Czech morning news in brief: top stories for March 1, 2021

Czech police holding a man accused of threatening PM Babiš, travel to Maldives from Czech Republic breaks records, four-day workweek proposed. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 01.03.2021 09:59:00 (updated on 01.03.2021) Reading time: 3 minutes

POLITICS: Czech police hold man accused of threatening to shoot PM Babiš

In early January, police informed Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš of shooting threats made against the PM and his family. Police were stationed at the prime minister's house in Průhonice; shortly thereafter photos of his wife and daughter in Dubai appeared on social media, drawing heavy criticism. Babiš told Czech CNN Prima News through the weekend that his wife feared protesters outside their home and that he had sent his family away for safety reasons. He said his wife had no knowledge of the death threat. Czech police confirmed that they are prosecuting a specific person in connection with a threat to the Prime Minister. This is not the first case of a threat against a Czech head of government. In 2008 it was reported that an anonymous perpetrator threatened then PM Mirek Topolanek with death, writing "A bullet is prepared for you."

TRAVEL: Czech tourists heading to the Maldives in record numbers

The Czech Republic has banned travel for the purpose of tourism to more than a dozen non-European countries, including Brazil and South Africa. The travel ban does not apply to the Maldives which has now become one of the most popular holiday destinations for the Czech Republic. Data from the Maldivian Ministry of Tourism show that the Czech Republic is among the ten countries with the most tourists coming to the Maldives. Since the beginning of the year, more than 4,600 Czech have visited the island nation in the Indian Ocean. Last year a total of 3,540 people visited between January 1 and February 25. Upon arrival, it is necessary to provide confirmation of a negative PCR test result, which must not be older than 96 hours. Interest is also high in trips to the UAE, Egypt, and the Dominican Republic according to travel industry experts.

WORK: Four-day work week proposed for Czech Republic

Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Jana Maláčová (ČSSD) has proposed a four-day workweek without reducing employee's wages, pushing for a reduced working week that would last only 35 hours instead of the current 40. In 2019, Czech employees worked on average 1,788 hours per year, considerably more than neighboring Slovakia (1,695) and Germany (1,386). Analysts say that a shorter workweek could have considerable costs while opponents see the proposal as a political move intended to reach out to potential voters ahead of the upcoming elections. Within OECD countries, the shortest working time is in Denmark, with 1,380 hours per person per year.

ECONOMY: Czech Airlines files for insolvency

The flag carrier of the Czech Republic, Czech Airlines (CSA), has filed a company reorganization proposal in the Municipal Court in Prague, under the Insolvency Act. The process is intended to save the 98-year old airline from collapse. This is the airline’s last remaining option before bankruptcy. Due to global travel restrictions, and lack of government assistance, the company no longer has the funds needed to operate. Last week, the Czech airline informed the Employment Office that it would be dismissing its entire workforce of 430 people.

WEATHER: Winter will be back in full force this week

While spring weather will kick off March sunny skies and high temps, but winter conditions will likely return to the Czech Republic which could see snow later this week even in the low-land regions, according to meteorologists. Early this week will see mostly sunny weather, with morning freezing and fogs or cloudiness. Temperatures will be above average, on Wednesday climbing up to 15 degrees. On Thursday a cold front from the north will move into the Czech Republic, returning winter weather in full force complete with snowfall. Historically, temperature drops and the return of winter conditions are typical for early March in the Czech Republic.

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