Czech news roundup: Wednesday, January 5, 2022

4:30 p.m. Court rejects hospital’s request for treatment of stranger’s premature baby

Brno University Hospital has lost a lawsuit in which it sought more than CZK 500,000 in compensation for medical care provided to a baby born prematurely to a Ukrainian mother who had neither Czech health insurance nor commercial insurance. The hospital wanted to recover the mother’s treatment costs, but the Supreme Court said the law does not cover such situations and no claim can be made against the mother who has no basis in the law. . The court said the mother and her husband did not break any rules, living and working legally in the Czech Republic and contributing to the health insurance system. He also noted that there was nothing they could do to prevent premature delivery.

15:40 Government approves salary freeze for politicians

Salaries for Czech politicians, judges and prosecutors will be the same as last year, new Prime Minister Petr Fiala confirmed after a cabinet meeting today. Only the salaries of people whose job is to fight against Covid-19 will increase due to inflation. Judges have previously protested the freeze on their salaries, but government politicians said the freeze was needed to help fix the state budget deficit and the difficult economic situation in the Czech Republic.

14:00 Government approves increase in housing allowances

Housing allowances in the Czech Republic will increase this year due to rising energy prices, and more people will be able to benefit. The government has approved a draft amendment that increases the amounts used to calculate whether state aid is. New Prime Minister Petr Fiala confirmed the decision at a press conference, with further increases in housing allowance possible if the cost of living continues to rise. The amendment will see the costs used to calculate housing allowance increase, depending on the number of people in the household and the type of accommodation.

12:15 More anti-lockdown protests planned by the Open Czechia movement

The Open Czechia movement is organizing several protests this weekend against compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 for certain professional groups and people over 60. Six such protests will take place in different cities across the country on Saturday, with the main event scheduled for Sunday in Prague’s Wenceslas Square. Participants will meet at 2 p.m. in Wenceslas Square for a march to Hradčanské náměstí. Next week two more events will take place in Prague and one in Pilsen.

12:15 Teens who tagged Charles Bridge will face trial

A boy and girl who confessed to spraying paint on the Charles Bridge last summer will face trial. Two weeks ago, the public prosecutor filed a complaint against them for damage to property. The court will hear the case in early February. The graffiti on the bridge contained English messages scribbled in turquoise. They covered most of the stone side railings of the bridge, the state pedestal of St. Augustine, and the lampposts. The police estimated the damage at 100,000 CZK. The perpetrators were identified by camera footage the day after the crime, and they came forward the same day to confess. The boy is 17 years old and his accomplice is a year younger.

Society Court dismisses school protest over halted hijab case

The Czech Supreme Court has dismissed a petition by a Prague nursing secondary school to stop legal proceedings brought by a Somali student over the school’s hijab ban. In early 2020, the woman withdrew her complaint against the ban. But the school is insisting that the courts make it clear whether it is possible for a student to be prevented from wearing the hijab.

The school says it is still considering filing a constitutional complaint about the matter, as it believes clarification is needed. The Somali student left school after her principal told her in 2013 to take off her hijab during academic classes, despite their prior agreement that she should only take off the hijab during practical nursing classes. The courts later dismissed her lawsuit against the school.

Politics Czech Republic supports Ukraine, says Foreign Minister

After a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, the new Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Lipavský, said that the Czech Republic supports Ukraine in its attempt to preserve its national integrity and sovereignty in the face of Russian aggression.

Lipavský confirmed that the Czech Republic remains a friend of Ukraine. The two ministers agreed on joint measures to deter Russia from further aggression, after months in which the Russian military presence on the Ukrainian border has increased. The ministers also discussed Czech plans for its EU presidency in the second half of 2022, with Ukraine’s integration through the Eastern Partnership program being a priority.

Wildlife European greenfinch named Czech bird of 2022

The European greenfinch, whose population in the Czech Republic has been decimated over the past decade, has been named the country’s bird of 2022 by the Czech Ornithological Society. The company said it hopes the ruling will remind people that even a common bird species can be threatened without protection.

Last year the bird of the year was the Common Buzzard. The award is usually given to a species of bird that people know and see in the natural landscape. The greenfinch inhabits agricultural areas such as fields, orchards, and bushes, as well as human settlements from small villages to larger cities, making homes in local gardens and parks. Two-thirds of the Czech greenfinch population has disappeared in the last decade due to a parasite that prevents the birds from feeding and starves them.

Economy Survey shows how much wealthy Czechs are investing to fight inflation

A fall survey of Czech dollar millionaires showed how the wealthiest people in society protect their wealth from inflation. According to the results, interest is high for investments in real estate and shares in foreign companies, start-ups and cryptocurrencies. On the other hand, interest in investing in gold is declining.

49% of survey respondents expressed an interest in investing in real estate, as this sector can withstand inflationary pressures by providing real estate assets. 31% of Czech millionaires invest in residential real estate, the prices of which have increased significantly in recent years. 34% are investing in start-ups, while 16% have put money into cryptocurrencies.

Energy Czechs seek Green Deal tweaks for nuclear and gas

After the EU released a controversial new proposal to define nuclear and gas as ‘green’ energy sources, Czech ministers said they would seek changes to the conditions for including gas and nuclear projects . The EU proposal places demands on the details of nuclear and gas developments that have raised concerns among Czech industry leaders.

Czech Industry Minister Jozef Síkela said on Monday that “better conditions that will reflect our interests more” are demanded of the EU. The CEO of majority state energy company ČEZ meanwhile said the proposed taxonomy is too strict and will prevent the Czech Republic from developing more nuclear units beyond the one already planned at the Dukovany plant.

Berta D. Wells