Czech morning news in brief: top stories for Nov. 11, 2020

The first online protest in Czech history, a potential rise in the minimum wage, and a distance-learning update for university students

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.11.2020 08:55 (updated on 10.11.2020) Reading time: 3 minutes

Top news stories for November 10, 2020, compiled from CTK.

First ever online protest in Czech history

The first-ever online political demonstration will be broadcast by the Million Moments Association on Monday, November 16. According to the organizers of the event, Czech society is facing not only an epidemic but also a political crisis and must come together.

The movement arose after the parliamentary elections in 2017, which won the ANO party. Last June, an estimated 250,000 people took part in the largest demonstration of the Million Moments at Letná in Prague in protest of PM Babiš for conflict of interest and non-compliance with election promises.

Monday's protest goes online at 18:00, on the eve of the Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy.

Czech Post begins operation with Ali Express

The Czech Post has announced it will establish a direct cooperation with the Aliexpress online shopping platform.

During a sales event planned Nov. 11, the Czech Post will deliver tens of thousands of e-shop shipments for Czech customers. P

Packages will be sent through a special customs transhipment point in Belgium and will reach customers faster, typically within two weeks of ordering.

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Martin Hurda, Czech Post's international trade manager said: "The current discount event is a pilot cooperation, the aim of which is to deliver goods to end customers as quickly as possible.

"Therefore, orders will be sent as a domestic shipment within the Czech Republic. Cooperation with the Czech Post is logical for this global e-shop, because we offer the widest logistics network in the Czech Republic."

Govt amends law to enable university distance learning in crises

On Monday the Czech cabinet approved a draft amendment to the law on universities to enable their distance teaching and a special schedule of studies and entrance exams also in 2021 and further in the case of the COVID-19 or possible other crisis, Education Minister Robert Plaga tweeted.

In reaction to the coronavirus epidemic, universities in Czechia switched to distance teaching in early October. The Education Ministry expects the anti-epidemic measures to affect universities' operation also in the first half of 2021.

Cabinet discusses increase to Czech minimum wage

The cabinet today further discussed a planned increase in the monthly minimum wages, with the Labour Ministry drafting four variants for the cabinet to choose from after receiving comments on them from the trade unions and employers.

The minimum wage stands at 14,600 crowns, last time being increased by 1,250 crowns as of this January.

The employers want to keep it unchanged next year, the senior government ANO movement would raise it by 400 crowns, the Labour Ministry, controlled by the junior government Social Democrats (CSSD), wants to raise it by 900 crowns at least and by 1,800 optimally, and trade unions demand a 1,400-crown increase.

The ministry argues that it is necessary to increase the purchasing power of low-income people and their motivation to work.

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Employers say companies face a crisis and that a minimum wage increase, compulsorily accompanied by the guaranteed wage rise, may be fatal for some small and medium-sized firms.

According to the ministry, in 21 of the 27 EU states the minimum wage is regulated by law, and the Czech Republic's minium wage is the sixth lowest in the EU, and 23rd in terms of purchasing power.

Some 1.8 million people used eRouska app on Sept, Oct - poll

About 1.8 million people in Czechia used the eRouska (e-Face Mask) application in mobile phones recording contacts with the COVID-19 infected at least once in September and October, according to a poll conducted by the Median agency.

Nevertheless, Czechs still spent less time at home this autumn than in the state of emergency during the first wave of the epidemic in the spring, valid from March 12 to May 17. Now, the state of emergency is to last until at least November 20.

People in Prague, the Zlin (central Moravia) and Plzen (west Bohemia) regions, used the eRouska app more often that the inhabitants of the other regions. In the former three regions, one-fifth up to one-quarter of inhabitants applied it.

"We can summarise that compared to the spring state of emergency, people are reacting to the government measures more slowly this autumn. Yet, it is positive that in the week from October 26, the share of the people spending time at home almost reached the spring level," the pollsters said.

Median conducted the poll on a sample of 1,000 people aged from 15 to 69.

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