Czech news in brief for April 11: Thursday's top headlines

Czech MEPs divided on migration package, Czechia adopts definition of anti-gypsyism, and Prague's news Center for sexual violence sees high interest. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 11.04.2024 08:42:00 (updated on 11.04.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

education Most people send three school applications in 2024

According to a recent analysis by the Ministry of Education, 73 percent of applicants for secondary school took advantage of the new option to apply for three fields of study instead of two, which is newly available this year. In Prague, over 80 percent of applicants used this option. There is a significant gap between the capacity of schools and the demand for certain courses, such as dental technician assistant and veterinary medicine, according to the ministry. 

politics Babiš accuses coalition of corruption, clientelism

During a parliamentary session this afternoon initiated by the opposition ANO party, ANO leader Andrej Babiš accused the Czech government parties of concealing their own corruption and clientelism in an attempt to survive the associated scandals through silence, while Prime Minister Petr Fiala dismissed the allegations and labeled Babiš as paranoid; Babiš further claimed that the coalition parties, including the Civic Democrats, the Mayors and Independents, the Pirates, TOP 09, and the Christian Democrats, are motivated by corruption, clientelism, and personal gain.

energy Share of Russia-derived oil in Czechia rises

According to CEO of state oil company Mero Jaroslav Pantůček, the share of crude oil from the Russian Družba pipeline in total imports to the Czech Republic increased to 58 percent last year, a rise of about 2 percentage points. The remaining portion came from the German IKL pipeline connected to an Italian pipeline. However, the Czech Republic is preparing to expand the TAL pipeline to achieve independence from Russian oil. Czechia imports less than 4 percent of its gas from Russia.

DIPLOMACY Pavel, Zelenskyy meet in Lithuania

Czech President Petr Pavel met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Vilnius during the presidential meeting of the Three Seas Initiative focusing on central and east European states, where Pavel assured Zelenskyy of the Czech Republic's ongoing support for Ukraine, including supplying ammunition, planning post-war reconstruction, and assisting Ukraine's path to the EU and NATO, while presenting the possibility of buying 800,000 artillery shells. The Politico magazine previously reported that Czechia is interested in ammunition from arms companies in South Korea, Turkey, and South Africa.

EU Czech MEPs divided on migration reform package

Czech MEPs voiced divided opinions on the migration package in the European Parliament today, supporting some aspects while rejecting others. Concerns centered on the package's perceived lack of comprehensive solutions and ambition in addressing migration issues, with criticisms ranging from mandatory solidarity to the absence of measures for migrant returns. Various parties criticized the package for not adequately addressing migration prevention and potentially compromising humanitarian standards. The 27 EU member states must now endorse the reform package before it can take effect.

Racism Czechia adopts definition of anti-gypsyism

The Czech government has officially embraced a definition of "antigypsyism," signaling a stance against discrimination towards the Roma minority. This move follows support from MPs and aligns with efforts to combat prejudice and stereotyping. The definition, while not legally binding, aims to raise awareness and address various forms of racism and exclusion faced by the Roma community. Deputy Prime Minister Ivan Bartoš emphasized the need to tackle social exclusion affecting Roma individuals.

Human rights Czechia says yes to children's ombudsman

The Czech government approved the establishment of a children's ombudsman, aligning with UN recommendations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Minister for Legislation Michal Salomoun announced the move, citing Germany, Austria, and Portugal as examples. The amendment expands the ombudsman's role to include tasks of the National Human Rights Institution. Eligibility criteria for the children's ombudsman include law degree and ten years of child rights advocacy.

Prague Center for sexual violence sees high interest

The first specialized center for victims of sexual violence in the Czech Republic, operating in Prague since January 22, has surpassed expectations, receiving 260 female clients within two and a half months. Jitka Poláková, director of proFem organization, noted a significant interest in the center's services, with some seeking immediate support and others reaching out remotely. The center, initially expecting to assist 1,000 victims this year, is already close to exceeding its capacity, highlighting the pressing need for such services.

Real Estate Prague Development Company to build 6k+ apartments

The Prague Development Company (PDS) plans to build 6,000 to 8,000 apartments over the next decade. PDS, overseeing urban development, aims to initiate construction steps for 2 to 4 projects this year, including Jalový dvůr houses in Prague 4 and Zenklová street. PDS head Petr Urbánek outlines plans for large development areas, including Nové Dvory and Palmovka. Financing methods for urban housing projects and school construction are under consideration. Approval for a project with 300 apartments in Dolní Počernice is underway.

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