Czech morning news in brief: Top headlines for September 29, 2021

Czech govt. approves January pension increase, Orbán visits the Czech Republic, prominent Czechs awarded on Day of Czech Statehood. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 29.09.2021 10:14:00 (updated on 29.09.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

Government approves pension rise as of January

The Czech government has approved a dual rise in pensions: by both CZK 350 per month, and by 1.3 percent in the “merit” part of the pension. The average old-age monthly pension will therefore rise by CZK 505. All pensioners will also receive an additional CZK 300 due to the higher indexation of pensions. Almost 2.86 million people currently receive old-age, disability, widow’s, widower’s or orphan’s pensions from the Czech Social Security Administration.

The average old-age pension is CZK 15,385 per month. Pensions are always raised in January by half of the real-wage increase plus the inflation rate. The national average wage was CZK 35,285 in the first quarter of this year. Pensions consist of a fixed “solidarity” sum and a “merit” part based on years at work and the sum paid in compulsory social insurance.

Orbán to meet Babiš and Zeman in the Czech Republic

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is in the Czech Republic for a one-day visit today to meet his Czech counterpart Andrej Babiš as well as Czech President Miloš Zeman. The two prime ministers will visit the town of Ústi nad Labem, where Babiš is at the head of the ANO party list for the October general election. Last week, Babiš paid a two-day visit to Hungary, where he attended a conservative conference on demographic problems facing Europe. Both leaders criticized the European Union for not sufficiently protecting its external borders from illegal migration.

On Tuesday, representatives of opposition coalition Pirates+STAN met Budapest mayor and liberal opposition leader Gergely Karácsony in a video conference, and warned about the potential for the ANO party to take the Czech Republic down the same path as Hungary under Orbán’s leadership.

Child dies from gunshot wound in Kladno region

A child has died in Unhošť, in the Kladno region, it is thought as the result of a gunshot wound. Paramedics who arrived on the scene could not save the child. A doctor announced the death of the child at the scene, and matter is now being investigated by police. A police spokesperson refused to comment on the cause of death, saying the police were investigating the incident and surrounding circumstances. Reports suggest the victim was a boy and was killed by a wound inflicted by a gun.

China tells Czech Republic to reconsider Dukovany exclusion

China expects the Czech Republic to reconsider its decision to exclude Chinese firms from the tender for the completion of a new unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant in South Moravia. A Chinese diplomacy spokesperson said Beijing is of the opinion that the tender should be governed by rules of the free market.

On Monday, President Miloš Zeman signed a low-carbon bill including security guarantees stating that Russian and Chinese companies will not be able to participate in the construction of a new unit at Dukovany. The Russian Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the country’s exclusion from the tender.

Zeman receives bottle of cognac from Babiš for birthday but cannot drink it

President Miloš Zeman received a bottle of cognac which he cannot drink from Prime Minister Andrej Babiš for his birthday. Zeman turned 77 yesterday shortly after spending over a week in Prague’s Central Military Hospital (ÚVN). The President’s office said the hospitalization was planned and that doctors diagnosed Zeman with dehydration and minor exhaustion.

Babiš said that the President feels well and is looking forward to the general election on October 8-9. For his birthday, Babiš bought Zeman a bottle of cognac the same age as the President, but due to his hospital stay Zeman cannot drink it at present.

Senate awards fifteen medals on Day of Czech Statehood

Fifteen people were awarded Senate silver medals by Miloš Vystrčil, Chairman of the Czech Senate, in the Wallenstein Palace on the Day of Czech Statehood yesterday. The ceremony was preceded by a church service in the Palace garden. According to Vystrčil, awards were presented to those with courage, the ability to serve as a role model and a firm character.

Awards went to figures such as Michal Koudelka, the chief of the Czech security services in a long-running dispute with President Zeman; architect Eva Jiřičná, who lives and works in London and Prague and is responsible for a number of projects in the Czech Republic including the Orangery at Prague Castle and the Congress and University Center in Zlín, South Moravia; and Jiří Suchý, awarded for his work in founding two famous small theatres in Prague, Na Zábradlí and Semafor, as well as his writing and performance work.

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