czech economy is increasingly dependent on foreign labour. According to
figures released by the Czech Statistics Office foreign workers made up 13
percent of the labour force last year. In 2010 it was just 6 percent.
The majority of foreign workers in the country are Ukrainians, Slovaks and Vietnamese nationals, but there is also a growing number of workers from Russia, Poland, Bulgaria and Romania.
According to the last available figures there are 567,000 foreign workers registered in the country, of which 290,000 have permanent residency, 275,000 are here on a temporary basis and 2,500 are foreigners who have been granted or are seeking asylum in the country.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has expressed the view that
taking in a certain number of unaccompanied child asylum seekers from Greek
refugee camps would not undermine the Czech Republic’s negative stance to
mandatory migrant quotas and its consistent position on the matter.
The minister said that, in his personal opinion, accepting 40 unaccompanied minors would not endanger the country’ security, given the fact that it had taken in over a thousand asylum seekers from the Balkans in the past.
However he said the ball was now in Athens’s court and if the Greek authorities produced a list of potential child refugees, it would be up to the Czech government to decide.
Both Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Deputy Prime Minister Jan Hamáček have frowned on the idea, stressing that the Czech Republic prefers helping migrants in their country of origin.
The government’s council for Roma-related issues has proposed the setting
up of a special commission which would map the pre-war property of the
Romany minority and its confiscation by the Nazi and Communist regimes in
1938 and 1945 in order to open the way for compensation.
The commission has asked the prime minister to release money for the endeavour. The Nazis deported 5,500 Romanies from the Czech lands during the war. Around 500 of them returned after the war.
The refugee support initiative Češi pomáhaji (Czechs help) has announced it has a list of around 200 Czech families who say they are willing to accept refugees currently stationed in Greek camps. At a press conference on Thursday they called on the Czech government to create a special interdepartmental group which would put the wheels in motion. However, the government says that its conditions have not yet been met by the Greek authorities.
The Czech Republic is one of the countries with the largest gender pay gap in the EU. On average, women earn a fifth less than men, and the annual difference exceeds one month's earnings. In an effort to combat this discrimination, the Ministry of Labour has launched a project called “22% to equality”, in reference to the difference in female and male incomes. The project involves comprehensive research, but also a web payroll calculator or an “equal pay program” for employers.
The Romany singer Ida Kelarová and her Chavorenge Children’s Choir together with musicians from the Czech Philharmonic will perform a concert at the Phoenix Concert Hall in Croydon, southern England on Thursday evening. The program will feature the international Romany anthem Gelem, Gelem, and the choir’s best known song Hey Romale!
Europe is facing a new threat in the rebirth of neo-Nazism and fascism, the
chairman of the Czech Union of Freedom Fighters Jaroslav Vodička said at a
gathering of war veterans organized on the occasion of Czechoslovak
Vodička pointed to growing antisemitism in Europe, saying the society must remain vigilant in order to prevent history repeating itself. The fight against fascism, neo-Nazism and other forms of discrimination is a challenge we face in the present day as well, Vodička said.
The Czech Union of Freedom Fighters comprises World War II freedom fighters, their family members and supporters. It has faced criticism over the fact that members served the pre-1989 security services.
The union’s chairman caused an outcry last year when he presented a medal of merit to Communist Party MP Zdeněk Ondráček, who beat up demonstrators while a member of a Communist riot squad in 1989.
Anti-Jewish sentiment was often fuelled by vicious and clichéd imagery. Just how varied and inventive these forms of depiction could be was a theme recently explored at an international conference in Prague. It showed that while more latent than in neighbouring states such as Germany, anti-Semitic imagery was present in Czech history, often in especially curious depictions.
There are around 230,830 homeless people living in the Czech Republic,
according to a census carried out in the spring by the research Institute
for Labour and Social Affairs and published on Thursday.
The majority of the homeless are men and about 2,600 people of the total number are people under the age of 18, the report says.
Most of the homeless concentrate in large cities and towns. About 3,250 of them live in the Czech capital.
The informal chain of small Vietnamese stores makes up the largest retail
chain in the Czech Republic and possibly composes up to a fifth of the
market, according to the head of the Confederation of Trade and Tourism
Tomáš Prouza. Speaking to the Czech News Agency, Mr. Prouza said that a
new law amendment which is currently being prepared could affect these
small-retailer alliances by re-evaluating them as a significant market
According to him, inspectors currently have problems when dealing with the owners of such stores in part because of the murkiness surrounding their company ID. By classifying such retailers as an alliance of traders under the new legislation could help tax them more effectively.
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