Czech daily news roundup: March 17, 2022

Czech PM's Ukraine visit makes international headlines, govt. could pay those who offer refugees shelter, and Jagr's NHL record surpassed. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.03.2022 10:44:00 (updated on 17.03.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

15:35 Czech president signs three bills into law that help refugees

President Miloš Zeman today signed into law today three bills to make the stay of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic easier, signing the laws the same day the Senate approved them in expedited proceedings. The laws should take effect already this week. The first law makes it easier for refugees fleeing from the war in Ukraine to get a residence permit, the second law makes it easier for refugees to access the labor market and allows for their entry into the public health insurance system. The third law allows Czech schools to increase the capacities of their classes due to refugees. Refugees will also get a financial contribution of CZK 5,000.

UKRAINE CONFLICT The world responds to Czech PM's Kyiv visit

Officials in Brussels, as well as worldwide media, are reacting to Tuesday's trip to Kyiv by the Czech, Polish and Slovenian PMs. While some have praised the trio's effort to show support for Ukraine others have criticized what they called a dangerous move made without the necessary discussion among fellow EU members. Most media outlets agreed that the three PMs' visit to the Ukrainian capital, where they met top Ukrainian leaders including President Volodymyr Zelensky, was a courageous and understandable act. Despite criticism, Politico wrote that most people viewed the trip as what it really was: an attempt by East European countries' leaders to show their solidarity with Ukraine.

Crowdfunding Campaign raises $30 million for weapons for Ukraine

A crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising money for weapons for Ukraine in the fight against Russia has raised over $30 million (CZK 670 million) from more than 100,000 supporters since it launched last month, according to the Czech Ministry of Defense. The campaign is being coordinated by the Czech government with the money going to the Embassy of Ukraine in Prague. The proceeds are being used to buy weapons and other military supplies. On February 26, the Ukrainian Embassy launched its crowdfunding campaign to secure finances for weapons purchases. The campaign quickly went viral in the Czech Republic and internationally. The proceeds are being used to buy weapons and other military supplies.

REFUGEES Accommodation providers may get CZK 3,000 per month

Those who accommodate refugees may get a solidarity subsidy of CZK 3,000 per person per month, but the maximum a single household could receive would be CZK 9,000. Interior Minister Vit Rakusan presented a draft directive on the state support for private accommodation providers on Wednesday in reaction to the wave of refugees fleeing from Ukraine faced with Russian aggression. The cabinet could approve the directive next week after a complementary new law on the employment and social securities of the refugees come into force. The Czech Interior Ministry has granted almost 180,000 visas for the people hit by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to the data the ministry released on Twitter today.

Sports Jagr's record at historic NHL beat Capital's Ovechkin

Alex Ovechkin skated past Jaromir Jagr's record for third in NHL goals when the Washington Capitals forward scored his 767th goal against the New York Islanders at Capital One Arena on Tuesday. The 36-year-old remains behind Gordie Howe (801) and Wayne Gretzky (894) for the most goals in NHL history. The Moscow native has scored 37 goals in 59 games this season. Jagr played 1,733 NHL games during 24 seasons with nine teams, including 83 goals in 190 games for the Capitals (2001-04), and last played in the NHL for the Calgary Flames in 2017. The 50-year-old currently plays for his hometown team Kladno, which he owns. In a video posted to Twitter this week the Czech legend jokingly threatened to return to the NHL and chase Ovechkin.

business Czech government to change law on registry of real owners

The Czech government says it will make the necessary changes to the law on the registry of real owners called for by the European Commission (EC) in order to continue receiving EU subsidies, a spokesperson for the Regional Development Ministry said. EC representatives have repeatedly called on lawmakers to correct the Czech registry of real owners in accordance with the European money-laundering resolution against or risking losing EU funds for the Czech national recovery plan and cohesion policy of CZK 550 billion. An EC audit last year found then Prime Minister Andrej Babiš in conflict of interest for maintaining a role in his Agrofert company while overseeing the distribution of EU subsidies in Czechia. Babiš’s government challenged the conclusions of the EC audit. The ministry sent a response to the EC on Tuesday agreeing to modify the definition of the real owner.

ECONOMY Czech teachers see 8-percent pay increase in 2021

The average gross monthly pay of teachers in Czechia rose to CZK 47,590 in 2021, an 8-percent increase year-on-year, somewhat slower than in the previous year, the Education Ministry's data show. Teachers' pay has risen by 50.4 percent since 2017. The average gross monthly wage rose by 6.1 percent to CZK 37,839 in 2021, according to the Czech Statistical Office's data. Compared with the year 2017, the pay of non-teaching professionals was 46.2 percent higher last year. Like in previous years, the lowest wages in the school sector in 2021 were those of teachers in kindergartens, CZK 39,198 on average. Teachers in elementary schools had an average pay of CZK 49,975 and those in secondary schools CZK 51,018.

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