President Miloš Zeman agrees with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and Finance
Minister Alena Schillerová that a 10-percent pay rise in the state
administration next year – which is being proposed by trade unions –
would be wrong. The latter quoted Mr. Zeman after the two ANO politicians
met the head of state and his team of experts at his Lány retreat near
Prague on Saturday.
The government is planning a 15 percent salary increase for teachers in 2019 and 6 percent raise for other state employees, such as fire and police officers and clerks. However, union leaders want such employees to get 10 percent more.
Ms. Schillerová said she, Mr. Babiš and Mr. Zeman believed that there should be a debate on pay rises. However, a 10 percent rise would cost the state an extra CZK 5 billion and would not be appropriate, she told reporters.
The leader of the opposition TOP 09 party, Jiří Pospíšil, says he is
considering sacking his assistant over the latter’s business dealings,
iDnes.cz reported. The news site iRozhlas.cz reported that Jan Zedník had
bought scores of apartments in the Most area with a view to capitalising on
disadvantaged tenants that are mainly living on social welfare.
Though Mr. Zedník, who is a member of the Civic Democrats, said he invested in the properties to secure funds for his retirement, Mr. Pospíšil has called on him to provide an explanation of the whole matter, iDnes.cz said.
Hundreds of people visited the one-time home of writer Karel Čapek in
Prague’s Vinohrady district on Friday. The Prague 10 district authority
opened the villa to the public in connection with this year’s 100th
anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia.
The country’s first president, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, and famous journalist Ferdinand Peroutka were among the First Republic figures that used to meet at Čapek’s home.
Prague 10 Town Hall said there was so much interest in visiting the villa, which it is planning to renovate, that a second open day will be held on August 9.
The reigning domestic football league champions Viktoria Plzeň got off to
a winning start in a game that raised the curtain on the 2018–2019 season
on Friday evening. The West Bohemians came from behind to beat Dukla Prague
3:1 in the capital, with all three goals coming in the final quarter of the
Having never previously won the league, Plzeň have lifted the title five times since the 2010–2011 season.
The Social Democrat minister of agriculture, Miroslav Toman, is creating a
commission to oversee an audit relating to the restitution of church
property, the newspaper Právo reported on Saturday. Mr. Toman told the
daily that the commission – due to start work at the end of this month
– would focus on the forestry agency Lesy ČR and other bodies under his
ministry that had in the past handed anything over to churches under
divisive legislation passed five years ago.
The recently installed government of ANO and the Social Democrats say that financial settlements made to churches in lieu of property seized by the Communists after 1948 should be taxed. That was a demand of the present-day Communist Party for supporting the minority coalition on key votes. Critics say the move is akin to imposing a charge on a robbery victim.
The Egyptian who stabbed to death a Czech tourist and injured two German
tourists on a beach in Hurgada last year has been found to suffer from a
brain disorder and will likely not be held accountable for his actions, the
Egyptian charge dáffaires Rany Mohie Eldin informed Czech foreign ministry
officials on Friday. He has not ruled out some form of compensation for the
Mr. Mohie Eldin said that the attacker was being held in detention and in view of the medical conclusions would most likely be placed in a mental health institution.
Some sixty Czech followers of the spiritual movement Falun Gong gathered
outside the Chinese Embassy in Prague on Friday for a silent protest
against human rights abuse in China and the persecution of Falun Gong
The protest –at which most participants quietly meditated – aimed to raise awareness of the fact that Falun Gong followers in China are killed in connection with the illegal trade in organs. Some participants held up photos of people killed for this purpose, while others had their mouths taped over.
There were participants dressed as doctors and Chinese police who acted out scenes of the atrocities taking place against Falun Gong followers.