Czech news in brief for May 29: Wednesday's top headlines

Czech Senate to vote on stricter rape definition, Babiš criticizes pension-law change, and fifteen states join Czech ammo plan for Ukraine.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.05.2024 09:08:00 (updated on 29.05.2024) Reading time: 4 minutes

LAW State passes law to help domestic violence victims

The Czech government has approved an amendment to enhance protection for domestic violence victims by establishing a clear definition of domestic violence. This amendment aims to ensure uniform responses from the police, judiciary, and intervention centers. Currently, there's inconsistency in identifying and handling domestic violence cases across institutions, according to the government. Last year, nearly 30 percent of women and 12 percent of men in Czechia experienced domestic violence. Every year, the police register approximately 500 cases of criminal abuse of a person living in a shared household.

JOBS Barriers removed for non-EU dentists to work

The Senate has approved a bill that will allow dentists from non-EU countries to work under the supervision of experienced dentists in order to address the shortage of dentists in the country. The bill still needs to be signed by the president to take effect. Under the bill, non-EU dentists will need to have their dental education verified and work at accredited training workplaces. The Czech Dentists Chamber opposes the bill, citing potential risks for patients.

history and politics Czechia to view May 1 as 'significant day'

The Czech Republic's Senate has passed a draft amendment to the law on public holidays, designating May 1 as a significant day to commemorate the country's accession to the EU in 2004. The lower house of parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, passed the bill in April, and it will now be sent to the president for signing. According to Minister for European Affairs Martin Dvorak, this day symbolizes the country's pro-Western orientation and the benefits of EU membership. The event coincides with Labor Day, which is a public holiday.

diplomacy Pavel in Jordan, calls for end to Gaza violence

Czech President Petr Pavel and Jordanian King Abdullah II met in Amman and agreed to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. They called for efforts to bring an end to the Israeli military operation and begin a large-scale humanitarian operation. Pavel stated that Czechia will participate in a conference on humanitarian aid for Gaza on June 11 and will continue to help civilians in Gaza. The Jordanian side estimates that up to 800 trucks a day will be needed for aid delivery.

CIVIL RIGHTS Czech Senate to vote on stricter rape definition

The Czech Senate will vote today on a stricter definition of rape, one in which non-verbal cues indicate non-consent. The amendment to the Criminal Code defines rape with the concept that "no means no". Under the new legislation a victim could express with a gesture, crying or taking a defensive position. The draft also takes into account the state of the victim, and if they are unable to express non-consent due to illness, unconsciousness, mental illness, intoxication, or disability.

politics Babiš criticizes pension-law change

During a debate on a draft amendment to the pension law, Czech opposition leader Andrej Babiš criticized the government's proposed changes, stating that they are not a reform but rather a plan to rob current and future pensioners. He specifically pointed out the unfair reduction of pension indexation and the increase in retirement age. Babiš accused the government of implementing "draconian pension cuts" and criticized the gradual increase of retirement age, with people in their 20s currently potentially having to retire at 70.

DEFENSE Fifteen states join Czech ammo plan for Ukraine

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala stated that fifteen EU and NATO countries have collectively contributed EUR 1.6 billion (CZK 39.4 billion) to purchase ammunition for Ukraine from non-EU countries. Since February 2022, Czechia and its allies have provided Ukraine with over 900 pieces of heavy equipment and millions of rounds and rockets. Fiala emphasized the importance of supporting the European defense industry and strengthening defense capabilities in light of Russia's aggression in Ukraine. 

Drugs Security cover up cocaine use in parliament

Remnants of cocaine were found in the men’s restroom of the Czech House of Representatives in January 2023 during long night sessions, Seznam Zprávy reports. Despite the discovery, which included a piece of paper with white powder, the incident was kept quiet for over a year. No one was informed due to the minimal amount of the drug and the lack of identifiable suspects.

Business Billionaire Křetínský acquires Royal Mail

International Distributions Services (IDS), owner of the British post office Royal Mail, has agreed to a takeover offer from Czech billionaire Daniel Křetínský. Křetínský’s EP Group offered GBP 3.57 billion (USD 4.5 billion), valuing IDS at 370 pence per share. This follows a previous bid of 320 pence per share, which was rejected. IDS owns the loss-making Royal Mail and profitable international parcel network GLS.

HEALTH Europe may get tropical diseases in summer

Travel medicine expert Rastislav Madar warned that as temperatures rise, carriers of tropical diseases are migrating to Europe. Czechia has seen an increase in imported cases of dengue fever, with the Aedes mosquito found in Italy, Greece, and France. Doctors have registered 48 people infected with dengue fever in Czechia this year, which is twice more than in the year-earlier period. Symptoms include fever, joint pain, and rash, with repeated infections leading to a more severe illness.

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