Czech wages grew slower than inflation in the fourth quarter of 2021

Plus: Czech obesity rates ballooned during pandemic, Czech spa towns face loss of tourists due to war in Ukraine, and more headlines from this weekend. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.03.2022 12:22:00 (updated on 06.11.2023) Reading time: 6 minutes

Money Inflation surpassed Czech wage growth in Q4 2021

Czech wages grew by about five percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2021, but in real terms employees felt a slight decline in purchasing power as inflation rose by about six percent over the same period. Preliminary numbers on wage growth and inflation in the fourth quarter were provided by financial experts to CTK this weekend; the Czech Statistical Office will publish an official report on Monday.

"In terms of real wage developments, high inflation played an important role in Q4," Akcenta analyst Miroslav Novák told CTK, adding that 2022 forecasts followed the trend. "The rapid rise in consumer prices this year will have a very negative impact on real wage growth. Given the current buildup of inflation risks, it is almost certain that there will be a decline in real wages this year that will be significantly greater than in 2012 and 2013, and unfortunately the possibility of weak economic growth or even a recession is also increasing."

FILM Czech Republic's One World film festival to support Ukraine

The One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, will show support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, its organizers told reporters this weekend. The annual film festival will be held in Prague and other Czech locations from March 21 through April 3 this year, and will also be presented in Brussels at the end of April.

The festival will be held under the slogan Journeys of Freedom this year, and will return to cinemas after being online-only for the past two years due to Covid-19 restrictions. "This year's main theme cannot be more topical. We are shuddering at it completely," festival director Ondřej Kamenický stated, adding that the festival selected films about people resisting evil and fighting back. "When we created it, disillusionment was felt over what was happening in the world, of authoritarian regimes tightening their rule."

Health Czech obesity rates ballooned during pandemic, say experts

Half of the Czech population is overweight and one quarter is obese, according to doctors behind a new project to generate awareness about increasing obesity rates in the Czech Republic. The new project, provides information on obesity and resources for those seeking help to lose weight, and aims to create a nationwide network of experts to provide assistance.

According to the project's founders, obesity rates in the Czech Republic have soared during the pandemic, with the average adult gaining between three and nine kilograms over the past two years. "Obesity is a significant risk factor for the development of other diseases," says Martin Haluzík from the Diabetes Center at the Institute of Clinical and experimental Medicine in Prague. "Obese people face two to three times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and a similar threat for cardiovascular complications."

Art Prague exhibition honors Spanish diplomats who helped Jews during WWII

A new exhibition at the Cervantes Institute in Prague presents stories of Spanish diplomats and officials who saved the lives of Jews during the Holocaust. The exhibition, which runs through April 28, is presented in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy in Prague.

During the Second World War, Spanish diplomats in Nazi-occupied countries helped produce thousands of passports for Jews in those countries. The diplomats went beyond their professional duty, arguing that the Jews were Sephardi or Hispanic Jews and therefore citizens of Spain, even though this was not actually the case. Thanks to these travel documents, thousands of Jews were able to flee Nazi-occupied countries for Spain during the Holocaust.

Culture Czech spa towns face reduction in tourists due to war in Ukraine

Czech spa towns such as Karlovy Vary, which traditionally cater to a large percentage of Russian tourists, will most likely have to do without visitors from Russia over the upcoming months due to the war in Ukraine and related sanctions on Russia. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, spas are looking to recover this year but face additional challenges such as rising fuel prices and decreasing trends in tourism.

"We have moved smoothly from the Covid crisis to a humanitarian crisis," Petr Kulhánek, governor for the Karlovy Vary region, told journalists this weekend. "If we look at the situation from the perspective of our spas, it probably doesn't make sense to hide the fact that coronavirus pandemic measures have hit them hard, and some spas will find it difficult to resume operations."

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Culture St. Matthew's Fair returns to Prague this weekend

The annual St. Matthew's Fair (Matějská pouť) carnival, now in its 427th year, returns to Prague from today at the city's Exhibition Grounds in Holešovice and will run through April 18. The carnival is open from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and can be accessed through a front gate on Za Elektrárnou street; admission is 30 crowns on weekends and free on weekdays, with an additional charge for the rides.

Compared to previous years, rides will be slightly more expensive, reaching 130 crowns for selected attractions. The size of the carnival has also been reduced due to reconstruction of the surrounding area at the Exhibition Grounds. On Monday, March 21, organizers will offer free rides for Ukrainian refugees as well as children with disabilities and those from local children's homes.

Money Czech crown hits 18-month low versus dollar

The Czech crown strengthened against the euro heading into this weekend but has hit an 18-month low against the dollar, according to data from Patria Online. Czech currency now trades for 25.69 crowns against one euro and 23.53 crowns against one dollar, the weakest it has been since July 2020. The Czech National Bank announced on Friday that it would intervene in the foreign exchange market due to the depreciation of the crown.

The crown has been weakening against other major currencies over the past two weeks following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and related matters. Since February 21, the crown has weakened by 1.3 crowns per euro and by about 2 crowns per dollar. The Prague Stock Exchange has also seen a significant decline over recent days.

Food Prague's Manifesto Market to open Berlin location

Prague-based Manifesto Market will open its first location outside of the Czech Republic later this year. A new location will open in Berlin's Potsdamer Platz to go along with major renovations set to revive an area of more than 4,000 square meters, and will be Manifesto's biggest project to date following multiple locations in Prague. The new two-story location will feature 25 restaurants, two bars, and accommodate more than 750 patrons.

"We are working on an ambitious transformation and an attractive mix that the location will offer," says Karl L. Wambach, Executive Vice President for Europe at Brookfield Properties, the company responsible for the renovations. "We are confident that Manifesto Market will be a great enrichment of the ecosystem of activities around Potsdamer Platz.”

Film Czech Lion Awards to be presented today in Prague

The annual Czech Lion Awards, honoring the best Czech films, performers, and filmmakers of the past year, will be presented at Prague's Rudolfinum by the Czech Film and Television Academy on Saturday evening. The evening show will be dedicated to current events in Ukraine, and TV viewers will be able to donate to the People in Need charity during the broadcast.

Zátopek, a biopic about Czech Olympic runner Emil Zátopek from director David Ondříček, and Occupation, a drama set during the years after the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia from debut director Michal Nohejl, both received 13 nominations for Czech Lion awards. Olma Omerzu's family drama Bird Atlas received nine nominations, and Jan Prušinovsky's romantic drama Emma in Love eight.

Language Czech translators are underpaid, according to new survey

According to a new survey conducted by the Czech Translators of the North Association, the economic viability of working as a literary translator in the Czech Republic is unsustainable in the long-term. Wages for translators have grown five times less than other professions over the past twenty years, the survey has found.

In addition, translators are often not paid, or only paid in part, until after the book they have translated is published, something they have no control over. The Czech Translators of the North Association is an independent, voluntary organization started in 2018. The results of their survey in full, in both Czech and English, can be found through this link.

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