Czech news for March 29: Secret files on Ivana Trump revealed, tobacco profits rise

Top headlines for the Czech Republic on Wednesday, March 29, 2023, updated daily to keep you up to speed. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 29.03.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 29.03.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

EDUCATION Number of teachers grows in Czechia

The number of teachers in Czech schools and kindergartens has increased by 16 percent in the past five years, according to Ministry of Education data released today. This may be of surprise to some, as Czech schools have in the past couple of years reported a shortage of school spaces.

There are currently about 200,000 teachers in Czech schools (including nurseries). Data from 2022 shows that only half of young teachers in the country remain in the profession five years after starting.

PREISDENCY Pavel continues visit in west of Czechia

President Petr Pavel today continues his visit to Moravia-Silesia in the east of Czechia. This morning he spent two hours in the Dole Darkov mine – he is the first president in over 30 years to visit a mine in the Ostrava-Karviná region.

On Tuesday, Pavel visited the Hyundai car factory in Nošovice and spoke with students of the Petr Bezruč High School in Frýdek-Místek. Notably, residents in Moravia-Silesia voted more in favor of Pavel’s rival, former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, than for the current president.

LABOR MARKET Biggest Czech trade union to protest in Prague today

Workers from Czechia’s largest trade union KOVO will protest in Prague today against the planned pension reforms as well as the new EU-wide Euro 7 emissions standard. Over 1,000 people are expected to appear in front of the Straka Academy in Malá Strana.

Participants are against any plans to raise the retirement age to 68. KOVO is worried about the reduction of job opportunities and redundancies following the Euro 7 standards, which will set non-exhaust emissions limits on vehicles.

Protests President agrees with academics' demands for higher salaries

President Petr Pavel expressed his support for higher salaries for lecturers at Czech universities, particularly in faculties of arts, during a visit to the Moravia-Silesia Region. The demands for increased funding and equal pay for lecturers in various fields were raised by academics and supported by the University Staff Trade Union.

Education Minister Vladimir Balas acknowledged the long-term neglect of university funding and was to meet with Prime Minister Petr Fiala to discuss the issue. The universities' budget for salaries may rise by an additional 901 million crowns this year, but Pavel stressed the importance of finding a systemic solution to address the disproportion in the future.

Business Tobacco producer's profits rise significantly

Philip Morris CR, the leading tobacco producer and seller in the Czech Republic, reported a 3.4 percent increase in net profit to CZK 3.6 billion (USD158 million) last year. Sales, excluding consumption tax and VAT, also rose by 11 percent to CZK 20.9 billion. The company proposed a gross dividend of CZK 1,310 per share, the same as the previous year.

Sales of heated tobacco products and products for smoking fell by 2.7 percent to 11.2 billion pieces. However, the total number of smokeless product users increased in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Philip Morris CR remains the leader in both markets with an estimated market share of 40.1 percent and 55.5 percent, respectively.

people Secret files on Ivana Trump revealed

Ivana Trump was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in the 1990s due to some of her connections in socialist Czechoslovakia. This is revealed by files that have now been released by the FBI at the request of Bloomberg.

The Czech-born skier-turned-businesswoman and first wife of former President Donald Trump and mother of his oldest children, died last July at the age of 73.

Sports COV against Russians competing in Olympic qualifiers

The Czech Olympic Committee (COV) has called for the preservation of sanctions against Russia and Belarus over their aggression in Ukraine and has declared their participation in Olympic qualifiers unacceptable. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has recommended the return of individuals with Russian and Belarusian passports to the international scene, but under stricter conditions, represented as AIN (Individual Neutral Athletes), not as national federations or Olympic committees.

The COV appreciated the IOC's move to tighten the sanctions against Russian and Belarusian states and their political representatives, but insists their participation in Olympic qualifiers is unacceptable. It is up to individual federations to decide whether to go by the IOC recommendations.

weather Snow and frost contribute to accidents in Czechia

A snow cover and strong winds contributed to dozens of traffic accidents in several Czech regions on Tuesday, according to information from road workers, firefighters, and the police. More than 30 cars collided in two accidents on the D1 highway in Vysočina; additionally, trucks stuck on icy roads blocked the D8 highway in the direction of Germany for several hours in the Ústí nad Labem region.

After a frosty night across Czechia, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute's forecast for Wednesday sees warmer temperatures, with highs reaching 6 to 10 degrees Celsius during the day, and wind decreasing in intensity.

digitalization Number of data boxes in Czechia reaches 4 million

The Ministry of the Interior has set up 2 million data boxes since the start of 2023. This brought the total number of data boxes in Czechia to 4 million, representatives of the Ministry of the Interior said at a press conference held Tuesday.

Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan said that, since January, the ministry has set up data boxes for all the people who were in its registry, adding that the data boxes will save the state and the taxpayers several billion crowns a year. 

technology CT scanning reveals secrets of rare Medieval Madonna

Experts from the Czech University of Agriculture in Prague are using CT scan technology to learn more about the 14th-century Madonna from Havraň, Czech Radio reports. Olga Kotková, who is in charge of the National Gallery’s Collection of Old Masters said this reveals damage to the wood, as well as repairs made over time.

Kotková added the statue has a "huge" significance given that it was created "when Bohemia was at the very center of the whole of Europe, you could even say the whole world."

elsewhere in czechia Police rescues boar-chased tourist from treetop

Last Thursday, a tourist stranded at the top of a tree after encountering a wild boar called the Czech Police line to ask for help. The incident happened as the man walked in the forest in Stráž pod Ralskem, where he ran into the wild boar, which had "large curved teeth."

He then climbed to the top of a nearby tree to seek shelter. The boar was gone by the time the police arrived at the scene to rescue the tourist.

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