Czech daily news roundup: Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Court rejects appeal against halted hijab case, Czech Republic stands by Ukraine, European greenfinch named Czech Bird of 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 05.01.2022 09:06:00 (updated on 06.01.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

16:30 Court rejects hospital's claim for treating foreigner's premature baby

The Brno Teaching Hospital has lost a court case in which it claimed over CZK 500,000 in compensation for medical treatment provided to the prematurely-born baby of a Ukrainian mother who had neither Czech health insurance nor commercial insurance. The hospital wanted to obtain the treatment costs from the mother, but the Supreme Court said the law does not cover such situations, and that no claims can be made on the mother which do not have a basis in the law. The court said the mother and her husband broke no rules, legally living and working in the Czech Republic, and contributing to the health insurance system. It also noted that they could not do anything to prevent the premature childbirth.

15:40 Government approves salary freeze for politicians

The salaries of 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 it is to fight Covid-19 will rise as a result of inflation. Judges have previously protested against the freezing of their salaries, but government politicians said the freeze is needed to help correct the state budget deficit and difficult economic situation in the Czech Republic.

14:00 Government approves increase in housing benefits

Housing allowances in the Czech Republic will increase this year due to higher energy prices, and more people will be able to claim the benefit. The government has approved a draft amendment that increases the amounts used for calculating whether state support is. New Prime Minister Petr Fiala confirmed the decision during 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 calculated housing allowance rise, depending on the number of people in the household and the type of housing.

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

The Open Czechia movement is organizing several demonstrations this weekend against compulsory vaccination against Covid-19 for selected professional groups and people over 60 years of age. Six of these demonstrations will take place on Saturday in various cities around the country, with the main event scheduled for Sunday on Prague's Wenceslas Square. Participants will meet at 14:00 on Wenceslas Square for a march to Hradčanské náměstí. Next week, two more demonstrations will take place in Prague and one in Pilsen.

12:15 Teens who graffitied Charles Bridge will go on trial

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

Society Court rejects school protest against halted hijab case

The Czech Supreme Court has rejected a petition from a Prague secondary nursing school against the halting of court proceedings initiated by a female Somalian student over a ban on wearing a hijab in the school. In early 2020, the woman withdrew her complaint against the ban. But the school insists that the courts should clearly state whether it is possible that a student should be prevented from wearing a hijab.

The school says it is still considering filing a constitutional complaint on the matter, as it believes clarification is needed. The Somalian student left the school after its principal told her in 2013 to take off her hijab during theoretical classes, despite their previous agreement that she should only take off the hijab during practical instruction in nursing. Courts subsequently rejected legal action which she took against the school.

Politics Czech Republic stands by Ukraine, says Foreign Minister

After a phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, new Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said that the Czech Republic stands by Ukraine in its bid 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 steps to deter Russia from further aggression, following months in which the Russian military presence at the Ukrainian border has grown. The ministers also discussed Czech plans for its EU presidency in the second half of 2022, with the integration of Ukraine through the Eastern Partnership program a priority.

Wildlife European greenfinch named Czech Bird of 2022

The European greenfinch, whose population in the Czech Republic has been decimated in the past decade, was named the country’s Bird of 2022 by the Czech Ornithological Society. The society said it hopes the decision will bring home to people the fact that even a common bird species can become endangered without protection.

Last year, the Bird of the Year was the common buzzard. The award is generally granted to a bird species 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 the largest cities, making homes in local gardens and parks. Two thirds of the Czech greenfinch population has disappeared in the past decade due to a parasite which stops the birds feeding and causes them to starve.

Economy Survey shows how rich Czechs are investing to fight inflation

A survey conducted in the fall among Czech dollar millionaires showed how the richest people in society are protecting their wealth from inflation. According to the results, interest is high in investment 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 respondents to the survey expressed an interest in investing in real estate, as this sector can withstand inflationary pressures by providing real assets. 31% of Czech millionaires are investing in residential real estate, whose prices have increased significantly in recent years. 34% are investing in start-ups, while 16% have put money into cryptocurrencies.

Energy Czechs seek tweaks to Green Deal for nuclear and gas

After the EU released a controversial new proposal for defining nuclear and gas as “green” energy sources on New Year’s Eve, Czech ministers say they will ask for changes in the conditions for including gas and nuclear projects. The EU proposal imposes requirements on the details of nuclear and gas developments which have provoked concern among Czech industry leaders.

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

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