Czech morning news in brief: top headlines for May 27, 2021

Czech operators say cable cars frequently inspected, environmentalists slam new building act, Czech Republic celebrates UNESCO heritage of four countries. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 27.05.2021 09:42:00 (updated on 27.05.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

NGO: Czech construction bill downgrades environmental protection

The new construction bill, passed by the Chamber of Deputies Wednesday and yet to be debated by the upper house of Czech parliament, the Senate, fundamentally downgrades environmental protection, representatives of the Environmental Organisations' Association told CTK. According to the association, which wants the Senate to reject the bill, giving construction offices the authority to decide on the clearing of trees and the use of agricultural land for construction projects, is fundamentally wrong. The bill would not benefit people either, said the Green Circle and the Friends of the Earth NGOs. The new, intended to make building procedures faster and easier, would replace the current law from 2006 and make building procedures faster and easier. If the bill is approved, all building authorities will fall under the state instead of municipalities. If approved by the Senate and signed by the president, the law should take effect as of July 1, 2023. ČTK 

Student numbers at Czech universities see quarter drop over decade

The number of university students in the Czech Republic has decreased by a quarter to about 300,000 in the past decade. Last year, for the first time in nine years, the number of students increased by 11,000 year-on-year but compared to 2010, there were 96,600 fewer at public and private universities. The number of students decreased in all fields with the exception of health and social care according to data provided to ČTK by the Czech Statistical Office (CSO). Further analysis shows that from 2001 to 2012, the number of university graduates in the Czech Republic gradually increased from 30,100 to 94,100. Then it started to decline to last year's 62,900 graduates. At the same time, there were more women and foreigners among university graduates in 2001 and 2013. The share of foreigners among graduates increased from 1.9 percent in 2001 to 14.2 percent last year. In terms of the level of education attained, there has been a slight decrease in the number of bachelor's degree graduates in the last ten years and, conversely, a slight increase in the number of master's degree graduates. ČTK 

Czech cable cars inspected carefully, say operators

On Sunday in the Italian village of Stresa, a cable car taking 15 passengers up to Mottarone Hill, a popular excursion destination with views and an amusement park crashed killing 14 people. As cable-car services reopen across the Czech Republic, server Seznam Zpravy spoke with local operators who confirmed that thorough inspections are being conducted to prevent a similar accident. A Sněžka cable car operator told the publication that inspections and standards are clearly given both by law and by the instructions for use of the equipment, and if carried out as they should be that the risk of such an accident occurring is minimal. Safety measures set out by the manufacturer and legislation are very similar. Daily inspections take place visually within the cars and stations. Furthermore, deeper weekly inspections take place, and, once a month, ropes are inspected for damage. Špindlerův Mlýn said that special inspections also take place after storms or strong winds.

Czech festival to present UNESCO heritage of four countries

Exhibitions and other events will present the UNESCO heritage of four selected countries, Armenia, Belarus, Montenegro, and Austria, all over the Czech Republic this year within the UNESCO 2021 Cultural Heritage project. The festival, which follows up the previous seven years of the Days of Slavic Culture, will be ceremonially opened in a church in Stare Mesto town near Uherske Hradiste at 19:00 on Saturday. The program will offer 88 solo exhibitions and 40 accompanying events in 32 towns, including a Czech premiere of the Belarusian animated short film about Ruthenian humanist Frantisek Skorina (1470-1552), who came from current Belarus and published the Bible in the liturgic Slavonic language. The organizers also plan touring exhibitions to introduce the cultural heritage of the selected four countries as well as displays of their famous personalities and cooperation between these countries and the Czech Republic. ČTK

Monthly pensions to increase by CZK 300 crowns in 2022

The Coalition Council of the government parties agreed Wednesday that Czech pensions for the elderly would be raised by CZK 300 per month next year, apart from the pension indexation set by law, Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jana Malacova told reporters. According to the Labour Ministry’s calculations, the Czech state will pay an additional CZK 32.6 billion in pensions over the next three years. Maláčová said the government might approve the bill on Friday. In 2022, CZK 10.6 billion will be needed to cover the additional increase, according to the Labour Ministry figures. ČTK 

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