Czech news roundup: Wednesday, December 8, 2021

16:00 Fiala expects no change in strong Czech-German relations

New Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala believes that the Czech Republic’s good relations with Germany will continue after the appointment of Olaf Scholz as German Chancellor today. In contrast, members of the Czech parliamentary foreign affairs committees recognized that outgoing Chancellor Angela Merkel’s close relations with the Czech Republic were a particular advantage. “It is in the interests of the Czech Republic and Germany that bilateral relations between our countries are preserved and further developed. I think this will be the case with the new government, ”said Fiala. On the other hand, the leader of the Freedom and Direct Democracy party, Tomio Okamura, warned that the new German government “openly promotes a transformation of the EU into a single federal state”.

15:35 Government approves troops for Polish border mission

The Czech government has approved the dispatch of 150 troops to the Polish border with Belarus for up to 180 days due to the current migration crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. The decision has yet to be approved by both chambers of the Czech parliament, but politicians in the new coalition government have expressed support for the plan initiated by outgoing Prime Minister Andrej Babiš and President Miloš Zeman. Poland accused Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko of creating a migrant crisis by encouraging the country’s perception as a gateway to the Schengen area. There are currently around 15,000 Polish soldiers at the border, as well as 155 British and 150 Estonian soldiers sent in support.

12:25 New era for Germany as Scholz officially becomes Chancellor

A new era in Czech relations with Germany begins, as Social Democrat Olaf Scholtz officially becomes German Chancellor today, marking the end of Angela Merkel’s 16-year reign. A number of procedural steps have led to Scholz’s appointment today, including a vote on his assumption of office as Chancellor in the German parliament. It is not yet clear how Scholz’s arrival as leader will affect relations with the Czech Republic, although he is largely expected to continue an even closer collaboration with the EU while taking a stronger stance towards the Eastern powers. such as Russia and China.

12:00 Czech Republic has improved in the fight against money laundering

According to the Council of Europe anti-money laundering committee MONEYVAL, the position of the Czech Republic in the implementation of measures against money laundering and the financing of terrorism has improved considerably. Compared to the previous report released last year, the Czech Republic showed improvement in six areas, although gaps remain in the targeting of financial sanctions and in new technologies. The Czech Republic is currently fully in compliance with six of the 40 recommendations made by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). According to the committee, the country’s stance against money laundering has improved in the non-profit sector and in reporting suspicious business transactions.

11:30 Czech unemployment fell further in November

The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell again in November, to 3.3%. This is a decrease of 0.1% from October. There were 245,549 job seekers in November, about 6,100 fewer than the previous month and nearly 29,000 fewer than a year ago. The supply of jobs also declined compared to October, although there were still more positions available than applicants in the labor market. 345,000 job vacancies were published in November, an average of 0.7 candidates per job, according to the Czech Labor Office. Analysts had expected unemployment to fall, but the persistent disparity between the number of jobs offered and the available labor force is a source of concern for the Czech economy.

World record Moravia will boast of having the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world

The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world is being built in the mountain resort of Dolní Morava. The record-breaking bridge will span a valley between two mountains at a height of 95 meters. Measuring nearly three-quarters of a kilometer, the bridge will be called Sky Bridge 721.

The opening to the public is scheduled for spring 2022, the bridge will be suspended at an altitude of 1,125 meters above sea level. The construction of the bridge will see builders using more than a thousand cubic meters of concrete, the total structure having to weigh more than 400 tons. The massive bridge will easily break the current record for the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, held by a bridge near the Portuguese town of Arouca.

International community Ukrainians protest against TV shutdown in Prague

Ukrainians living in Prague gathered at the Ukrainian Embassy in Prague to protest against the shutdown of Ukrainian television channels by the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky. Around 150 people were said to have participated in the protest, opposing restrictions on freedom of expression in their home countries.

Organizers claimed that the current Ukrainian government was acting like a dictatorship that “illegally, for no reason, shuts down channels that tell the truth.” TV channels shut down by the authorities include 112 Ukraine, ZIK, NewsOne and Pershiy Nezalezhniy.

Berta D. Wells