Czech news for March 21: Czech population rose due to migration, birth rate falls significantly

The top headlines for the Czech Republic on Tuesday March 21, 2023, updated daily to keep you up to speed.

Expats.cz Staff ČTK

Written by Expats.cz StaffČTK Published on 21.03.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 23.03.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

EVENT Fatal train collision disrupts services near Prague

A fatal collision involving a woman and train in the Dolany nad Vltavou village (in Central Bohemia, slightly northwest of Prague) has suspended train services in the surrounding area, including a line that runs into Prague at the time of writing (about 5 p.m.). According to the České dráhy (Czech railways) website, people can take a shuttle bus between Kralupy and Prague-Holešovice. A police spokesperson has said that the identity of the woman is not yet known, nor is it clear whether this was a tragic accident or suicide. More travel-related information can be found here.

MILITARY Czechia to train additional 600 Ukrainian troops on its land

The Czech Defense Ministry has confirmed that the third wave of Ukrainian soldiers training on Czech soil will commence in early April. It will feature around 650 servicemen. Toward the end of last year, Czechia pledged to help teach 4,000 Ukrainian soldiers on its territory by the end of 2023. A Czech engineering team based in Poland is also currently training Ukrainian troops. This is part of a broader EU goal – the bloc hopes to train up to 30,000 Ukrainian soldiers by the end of the year.

SOCIETY Fewest number of babies born in Czechia since 2004

The population of the Czech Republic increased by about 16,700 people to 10.533 million in 2022, with the growth solely due to migration, according to data released this morning by the Czech Statistical office. Last year, 57,000 people immigrated to the country while 20,000 emigrated.

The number of children born in the country was 99,834, a decrease of 12,000 births compared to the previous year, and the lowest number since 2004. The number of deaths in the country was 120,200, a decrease of 19,700 from the previous year. The average number of children born to one woman decreased from 1.83 to 1.66, similar to the fertility rate six years ago.

Environment Brno opens Czechia's first automatic recycling plant

Czechia's first automatic plastic waste sorting line was christened by Prime Minister Petr Fiala yesterday. Worth CZK 330 million the line, which can process up to 4.5 tons of plastic waste per hour, uses a software program to distinguish plastic pieces by shape, composition and color, dividing them into 2D and 3D categories.

The technology increases the capacity for waste recycling and minimizes the volume of remaining unusable waste. The line is expected to process over 20,000 tons of plastic waste per year, more than three times the amount previously processed.

SPORT Striker Schick defends footballer of the year title

Footballer Patrik Schick was voted the 2022 best Czech footballer of the year for the second time in a row on Monday night. Schick, who plays as a striker for German team Bayer Leverkusen and the Czech national team, scored an impressive 24 goals in 27 league appearances in the 2021/2022 Bundesliga season. Antonín Barák, who plays for Fiorentina and the national team, came in second place and Jindřich Staněk of Viktoria Plzeň finished third.

COST OF LIVING Supermarkets will not yet cap food prices in Czechia

The head of Czechia’s Trade and Tourism Association announced Monday that domestic chains have no near-term plan to cap domestic food prices in supermarkets. Tomáš Prouza said that due to chains’ regular discounts offered, average prices are “kept at a relatively low level.”  Food prices in the Czech Republic rose by 23.9 percent year-on-year in February, and by 24.8 percent in January. Overall, consumer prices were higher by 16.7 percent compared to 2022.

POLITICS Pavel – freezing politicians' salaries is 'clear gesture'

President Petr Pavel Monday afternoon said that the potential freezing of politicians’ salaries was “a clear gesture” to show citizens that members of parliament (MPs) are in the same boat as normal citizens. One of the government’s coalition parties announced at the weekend that it planned to slow the rise in politicians’ pay in the same manner as the re-evaluation of pensions – a controversial bill that will come into force from June. The current monthly base salary (gross) for an MP is CZK 84,060, according to finance.cz.

DIPLOMACY Lower house speaker prepares for Taiwan visit

Chamber of Deputies Speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová confirmed Monday that she will lead 150 businesspeople, researchers, and government representatives on an official trip to Taiwan at the end of this week. China has called the planned visit a “wrongful decision.” The current government has clarified that it is firmly pro-Taiwan and has defended the visit, citing no law being broken. President Petr Pavel came under fire from China following a phone call with Taiwan’s president after his presidential election victory in January. Government representatives also traveled to Taiwan in 2020.

WILDLIFE Czech zoo to receive rare, endangered elephant

The Director of Zlín Zoo Roman Horský has announced the planned arrival of the menagerie’s first-ever male African elephant. According to the World Wildlife Fund, African elephants are a critically endangered species. Horský also referenced the recent opening of a new breeding facility with indoor housing – holding up to 10 elephants – that is among the three largest breeding facilities in the world and cost over CZK 160 million. The new elephant is due to arrive in May.

EDUCATION Pavel to appoint lecturers rejected by Zeman

President Petr Pavel told journalists Monday that he will appoint as professors university teachers who his predecessor Miloš Zeman refused to select. The lecturers in question are physician Ivan Ošťádal and art historian Jiří Fajt. Pavel said he will seek the approval of the relevant higher education bodies before he officially appoints them. In Czechia, university professors are proposed by academic and artistic councils of the relevant universities. The president has the power to deny an appointment. Zeman refused to appoint the pair due to cited "past errors."

FOREIGN AFFAIRS Czechia to support fire-hit Slovak town

Prague City Hall announced Monday that it will soon send CZK 10 million to Slovakia for the reconstruction of historical buildings, following mass damage from a fire in the center of the country. Officials from the Czech National Museum Monday visited Slovakia to discuss ways in which Czechia could help with the restoration process. Part of the town – Banská Štiavnica – where the fire struck is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Slovak authorities say that a short circuit is the most likely reason for the event.

UKRAINE Prague City Hall pledges more money to Ukrainian refugees

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more