Czech news in brief for November 21: Tuesday's top headlines

Czech national football coach resigns, hundreds of medical procedures to be postponed in Czechia, and more top headlines for Nov. 21, 2023. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 21.11.2023 08:46:00 (updated on 21.11.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

health Physical fitness of Czech children at 1923 levels

Research conducted by experts from the Technical University in Liberec at Czech and Slovak high schools shows that the physical fitness of teenagers is comparable to that of 1923. The investigation involved over 4,700 schoolchildren who were tested on various physical activities.

Although there may seem to be positive aspects, such as increased height and weight compared to 1923, the experts express concerns about the lack of basic skills such as throwing a ball. With these findings, there is concern that the declining physical fitness may continue and have a negative impact on the population.

international Czech diplomat urges caution about Palestine aid

The Czech Republic is urging caution in providing aid to Palestine to ensure it is not being misused by Hamas, according to Czech Deputy Foreign Minister Jiří Kozák. The European Commission is also reviewing its development aid to the Palestinians. Kozák emphasized the need for aid to be delivered quickly and effectively, while also ensuring it does not support terrorist groups.

The Czech Republic disagrees with some member states that advocate for unconditional aid. Prague is concerned that supporting terrorists will only prolong the conflict and increase suffering for both sides.

Ukraine Czech company accused of violating sanctions against Russia

Czech company PBS was accused of violating sanctions by supplying key helicopter components to Russia through third parties in Kazakhstan and India. Ukrainian NGO State Watch claims the parts were used in Russian military helicopters involved in the conflict in Ukraine. PBS denies any wrongdoing and accuses Russian services of manipulating data to make false accusations.

The company argues that Russia produces an alternative component. Ukrainian export registers show that 20 components were sold by a Czech firm to Russia via Indian re-exports worth $8.5 million ()CZK 190 million. Analysts suggest the Czech firm should monitor its business partners more closely.

business Pařížská ranked most expensive shopping street in CEE

According to the consulting company Cushman & Wakefield, Pařížská Street in Prague has once again made it to the list of the 20 most expensive shopping streets in the world. It is ranked first in Central and Eastern Europe and eleventh in Europe. The highest annual rent on this street is 2,700 euros per square meter.

Pařížská Street has maintained its status as the most expensive street in the Czech Republic for the second consecutive year. The Czech Republic is the only country in the region to appear in the top twenty of the ranking.

weather Meteorologists issue ice warning for northern Czech Republic

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute issued a warning of ice or frost in the north and northeast of the Czech Republic for Wednesday night and morning. This may lead to traffic problems, so drivers and pedestrians should be cautious. The warning specifically applies to the eastern half of the Liberec Region and neighboring regions in the Hradec Králové Region, as well as Šumperska, Jesenice, and most of the Moravian-Silesian region.

Meteorologists advise motorists to be vigilant due to the increased risk of accidents on wet and unpaved roads. Additionally, it is recommended that older and less mobile individuals limit their outdoor activities.

crime Military police conducts raids across Czechia today

Military police and the National Center against Organized Crime (NCOZ) are conducting criminal proceedings in several places in the Czech Republic, including Pardubice, according to iRozhlas. The investigation does not involve the Ministry of Defense or the Army. The former mayor of Pardubice, Martin Charvát, is reportedly a focus of the investigation.

The military police and NCOZ have not provided further details about the case. The current mayor of Pardubice, Jan Nadrchal, and deputy Jakub Rychtecký, who are on a business trip, are unaware of the police intervention. The coalition in the Pardubice council has 20 votes.

Healthcare Hundreds of surgeries to be postponed in Czechia

More than 6,100 doctors in Czechia have refused overtime starting Dec. 1, which will force hundreds of surgeries and outpatient visits to be postponed, according to the Czech Medical Chamber. Acute care will be prioritized while planned procedures are reduced, impacting major hospitals in Prague, Hradec Králové, Jihlava, and elsewhere.

Health Minister Vlastimil Válek will meet protesters Tuesday to discuss pay increases for medical staff, whose salaries have not kept up with the national average. The action follows changes to labor laws affecting overtime and shifts that doctors say do not reflect hospital working conditions.

Sport Czech national football coach quits after Euro qualifier

Jaroslav Šilhavý, coach of the Czech Republic national football team since 2018, announced he will resign from his post despite the team advancing to the European Championship with a 3-0 victory over Moldova in their final qualifier in Olomouc on Sunday night.

The 66-year-old Šilhavý told reporters he faced immense pressure that he sometimes did not understand. His contract expires on Nov. 30. Czech Football Association President Petr Fousek acknowledged the decision and said the executive committee will address appointing a new coach, likely not deciding Tuesday.

Economy Basic grocery prices higher on average in November

Basic grocery prices in the Czech Republic were 4 percent higher on average in November compared to July, according to an analysis by Česká distribuční. White yogurt saw a 49 percent spike, and butter jumped 24 percent. Conversely, potatoes and flour fell in price.

The cost of a standard market basket was CZK 715.15 this month, up from CZK 686.65 in July. Milk and eggs are offered at discounts. Inflation hit 8.5 percent in October due to higher food costs, though core inflation excluding energy would be under 6 percent. Retailers are discounting basic items by about 31 percent this month.

Education Ministry releases guide to school strike for principals

The Czech Education Ministry has issued guidance for primary, secondary, and kindergarten principals in the event teachers and staff go on strike next Monday, Nov. 27. Principals must be notified at least three days ahead and provided a contact and list of striking employees. Depending on numbers, principals may close schools, declare leave, or limit operations.

Teachers can do indirect work off-site while those not striking keep schools running. The ministry advises alternate lunch plans if canteens close and after-school childcare where possible. The union warns of funding cuts threatening class sizes, electives, and support staff pay. They are seeking more than the CZK 3.9 billion budget increase already proposed for next year.

Environment Prague to eliminate orange recycling containers by year's end

By the end of 2023, Prague will no longer use orange containers specifically for beverage cartons. Instead, these cartons will be sorted together with plastics, as is common elsewhere in the Czech Republic. The city says this simplifies sorting while saving up to CZK 22 million crowns annually.

Over a third of the capital's nearly 8,000 plastic containers now allow for combined carton and plastic collection. Eventually, Prague and the Ministry of Environment aim to further streamline waste sorting to just two bin types: one for trash and one for all recyclables.

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