Czechia faces up to CZK 2 billion in EU fines over unpassed laws

Plus: Fiala and Israeli president discussed cooperation, unemployment in June fell to 3.1 percent, tick warning in effect across Czechia, and more. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 11.07.2022 16:32:00 (updated on 12.07.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

Laws Czechia faces up to CZK 2 billion in EU fines over unpassed laws

The European Commission (EC) has launched 19 proceedings against the Czech Republic over its failure to transpose European directives into Czech legislation by the set deadlines. The country faces financial penalties due to it, Czech Minister for Legislation Michal Šalomoun said. At the end of last year, when the current five-party government of Petr Fiala replaced the government of the ANO movement and Social Democrats led by Andrej Babiš, Czechia failed to transpose 36 European regulations. Šalomoun said if all the penalties had to be paid, it would be CZK 2 billion. He said the government transposed 14 directives into Czech law, and so the number of unapproved rules dropped to 22, but deadlines for other directives have already expired in the meantime, he said.

Politics Fiala and Israeli president discussed cooperation

Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Israeli President Isaac Herzog discussed the development of bilateral relations in defense, trade, and research, and agreed on an intergovernmental meeting to be held soon, the government stated in a summary. Herzog also invited Fiala to a visit to Israel, the government added. Fiala and Herzog also touched on cooperation in transport. Jerusalem is developing its tram network and Czech firms may offer their expertise in this area. Fiala and Herzog reached a consensus on strengthening relations between the European Union and Israel. Fiala assured Herzog that during the EU presidency, the Czech government planned to focus on the fight against anti-Semitism and education about the Holocaust.

Environment Czech presidency starts talks on EU climate package

The Czech EU presidency launched negotiations with the European Parliament and European Commission about the first regulations from the climate package for the EU to fulfill its emission goals for 2030, Czech Environment Minister Anna Hubáčková said. EP Environment Committee chair Pascal Canfin said he would like to close the talks on all climate regulations by the end of this year. MEPs and the EU member states agreed on their positions on more than a dozen motions including the reform of the emissions market. The Czech Republic considers the completion of negotiations about the final form of the regulations one of the main priorities of its EU presidency.

Jobs Unemployment in June fell to 3.1 percent

Unemployment in the Czech Republic fell again by a tenth of a percentage point to 3.1 percent in June month on month. There were 231,309 people registered at the labor offices at the end of the month, 4,159 fewer than in May. Employers offered more than 319,000 vacancies, their number decreased by roughly 18,000 since the end of May, according to the Czech Labor Office. Last June, unemployment was 3.7 percent. There is still a high demand for employees in the manufacturing industry, but seasonal activities also affect the labor market. This applies in particular to construction, agriculture, forestry, fishing, animal and food production, but also tourism, hospitality, sales, and services.  

Health Tick warning in effect across Czechia

 Tick activity is high across all of the Czech Republic, and the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMÚ) has issued a warning indicating a high level of danger. People should exercise caution in nature areas and forests by covering their extremities and using repellents. Ticks that attach themselves should be removed immediately. People should also inspect their pets. Ticks can carry a number of serious diseases including Lyme disease.  The European Centre for Disease Control has guidelines for dealing with ticks.

Politics Russian reform group to meet in Prague

A meeting of the Russian opposition group Free Nations of Russia Forum will be held in Prague on July 24–24 to discuss reforming Russia to the benefit of its individual nations and regions, the organizers said. The first meeting of the Free Nations of Russia Forum took place in Warsaw in May. Organizers say Russia will always be an aggressive empire, even if a liberal person came to the Kremlin, in its current form. The Forum brings together politicians, representatives of regional and national movements, civic activists, and various experts.

July 11, 2022

Politics Zeman apologies to Israeli president for Foreign Ministry’s stand

Czech President Miloš Zeman, who met his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog in Prague today, apologized at a press conference for Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský's position on a recent report on Israel issued by a committee of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). It wrote that the main cause of the tension between Israel and Palestine is the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories, and called for an end to the occupation. Lipavský was criticized for not condemning the report. Zeman said he and Herzog condemned the resolution at their talks today. Herzog also gave the Presidential Medal of Honor, Israel's highest civil award, to Zeman for his long-term support.

Finance Zeman signs merciful summer law on debt repayment

Some debtors in foreclosure will get another chance to pay off the money they owe without interest or penalties, as President Miloš Zeman signed the relevant legislation. The second ‘merciful summer’ will last three months starting in September. People will be able to discharge debts owed to municipalities, offices, state funds, schools, municipal or state and semi-state companies, health insurance companies, Czech Radio, or Czech Television. The bill concerns executions that began before last Oct. 28. The debtor will have to inform the executor in writing that they are requesting the grace period. They will be able to request information on the amount owed, which they still have to pay, but without interest or penalty.

Animals Three zebras escape from Jihlava Zoo

Three zebras escaped from the Jihlava Zoo this morning. It was apparently caused by human error. Keepers have reached the zebras and are trying to calm them down with sedatives so they can transport the timid animals back to the zoo. According to news server, the police also got involved in the search for the escaped zebras. At about 2 p.m., the mare and foal were located near the Motorpal headquarters and the stallion was near a school in Demlova Street. Once they are sedated, they can be put in cages and returned to the zoo.  

Phones EU accepts proposals from Czech operators for improved competition

EU regulators have accepted proposals from the main mobile operators in Czechia that should improve competition and result in better services, especially in rural areas. The European Commission has made commitments offered by T-Mobile CZ, CETIN, and O2 CZ, as well as their parent companies, legally binding under EU antitrust rules. The companies now must ensure that their network sharing agreements do not reduce infrastructure competition. Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of EU competition policy, said the previous arrangement did not strike the right balance. The new rules will remove technical and financial obstacles, resulting in a benefit for all Czech mobile users.

Crime Crime rate drops again in 2021

The number of criminal proceedings launched against individuals in 2021 fell by about 13,000 to 169,006 year-on-year, prosecutions started in 64,364 cases, and charges were brought against 59,248 people along with 286 firms, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office (NSZ) said in its annual report. The coronavirus pandemic was partly behind the continuing crime rate decrease. It also fell in 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. Another factor that influenced 2021's crime rate is the amended Penal Code, which took effect in October 2020. It raised the level of minimal damage in property crimes from CZK 5,000 to CZK 10,000.

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