Culture Thousands take part in Czech Railways Day in Bohumín
Despite the rainy weather, thousands of people gathered today in Bohumín for Czech Railways Day. Exhibitions of historic locomotives, modern train tours and rides on a vintage steam train or engine train attracted visitors. Nostalgic train rides, platforms enveloped in steam, captivated spectators. Another highlight was a manually operated turntable.
Steam locomotives received special attention, providing a nostalgic journey reminiscent of the past. Lukáš Kubát of Czech Railways highlighted the appeal of nostalgia, where passengers could experience a journey with coal residue in their hair. Additionally, the event showcased modern trains featuring a low floor, Wi-Fi connectivity and compliance with strict standards of modern transportation.
Migration Czechia and Germany to cooperate on possible border controls
Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan announced that German and Czech police would work together intensively to combat smugglers amid a deteriorating situation on the Balkan migrant route. They are coordinating their efforts, including possible checks at certain border crossings.
Rakušan confirmed his agreement with German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, with the next meeting scheduled for next week. Faeser, who previously opposed comprehensive security checks, now supports them at the borders with the Czech Republic and Poland to combat smugglers. Czech police are closely monitoring the situation and have noted a significant decrease in illegal immigration compared to last year.
Business Criminal complaint filed regarding the sale of Atos to Křetínský
A minority shareholder of the French group Atos has filed a criminal complaint for corruption in connection with the sale of part of the technology company to EP Equity Investment of Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský. The National Financial Prosecutor’s Office opens an investigation into the complaint filed by the Alix AM fund.
The fund alleges active and passive corruption during the transaction, but the people involved have not been named. The sale of Atos’ Tech Foundations division to the Křetínský Group has sparked controversy, with some minority shareholders and French politicians expressing opposition. The Atos board defended the sale, calling the allegations baseless.
Weather report Autumn starts in Czechia with cool and rainy weather
Today, at 8:50 a.m. Central European Summer Time, the autumnal equinox marked the transition from astronomical summer to autumn. Czech meteorologists predict an astronomically cool and rainy start to autumn this year over the weekend in Bohemia and Moravia, but a return to warm and sunny weather is expected next week.
This seasonal change is the result of the Earth’s axial tilt, which is approximately 23.5 degrees. As the Earth orbits the Sun, this tilt causes the northern and southern hemispheres to alternate their orientation relative to the Sun, causing a change in season.
Policy Appointment of new Czech ambassadors to Ukraine and Poland
Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský announced the appointment of Radek Pech as the new Czech ambassador to Ukraine and Břetislav Dančák as the new ambassador to Poland. The two diplomats received the consent of their host country.
Pech, who was previously the Czech Republic’s ambassador to Denmark, will succeed Radek Matula in Kiev, while Dančák, known for his expertise in energy security and geopolitics, will take up his post in Poland. The move follows the recent vacancy of the post in Warsaw following the sudden death of Ambassador Jakub Dürr in February. The two diplomats are expected to take office this fall.
Sports Czech women’s volleyball team loses to Ukraine in Olympic qualifying
The Czech women’s volleyball team suffered a 3-1 defeat against Ukraine in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Ning-po, China. Despite getting off to a good start with a 25-12 victory in the first set, they were unable to maintain their momentum. Coach Jannis Athanasopoulos cited mental lapses and fatigue as contributing factors to the defeat.
Ukraine’s aggressive serving disrupted the Czech team’s performance, leading to their defeat. The team’s next and final opponent is Canada, who earned their fourth victory with a 3-0 victory over Mexico. Czech captain Michaela Mlejnková urged her team to gather their strength for the next match and strive to end the tournament with a victory.
ELECTION Ex-president Zeman supports Fico for Slovak elections
Former Czech President Miloš Zeman on Friday expressed his support for former Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Smér-SD party in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Slovakia. Zeman’s support was shared in an internet recording, accompanied by a letter from Václav Klaus, for which Smér-SD expressed gratitude.
Zeman expressed his wishes for success, emphasizing the importance of social democracy in solidarity with those who cannot afford private education or health care, as well as with elderly citizens facing hardship. financial difficulties. Zeman, during his tenure as Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, was part of the center-left Czech Social Democratic Party. Smér-SD, favorite in the polls, appreciated Zeman’s support, emphasizing its unity and shared values within the social democratic ideology.
Economy The minimum wage will increase in January
The Czech Labor Ministry is proposing an increase in the minimum wage for the coming year, with two possible options. The first option is an increase of 1,600 CZK, bringing the minimum wage to 18,900 CZK, while the second option suggests an increase of 2,100 CZK, reaching 19,400 CZK. The goal is to ultimately reach either 45 percent of the average salary, or half the average salary within five years.
The minimum wage was previously increased by CZK 1,100 in January to CZK 17,300. Unions are demanding an increase of CZK 2,200, but employers have expressed concerns about the associated costs. These proposals align with European guidelines for determining the minimum wage, which recommend percentages of the average wage. Implementation of these changes could have an impact on employer and state contributions.
EU Von der Leyen comes to Prague next week
European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen is expected to visit the Czech Republic next Tuesday, according to a statement by the EC. During her visit, she will meet Prime Minister Petr Fiala and participate in the Green Deal summit conference on September 26.
Von der Leyen has prioritized the Green Deal for Europe since taking office in 2019, emphasizing the urgency of tackling climate change. The Green Deal focuses on the EU’s transition to renewable energy and includes climate standards called Fit for 55. The main themes of the Prague conference will revolve around the Green Deal, sustainability and energy. Von der Leyen last visited Prague in early May, where she also met with President Petr Pavel.
POLICY The opposition prolongs the debate on the austerity plan
The Czech Chamber of Deputies on Friday postponed the completion of the government’s controversial consolidation plan aimed at strengthening the state budget. The session was adjourned until Wednesday, September 27, following disagreements between the groups in the Lower House.
Marek Benda, leader of the ruling Civic Democratic Party in the lower house, proposed the adjournment after his proposal to continue the debate in the afternoon was vetoed by the head of the opposition group ANO, Alena Schillerova. She opposed the coalition’s proposed tax increase, causing the session to end earlier than expected. ANO said on Friday that the final vote on the austerity plan was the final battle over whether or not Czechia would choose economic stagnation in the future.
VACATION Half of Czechs plan an autumn getaway within the country
A recent survey by travel agency CzechTourism shows that during the upcoming autumn season, half of Czech residents intend to take a vacation in their own country, opting for domestic trips due to costs lesser. They plan to spend more on lodging and dining out.
The study showed that the southern regions of the Czech Republic, especially South Moravia, are the most sought-after destinations. Travelers are primarily planning light tourism activities and are expected to take an average of eight days off, much like last year. Interestingly, whether staying in the Czech Republic or traveling abroad, most prefer cashless transactions, although some may still resort to cash.