Pope Francis appoints new Prague Archbishop

Plus: Czechia wants to bring Zelensky to Prague, government pledges to support Belarusians, and the number of poor households on the rise

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 13.05.2022 09:52:00 (updated on 13.05.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

14:10 Mortgages freeze in Czechia

While people are interested in buying new housing, high-interest rates and other restrictions are pushing them out of the mortgage market. According to estimates, it will fall by at least 40 percent year on year in 2022. In April, banks and building societies provided mortgage loans worth CZK 17.5 billion, which is a decrease of 40 percent compared to March. The new stricter rules of the Czech National Bank for their provision have likely caused a significant drop in new mortgages in April. The year-on-year decline exceeded 60 percent.

12:50 Jan Graubner to become new Prague Archbishop

Olomouc Archbishop Jan Graubner will become the new Archbishop of Prague, the Vatican announced on its website on Friday. Graubner succeeds Cardinal and Archbishop Dominik Duka, who has served as head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church since 2010. Duka has served in the position despite being over 75, the age at which church dignitaries traditionally retire from their posts.

Jan Graubner, who is 73, has served as the Archbishop of Olomouc since 1992. In 2020, he was appointed the president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference. In 2008, then-President Václav Klaus awarded Graubner the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, second class, for his contribution to the development of democracy, humanity, and human rights. Graubner is considered one of the representatives of the conservative faction of the Catholic church in the Czech Republic, though he himself has dismissed the idea.

Ukraine Government wants to bring Zelensky to Prague

The Czech government wants to bring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Prague to address a proposed meeting of EU leaders at Prague Castle. Negotiations are underway. The EU summit would be held as part of the Czech Republic's EU presidency. Two connected topics would be on the agenda: energy and Ukraine. The Czech Presidency will start on July 1and will last until the end of the year.

Real Estate Quarter of households spend over 40 pct of income on housing

The number of Czech households that spend over 40 percent of their income on housing stands at 22 percent, up from 14 percent in November. Monthly spending on energy, water, rent, flat maintenance, and mortgage has risen by CZK 1,500 per household on average, PAQ Research agency's survey has shown. Households currently spend 28 percent of their income on housing on average, compared with 23 percent in November, which is the steepest increase in history.

Politics Czechia supports Belarusians seeking freedom

Belarusians who seek freedom and democracy in their country should not give up this struggle and should not lose hope, Czech Senate chairman Miloš Vystrčil said after his meeting with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya.

Vystrčil said prisoners of dictator Alexander Lukashenka's regime and their families should be granted exceptions from anti-Belarusian sanctions. Tsikhanouskaya also said Belarusian opposition could have its representation in Prague in the form of a Belarusian House in the autumn.

Economy Poor households are increasing in Czechia

Some Czech households are increasingly at risk of poverty. The number of households with only CZK 100 per day per person after paying for food and living expenses has increased from 9 to 12 percent since November 2021. The expenses include transport, medical expenses, clothing, education, telephone bills, restaurant visits, recreation, etc. This is based on exclusive data from the project Life to be Paid, which is a collaboration between Czech Radio and PAQ Research.

Education Inequalities in education accumulate significantly across regions

Inequalities in education are significantly accumulating in some districts, which adversely affect the development of children in these regions. However, an analysis by the Ministry of Education and the Czech School Inspectorate has shown that inequalities can be reduced. Even in structurally more affected regions, such as the Moravia-Silesia, Karlovy Vary, and Ústí nad Labem regions, there are districts with parameters comparable to richer regions.

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