Czech news in brief for May 23: Thursday's top headlines

Chamber of Deputies to debate controversial pension reform, Czech court approves extradition of Indian to US, and Book World begins today in Prague. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 23.05.2024 07:56:00 (updated on 23.05.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

LABOR MARKET Fiala will push for change to Labor Code

The Football Association of the Czech Republic (FAČR) has launched an investigation into the events that occurred after the MOL Cup final between Pilsen and Sparta Prague. Fans from both clubs invaded the pitch, prompting the FAČR to request detailed documents from the match's organizational units. The Pilsen club expressed regret for the actions of some of its fans and stated that they followed the recommendations and instructions of the organizer, FAČR. After the final whistle, a few dozen fans from both teams entered the pitch, resulting in clashes and the need for police intervention.

SPORT Czech football association to probe fan violence

Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced that his party will attempt to persuade other coalition parties to support the resignation without reason amendment to the Labor Code in the House of Representatives. This amendment has faced opposition from not only the opposition and trade unions, but also government officials. Fiala will push for its implementation during Chamber of Deputies deliberations, but the amendment is not currently included in the package of changes.

CONSUMER NEWS Six in 10 households have saved on energy

According to a survey by Ipsos, 60 percent of Czech households have taken measures to save on energy consumption and expenses, resulting in an average annual savings of CZK 8,000. Half of these households plan to continue implementing cost-saving measures in the future, driven by the expectation of rising energy prices. The data, collected from 1016 respondents in March and April, shows a stabilization in household energy expenditure and a decrease in the number of households significantly affected by energy prices.

CRIME Prague police bust fake ice hockey ticket scam

The Prague police revealed that 600 fake tickets were sold during the Ice Hockey World Championship, causing CZK 2 million in damage. Three people have been accused of fraud. The majority of victims were Czechs, with only a few foreign fans affected. The police caught most of the fake tickets during a game between the Czech team and Canada, with the highest individual damage being CZK 52,000. Two Prague residents, aged 31 and 30, have confessed to making and selling the fake tickets for CZK 3,000 to CZK 4,000.

politics Chamber of Deputies to debate pension reform

MPs will begin debating the government's proposed pension reforms next Tuesday, with lower house speaker Markéta Pekarová Adamová calling an urgent session. The reforms include raising the retirement age above 65, reducing new pension calculations, and setting a minimum pension at one-fifth of the average wage. Opposition parties ANO and SPD strongly oppose the changes and plan to obstruct the bill. The reforms aim to address the pension system's growing deficit.

Crime Czech court approves extradition of Indian to US

Czechia may extradite Indian citizen Nikhil Gupta to the U.S., where he faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder for hire, the Constitutional Court ruled. Gupta is accused of plotting to assassinate a Sikh separatist leader in New York. Arrested in Prague last June, Gupta argued the political nature of his case, but the court upheld Prague courts' extradition approval.

Business Sale of Czech ammo company controversial in US

U.S. Senators and a former Secretary of State have opposed Vista Outdoor's sale of its ammunition division to Czech company Czechoslovak Group (CSG), citing concerns over foreign ownership and supply chain issues, The Wall Street Journal reports. The USD 1.91 billion deal, under review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), faces heightened scrutiny amid global gunpowder shortages and national security concerns. Vista expects CFIUS approval soon.

Prague Book World fair begins today at Exhibition Grounds

The 29th Prague Book Fair and literary festival kicks off today at Prague's Exhibition Center. Featuring over 800 guests from 40 countries, the event includes notable authors like John Boyne, Alexis Nolent, and Alex Ahndoril. German-language literature project Das Buch is the guest of honor, with events marking Franz Kafka's 100th death anniversary. The fair runs daily until Sunday, with tickets priced at CZK 150 to 350.

Culture Kafka's final letter on display at Prague museum

Franz Kafka's last letter is now on display at the Museum of Literature in Prague-Bubeneč as part of the new exhibition Franz Kafka's Games. The exhibit, open through Sept. 15, aims to challenge stereotypes about the writer by showcasing his athletic side. Kafka's letter, dated June 2, 1924, the day before his death, highlights his multi-ethnic Prague background and sense of humor.

ART Lost Kaplický sculpture exhibited in Prague park

Acquae, a steel sculpture by renowned late Czech architect Jan Kaplický, is now on display in Prague's Bastion above Folimanka Park. Discovered by architect Norman Foster in 2023 after 20 years, the 1.5-tonne piece was created for the Milan Triennial and exhibited at the 2004 Venice Biennale. The exhibit is part of the year-long Sculpture Line project. Future locations for the sculpture are yet to be determined.

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