Czech news in brief for April 9: Tuesday's top headlines

Former Czech president calls for economy overhaul, Czech lawmakers to discuss new definition of rape, and Monday breaks temperature records. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 09.04.2024 08:10:00 (updated on 09.04.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

economy Unemployment ticks down in Czechia

According to the Labor Office of the Czech Republic, the unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 percent in March from 4 percent in February, with 7,484 fewer people unemployed. The number of job vacancies also increased to 268,660. The warm weather and the beginning of seasonal work contributed to this decline, along with self-employed individuals returning to work. However, analysts note that this March's decrease was not as significant as in previous years. Unemployment decreased in all regions and most districts compared to February.

infrastructure Rail firms to invest over CZK 15bn in new trains

Czech railway carriers will invest approximately CZK 16 billion to 17 billion in new trains this year, according to Czechia’s Union of Passenger Railway Carriers executive director Petr Moravec. This will bring Czech carriers closer to Western European service standards, thanks to investments in new trains and customer service improvements, the organization says. Czech rail firm RegioJet plans to spend CZK 1.5 billion this year and CZK 3 billion next year on new trains, while Czech Railways will invest almost CZK 15 billion.

politics Poll: ANO would win in EP election by large margin

According to a poll by the STEM/MARK research agency, the opposition ANO movement would win the Czech Republic's European Parliament (EP)  elections – taking place in early June – with 27.5 percent of the vote. The ruling Spolu (Together) coalition, consisting of Civic Democrats, TOP 09, and Christian Democrats, would come in second with 20 percent. ANO, led by candidate Klára Dostálová in the EP, has the lead even though only half of the respondents know her. 

industry Pavel to discuss pension reform with trade union

President Petr Pavel will meet with the leadership of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS) on Wednesday to discuss their concerns about the proposed pension reform. ČMKOS chairman Josef Středula stated that unionists want to inform the president of their reservations before his meeting with political representatives. The trade union headquarters strongly opposes the government's proposal, particularly increasing retirement age, reducing pensions, and removing levies. According to the proposal, the pension age would rise above 65 after 2030 and would be set each year according to the life expectancy of people who have just turned 50.

Weather Temperature records broken again on Monday

Monday brought unusually hot weather to the Czech Republic, with Karlovy Vary and Prague reaching 28.5 degrees Celsius, marking the warmest April 8 on record. Despite Saharan dust cooling the air, temperature records were broken at 123 measuring stations. A cold front is expected to bring cooler weather by midweek, with temperatures dropping by over ten degrees. According to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, ground frosts are possible in some areas by Thursday night.

Legislation Lawmakers to discuss redefining rape

Today MPs will discuss amendments to drafts in the second reading, which will cover various topics such as redefining rape. A bipartisan agreement has been reached to redefine rape as non-consensual sexual intercourse, highlighting the importance of legal protections, especially for sexual practices involving children under 12. The agreement ensures that any such acts are always considered rape or sexual assault, and not as lesser offenses like sexual abuse. The main aim of this bipartisan agreement is to strengthen legal protections for victims and support broader efforts to combat sexual violence.

Economy Former Czech president calls for economy overhaul

Former Czech President Václav Klaus has urged a systematic overhaul of the country’s economy, advocating for reduced state intervention and a return to pure market principles to combat chronic stagnation. Klaus presented 19 critical points for economic transformation on Monday, emphasizing the need to tackle inflation, balance the budget, and streamline bureaucracy. He criticized current political leadership for lacking the boldness to address these issues effectively. Klaus, a prominent figure since the fall of communism, continues to influence Czech discourse despite retiring from formal politics.

Business New Pepsi label revealed in Czechia

In Karlovy Vary, Pepsi, the global beverage giant, unveiled its first design overhaul in 14 years, impacting products bottled by Mattoni 1873 in Prague and Kyselka plants. Changes include a logo update and rebranding Pepsi MAX to Pepsi Zero Sugar. The marketing shift accompanies a new logo inspired by consumer feedback. Since 2018, Pepsi has been made by Mattoni 1873 in Czechia. Almost 300 million packs of Pepsi are produced annually in the country, supplying both Czech stores and the Slovak and Hungarian markets.

Constitution Czech courts to rule on noise regulation

The Constitutional Court will reveal its decision today regarding 23 senators' proposal to overturn parts of noise and vibration health protection regulations. The senators argue against increased noise limits near residential areas due to road and rail traffic, claiming government overreach and a chaotic legislative framework. They assert the laws should reduce noise pollution, not exacerbate it, emphasizing public health concerns and socioeconomic impacts.

Nature Wild boar attacks young man in West Bohemia

A 33-year-old man was injured in a wild boar attack on Sunday evening in the Pilsen Region. The police reported that the boar was wandering in the outskirts, which led to a police patrol fatally shooting it. The man was airlifted to Plzen University Hospital with chest, abdomen, and thigh wounds. The incident occurred near a housing estate on the outskirts of Blovice, a small town with approximately 4,200 residents, according to CTK.

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