Eurozone record high inflation widens recession risk

Plus: Chief of intelligence service steps down, Russia halts Nord Stream 1 supplies, and more Aug. 31, 2022, headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 30.08.2022 17:09:00 (updated on 31.08.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

August 31, 2022

ECONOMY Eurozone inflation breaks another record

The inflation rate in the Eurozone broke another record in August, heralding a string of big interest rate hikes even as a painful recession appears increasingly certain. The year-on-year growth rate of consumer prices accelerated to 9.1 percent from July's 8.9 percent. 

Driven by expensive gas and a devastating drought, consumer prices jumped more than expected in August and further rises are already in the pipeline, suggesting more pain for households and businesses as they burn through their cash reserves. "The inflation rate is likely to leap upward in September," Commerzbank economist Christoph Weil said. "Consequently, the pressure on the ECB to continue raising interest rates significantly is likely to remain high."

work Unions demand 15 percent more for teachers' wages

The school workers' trade union wants the state to spend 15 percent more on the wages of teachers and non-teaching school professionals next year. A 15-percent increase corresponds to CZK 18 billion. "Our goal is to add the biggest possible part of it to base pay. We will start negotiations about it," union deputy chairwoman Markéta Seidlová said.

If the wages rose by 15 percent, the average gross wage of teachers would reach CZK 52,710 next year and correspond to 122 percent of the expected average wage in Czechia. This year, teachers' average wage is CZK 45,835, which is 113 percent of the national average wage, the union said, citing the government policy statement based on which the teachers' average wage should reach 130 percent of the national average.

government Chief of intelligence service steps down

The head of the Czech foreign intelligence service (ÚZSI) Petr Mlejnek resigned from his post. He confirmed this to news server Lidovky.cz, but did not comment further. Some MPs, both from the opposition and from the government coalition Pirates, called for Mlejnek's replacement because of his contacts with businessman Michal Redl, who is accused in the Dozimetr corruption case. 

The affair surrounding Mlejnek is also one of the reasons why the opposition movements ANO and SPD submitted an initiative to convene a parliamentary meeting to express no confidence in the government.

tragedy Czech leaders praise Gorbachev's contribution to communism fall

Czech politicians called former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev a great personality of the 20th century who contributed to the collapse of communism. Gorbachev died in Moscow late on Tuesday, Aug. 30, aged 91. Prime Minister Petr Fiala recalled that Gorbachev's policy contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Gorbachev was inspired by the Prague Spring communist reform movement in 1968. He gave the hope of freedom to people in the Soviet Union, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský.

energy Russia halts Nord Stream 1 supplies

Russia has cut off supplies through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which is the main route for transporting Russian natural gas to the European Union. The announced shutdown is expected to last until Saturday morning. Russian gas company Gazprom said about two weeks ago that the only remaining compressor station needed maintenance.

August 30, 2022

economy Energy prices in Europe falling sharply

European energy prices fell sharply on Tuesday, following the EU's strategy of short-term intervention in the market to ease an energy crisis. The wholesale price of electricity for the German market for delivery next year, which is key for Europe, fell by as much as 26 percent in the morning and Dutch gas by 11 percent, Bloomberg reported. On Monday, the price of German electricity exceeded EUR 1,000 (roughly CZK 24,600) per megawatt-hour for the first time.

corruption One accused in DPP corruption case released from custody

Matej Augustín, a former board member of the Prague Transport Company (DPP), was released from custody on Monday. It was reported today by the Seznam Správy server. The man is one of the accused in a large-scale case of alleged corruption in the DPP, which also includes the former deputy mayor for STAN, Petr Hlubuček. 

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According to Novinky.cz, Hlubuček could also be released after posting bail. Businessmen Michal Redl, Pavel Kos, and Zakaria Nemrah are also being prosecuted in the case.

FIRE Police officers awarded for fighting Hřensko fire

Police President Martin Vondrášek praised three dozen police officers from the Aviation Service as well as the Ústí and Prague directorates for their deployment during the fire in Hřensko. He presented the award together with the first deputy Tomáš Lerch.

ukraine Czech ForMin assured Ukrainian counterpart of support

Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský met his Ukrainian counterpart and assured him of the continuing Czech support for Ukraine facing the Russian invasion, before the informal summit of the EU countries' diplomacy heads in Prague today, Lipavský has tweeted.

He tweeted later that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had decorated him with the Order of Merit. "This means the acknowledgment of the entire Czech diplomacy that stands side by side with Ukraine and supports this European country in its defense against Putin's barbarian war. It is defending us, too," Lipavský wrote.

Culture This year's Venice Film Festival has a strong Czech presence

The Venice Film Festival, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, has a strong Czech presence this year. Two films were created in the Czech co-production, which will be presented in the Horizons section. These are the film Victim by the Slovak director Michal Blašek and the film Obzor by the Romanian filmmaker Mihai Mincan. 

In the Venezia Classici category, which is dedicated to restored films, the film Ucho by Karel Kachyna from 1970 will be screened. The Czech animated film Tmání was included in the Venice Immersive section, which includes works using elements of virtual reality, and the Giornate degli Autori show will present the film Common Failure by the Romanian-Hungarian artist Cristina Grosanová, for which the Czech writer Klára Vlasáková wrote the script.

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