Czech diplomats return to abandoned Kyiv embassy
15:49 Czech diplomats are back in Kyiv
Czech diplomats have returned to their embassy in Kyiv, the Czech Foreign Ministry announced on Twitter. The ministry said the return of embassy staff to Kyiv is another sign of Czech support for Ukraine. The embassy has been closed since the beginning of the Russian invasion at the end of February. The Consulate General’s office in Lviv was also closed due to the invasion.
“The Czech flag has flown again in Kyiv, Czech diplomats are back. This is one of the many measures we are taking to support Ukraine. Czechia has been and will always be at Ukraine’s side” , tweeted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
15:20 The government approves the migration crisis strategy
The government has approved strategic priorities to deal with the wave of refugees from Ukraine. A new post of National Crisis Coordinator has been created, which will be filled temporarily by Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan. The Home Secretary said the first phase of the crisis is now over and longer-term solutions must now be considered. The government’s strategy will now be sent to representatives of employers, trade unions, regions and NGOs.
13:32 Nurse acquitted of murder to receive compensation
Czech nurse Věra Marešová, acquitted of six counts of murdering patients in a hospital in January 2016, will receive CZK 2.27 million in compensation for unlawful prosecution after spending more than a year in detention because of the case. The nurse has been dubbed by some media as the “death nurse”. She was charged in 2014 with killing six patients at a hospital in North Bohemia, after an investigation was triggered by the death of a patient. She was suspected of murdering the victims using potassium, but was later acquitted on all counts.
12:30 Half of Czechs feel the effects of the “information war”
52% of Czechs and 40% of Slovaks believe their country is targeted by a Russian-led information war, according to a poll by Ipsos for the Central European Digital Media Observatory. 41% of Czechs over the age of 18 approve of blocking disinformation websites, according to the research. Conversely, 15% of Czechs believe that information warfare is a Western concoction designed to restrict free speech and silence independent journalism. Most people who believe an information war is underway with Russia are under 30 and have a college education, according to Ipsos.
Military Zeman backs US defense pact but not a base
Czech President Miloš Zeman has weighed in on the debate over establishing a permanent US military base in Czechia. Zeman said he supported talks on a new defense agreement between the Czech Republic and the United States, but would not support the establishment of a permanent US military base in the country.
Most other central European countries have a defense agreement with the United States, and Defense Minister Jana Černochová wants to negotiate a similar deal in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. But she seemed to take US officials by surprise when she raised the possibility of a permanent US base last weekend, and Prime Minister Petr Fiala said there was no point in discussing the possibility because no one had it. proposed to the Czech Republic.
Kyiv Czechia plans to send diplomats back to Ukraine
The Czech Republic is considering all possible measures to restore normal diplomatic relations with Ukraine, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said last night. Fiala said he could not go into details about reopening a Czech embassy in Kyiv and a consulate general in Lviv for security reasons.
Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský previously said the Czech government was working to send diplomats back to Ukraine. Slovakia has already announced the return of diplomats to Kyiv, with Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok announcing the move yesterday on Twitter. A Slovak diplomatic team will travel to the Ukrainian capital to assess the security situation before resuming “immediately” operations in the city if circumstances allow.
Belarus The Belarusian opposition office in Prague is making progress
A plan to establish a representative office for the Belarusian opposition in exile in Prague is moving forward, with Czech President Miloš Zeman asking Prime Minister Petr Fiala to set the plan in motion at a meeting yesterday. A year ago, Zeman promised Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya a local office.
Fiala said the proposal is “very important for the president” and that the office would be “a kind of Belarusian liaison office or house, to help Belarusian students who oppose the Lukashenko regime and want to study in the Czech Republic. “. Tsikhanouskaya was in Prague in June last year and discussed the office project with Zeman.
Economy Unions demand wage increases due to inflation
Czech unions have demanded wage increases and an increase in the minimum wage this year in response to soaring consumer prices. Středula told reporters that “we would like to start wage negotiations and an extraordinary salary increase for 2022, and an extraordinary increase in the minimum wage by the middle of the year at the latest”.
Středula called it “unacceptable” that employees and workers are paying the price of inflation, noting that pensions are already expected to increase from June to meet the rising cost of living. Prime Minister Petr Fiala said the government could consider measures to mitigate the effects of inflation, but did not want to take general measures, warning of an “inflationary spiral” in which higher wages make inflation permanent.
Automobile industry Škoda presents a new, cheaper Fabia model
Škoda Auto, the largest car brand in the Czech Republic, presented a new, cheaper model of the Škoda Fabia. The new model is being touted as a way to regain public interest after a slowdown in car sales and production during the Covid pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.
The automaker previously only sold its lowest-priced models outside of Europe, partly because of European regulations that make it difficult to sell stripped-down models in the European market. But after serious production problems caused by a lack of parts, the cheaper Fabia model is being touted as a way to win back Czech new-car buyers.