Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has called a special session of the cabinet
for Friday morning. The government is due to decide about lifting of all
restrictions on border traffic with Germany, Austria and Hungary. The Czech
Republic’s border with Slovakia was fully opened on Thursday.
The Czech Prime Minister made the announcement during his visit to Karlovy Vary on Thursday. He didn’t rule out that the border restrictions could be lifted as early as Friday midnight.
The annual festival Tanec Praha dedicated to contemporary dance gets
underway on Thursday under the title Keep on Dancing! Due to the
coronavirus pandemic, the festival organizers were forced to create an
alternative programme, focusing on the domestic art scene.
Among other things, visitors can see the premiere of a site-specific project Lungs of Žižkov, called Struggling with Language, and the performance DUETS, which takes place behind the glass walls of the Trade Fair Palace.
The festival will continue in Prague and 17 other towns and cities around the Czech Republic until June 29.
The average gross monthly salary in the Czech Republic increased by five
percent in the first quarter of this year to CZK 34,077, according to data
release by the Czech Statistics Office on Thursday.
In real terms, taking into account inflation, wages increased by 1.4 percent which is the lowest figure since the end of 2013.
The median wage, a midway between the highest and the lowest levels, was CZK 29,333, up by 5.8 percent compared to the same period last year.
Some 80 percent of employees earned wages between CZK 15,761 and 53,850 CZK. Two thirds of employees earned less than the average wage.
A replica of the Marian column removed from Prague’s Old Town Square over
a century ago is due to be erected on its former site on Thursday.
The original 17th century Marian column was torn down shortly after the foundation of Czechoslovakia in 1918 by protestors, who considered it a symbol of Austrian rule.
Works on reinstalling the replica of the Baroque column started in February after years of heated debate over whether the column should be restored.
The number of newly registered Covid-19 cases in the Czech Republic
continues to rise. According to Czech Health Ministry statistics, there
were 74 positive cases reported on Wednesday, which is the highest number
over the past 11 days.
Overall, the number of cases in the country has reached 9,941. 324 people have died and 6,752 have recovered from the disease. At the moment, there are 124 hospitalised with Covid-19, 13 of them in serious condition.
Experts from the Radioactive Waste Repository Authority have shortlisted
four localities for a potential deep storage facility for nuclear waste,
the Czech News Agency reported on Wednesday. The original list included
nine locations around the country.
The four sites include the villages of Janoch in South Bohemia near the Temelín nuclear power plant, Horka in the Třebíč region, Hrádek in the Jihlava region and Březový potok in West Bohemia.
The waste storage facility should be built by 2065. The costs covering its construction and operation are estimated at around CZK 111 billion. The high level nuclear waste produce from the country’s nuclear power plants is currently being stocked on their premises.
The Czech low-cost airline Smartwings needs either a loan or a commercial
guarantee of CZK 1.7-2 billion from the state within the next few weeks in
order to survive, Smartwings Chairman of the Board Jiří Šimáně told
the daily Mf Dnes in an interview published on Thursday. He also warned
that if a second wave of the pandemic were to arrive Smartwings would need
The company has already stated it does not want the state to purchase a stake in the company. The rescue loan money could be spent on aircraft payments, employee salaries and other necessities, Mr Šimáně told Mf Dnes.
As many other airlines, Smartwings has been feeling the weight of the coronavirus impact on international air travel and is in danger of bankruptcy. The idea of bailing out Smartwings was floated by the government last month, but was met with mixed opinions among the public.
The Czech Ministry of Defence is planning to buy 52 Ceasar self-propelled
howitzers from French manufacturer Nexter Systems in a CZK 6 billion deal,
Defence Minister Lubomír Metnar has announced. Nexter has already been
approached and it is hoped that a contract will be signed by the end of
Once purchased, the army will move its current howitzers, DANA, into its reserves with no plans to sell these on.
The Czech Army is currently undergoing a long-term modernisation and the government is increasing annual spending to match the agreed NATO 2 percent threshold for defence expenditure. Mr Metnar said the Ceasar howitzers came out best in terms of army needs suitability and price.
Czech Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová of the ANO party has said that
the country’s budget deficit could reach CZK 500 billion this year, Czech
Television reported on Wednesday.
The current planned deficit was aproved last month and lies at CZK 300 billion, but Ms Schillerová refused to dismiss the posibility of raising the limit.
Before the coronavirus pandemic the Czech government planned a deficit of CZK 40 billion in its 2020 budget.