Overview of Czech news: Friday, April 29, 2022
15:15 Czechoslovak group records record profits
The industrial technology company Czechoslovak Group (CSG) increased its net profits in 2021 by 44% year-on-year, to a total of 1.3 billion Czech crowns. This is the company’s best result to date. The profit increase came despite a 4% drop in revenue to CZK 14.4 billion. The company’s chief financial officer said the increase in profit was mainly due to sales from the Mazda and Hyundai car sales divisions.
14:49 Poland and Czechia jointly ask for money from the EU
Poland and the Czech Republic will jointly ask Brussels for special financial support for countries facing the influx of refugees from Ukraine. Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Czech leader Petr Fiala announced the initiative after talks in Warsaw today. Three million refugees arrived in Poland from Ukraine and more than 300,000 entered Czechia. Fiala warned that in the long term, the refugee crisis cannot be managed without the support of other EU countries.
TO TEAR Names of Holocaust victims read in Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad
A reading of the names of people who died during the Holocaust took place yesterday at the Náměstí Jiřího z Poděbrad in Prague. It was the first public reading of the names of Holocaust victims in the square in two years; the readings were canceled during the Covid pandemic. Tomáš Kraus, director of the Terezín Institute initiative, said that “it is tragic that we are now witnessing events that we remember, that many of us only know about in textbooks, almost in the real life, not far from us”, referring to allegations of atrocities committed during the war in Ukraine.
12:19 Czech trade unions demand an increase in the minimum wage
The Trade Union Confederation of Bohemia and Moravia demanded an extraordinary increase in the minimum wage from July in response to high inflation. The trade union body wants an increase in the minimum wage from CZK 2,000 to CZK 18,200 per month. The minimum wage is regulated by the government and, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, around 139,000 people are at the lowest wage threshold. The last time the minimum wage increased was in January, when it increased by CZK 1,000 to CZK 16,200 per month.
11:47 MPs clash over postponement of new construction law
MPs clashed again today over a government proposal to postpone for a year the introduction of key elements of the new building law passed last year. The government wants to postpone the creation of regional building authorities under the Supreme Building Authority, to which local building authorities must now turn. The opposition party ANO led by Andrej Babiš criticized the postponement of the new construction law.
10:10 The Czech economy grew by 4.6% in the first quarter
The Czech economy grew by 4.6% year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, according to a preliminary estimate released today by the Czech Statistical Office. Compared to the last quarter of 2021, gross domestic product increased by 0.7%. The figures are better than analysts had estimated, although the economic growth was largely due to the dire economic circumstances of the same period of the previous year, when many businesses were closed due to the Covid pandemic .
Russia Charles University hit by Russian disinformation
A report has appeared on Russian state television claiming that a Russian student who is believed to be attending Charles University has been expelled because of her nationality. The bogus report is now circulating the internet and has been viewed tens of thousands of times.
The report, titled ‘Victims of Russophobia’, sees ‘Liza’ claim that Charles University made it clear to her that there was no way for a Russian to continue studying at school. Still, Charles University says no student named Liza left the university this semester, and the story is clearly fabricated to further the Kremlin’s narrative about the West.
Music Soprano Kněžíková wins BBC Music Magazine award
Czech star soprano Kateřina Kněžíková has won a prestigious BBC Music Magazine Award for his album “Phidylé” in the “Vocal” category. The BBC Music Magazine Awards are among the most prestigious awards in the classical music world.
“Phidylé” by Kněžíková was recorded under the baton of Robert Jindra, accompanied by the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra of Ostrava with the Supraphon label. The album features songs from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries by composers such as Czech Bohuslav Martinů as well as Henri Duparco, Maurice Ravel and Karol Szymanowski.
Policy Fiala travels to Warsaw for interviews
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala travels to Poland today for urgent talks with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki on the Ukrainian crisis and the Russian decision to suspend gas supplies to Poland. The meeting comes after a period of heightened diplomatic communication between the Czech Republic and Poland, with Polish President Andrzej Duda visiting Prague earlier this week.
“Poland plays a major role because of its size, its history and the fact that it is the most affected by the refugee crisis,” Fiala said a week ago. Poland is one of the strongest countries against the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has taken in far more Ukrainian refugees than any other country. Fiala promised that he would negotiate the construction of a Czech-Polish gas pipeline called Stork II to reduce the Czech Republic’s dependence on Russian gas.
Business Czech Railways plans major investments
Czech Railways wants to invest tens of billions of crowns this year in vehicles, repairs and the financing of old bonds due in 2023. The company plans to obtain financing from several sources, mainly from the European financial market. .
The new head of Czech Railways said that while the company is planning major investments, there is no risk of ticket price increases or layoffs of employees in the coming months. The company expects to get some of its funding from so-called green Eurobonds, which will be requested in June. Czech Railways wants to invest up to CZK 100 billion in its vehicle fleet over the next ten years.
Culture Popular Czech novelist gets English translation
Famous Czech novelist Kateřina Tučková’s most successful book to date has been translated into English and will be released this Sunday. The story follows a community of women in the White Carpathian Mountains, and the English version is titled The Last Goddess.
The book was originally published in Czech in 2012 and became a major hit, selling over 100,000 copies and being translated into multiple languages. However, it has yet to be translated into English, so English speakers now have the chance to experience one of Czechia’s favorite modern books.