News in brief for Oct. 8: Top headlines for Czechia on Sunday

Czech university union declares one-hour strike Oct. 17, Czech kayakers take silver medals at World Championships, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 08.10.2023 08:30:00 (updated on 08.10.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Travel Czech travel agencies cancel trips to Israel amid ongoing conflict

Czech travel agencies have suspended tours to Israel due to the continuing attacks by Palestinian militants. Jan Papež, Vice-Chairman of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Czech Republic, stated that clients choosing not to return immediately to the Czech Republic can continue their travels, while those opting to leave do so on regular commercial flights, as no repatriation flights are scheduled.

Amid the Israel situation, some Prague-Tel Aviv flights have been canceled or delayed. Passengers are advised to monitor the websites of their respective airlines for updates. Airlines worldwide have canceled Israel flights over safety concerns. Czech citizens in Israel are reportedly safe.

Politics ANO party maintains lead in public opinion polls

The ANO party would secure victory if the Czech parliamentary elections were held in September with 33.5 percent of the vote, the same as in May, according to the latest election poll conducted by Kantar for Czech Television. ODS would follow with 12 percent of the vote, a 5 percent decrease compared to spring results.

SPD would claim third place with 9.5 percent of the vote, a 1.5 percent increase from May. Other parties, including Pirates, STAN, and TOP 09, would cross the threshold to enter parliament, while the Christian Democrats and others would not surpass the 5 percent minimum.

Economy Czech labor unions to push for significant wage increase in 2024

Czech labor unions are considering recommending an 8 to 10 percent wage increase for the private sector in 2024 due to projected inflation. Josef Středula, the head of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions, stated that the aim is to offset declining real wages.

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The expected inflation rate for 2024 is estimated to be between 5.5 and 6 percent, compared to Zdeněk Zajíček, President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, who predicts a lower range of 2 to 3 percent. Středula emphasized that these negotiations should be tailored to specific businesses and sectors.

Sports Tennis stars Vondroušová and Muchová make WTA Finals

Czech tennis stars Markéta Vondroušová and Karolina Muchová are set to make their debut appearances at the prestigious WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico later this month. Vondroušová, the Wimbledon champion, enters the tournament after a standout year that saw her claim her first Grand Slam title. Meanwhile, Muchová, who reached her first Grand Slam final at the French Open, has also secured her spot.

One of the biggest events on the WTA calendar, the WTA Finals match up the top eight players in women's tennis in a round robin tournament. The Czech stars will compete against a star-studded lineup featuring Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, and Jessica Pegula for the singles title.

Nature Search for Asian hornet nest in Plzeň ongoing

Conservationists in Pilsen are intensively searching for a nest of Asian hornets, an invasive species specializing in hunting bees, which were first confirmed in the Czech Republic days ago. Six individuals were captured, but the nest remains elusive. Thermal cameras will be used in a night survey due to the hornets' inactivity in colder weather.

It's essential to locate and remove the nest to prevent their spread. The hornets are smaller and darker than common hornets, identified by yellow-colored limb ends. They pose a threat to bees in hives. Reporting their presence to the Nature and Landscape Protection Agency is crucial for control efforts.

Accident Czech tourist dies from fall in German Alps

A Czech tourist tragically lost his life in the German Alps when he fell from a considerable height while climbing the Watzmann peak in southeastern Germany. Local police and the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs have confirmed the incident. The climber's companion, another Czech national, suffered severe injuries but managed to survive.

They were scaling the east face of Watzmann, and the lead climber fell from a height of 60 to 80 meters. The deceased climber was pronounced dead upon the arrival of mountain services. The injured climber was evacuated by air, and the body of the deceased was retrieved the following morning.

Education Czech university union declares one-hour strike Oct. 17

The Czech Republic's University Trade Union has declared a nationwide one-hour strike scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The strike aims to push for increased funding for higher education in the Czech Republic, including higher salaries for university employees.

In addition to this, academics from the Faculty of Arts of Palacký University in Olomouc and some faculties of Charles University will be on strike for the entire day, organized by the Hour of Truth initiative, which comprises teachers and students in humanities and social fields. The strike protests the ongoing underfunding of universities.

Sports Czech kayakers take silver medals at World Championships

Czech kayaker Vít Prindiš won his third silver medal at the ICF World Championships in the water slalom event, maintaining his overall lead with a second-place finish in Paris. Gabriela Satková also secured a silver medal in the water slalom. Prindiš equaled the Czech record with three world championship medals wins alongside Jiří Prskavac and four other kayakers.

This season, Prindiš has dominated the championship standings without individual race victories, consistently finishing near the top. Satková secured her second silver medal of the season, trailing behind Australia's Jessica Fox in the final. Despite winning the semi-final, Prskavac finished seventh in the final event.

Religion Chapel of St. Barbara unveiled in Špindlerův Mlýn

A newly-constructed Chapel of St. Barbara was inaugurated in Špindlerův Mlýn on Saturday. The small wooden sacred building, consecrated by Cardinal Dominik Duka, stands on the western slope of Hromovka mountain at an altitude of 860 meters. The chapel offers a picturesque view of the valley, including the Labská dam and the Krkonoše ridges.

It was built at a cost of almost one million crowns and is expected to become a new tourist attraction in the region. St. Barbara is the patron saint of wreckers, firefighters, and a protector in times of danger, making the chapel significant for Špindlerův Mlýn.

Opera Hundreds say goodbye to late opera singer in Ostrava

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Ostrava to bid farewell to the late opera and concert singer Patricia Burda Janečková. She passed away at the age of 25 on October 1 after a battle with a serious illness. Colleagues and admirers, including actress Lada Bělašková and actor Josef Kaluža, paid their respects with flowers.

Janečková's untimely departure deeply saddened those who knew her. She was a talented singer and actress who had won several prestigious awards, including the Concorso Internazionale Musica Sacra in Rome.

Education Czech rate of students per teacher slowly decreasing

The Czech Republic's decrease in the number of pupils per teacher lags behind the OECD average, according to the OECD's Education at a Glance 2023 report. Between 2015 and 2021, the Czech Republic saw a 4.9% decline in pupils per teacher compared to the OECD's 5.6% average, mainly due to a faster growth in educators abroad.

Minister of Education Mikuláš Bek stated that the number of teachers in Czech schools has outpaced pupils, resulting in a lower ratio than in foreign counterparts. In the 2022/2023 school year, there were 13.67 children per primary school teacher and 10.9 students per secondary school teacher, aligning with neighboring countries.

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