Czechia records largest drop in real wages in nearly three decades

Plus: ANO polling ahead of ODS, Imagine Dragons salute Ukraine in Prague, Constitutional Court rejects Charles Bridge graffiti case appeal. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 06.06.2022 16:55:00 (updated on 07.06.2022) Reading time: 7 minutes

June 7, 2022

Economy Czech real average wage drops 3.6 percent due to inflation

In the first quarter of 2022, the average gross monthly full-time wage in Czechia reached CZK 37,929, according to the Czech Statistical Office (CSÚ). This was an increase of 7.2 percent year on year, but due to consumer prices rising by 11.2 percent, wages fell in real terms by 3.6 percent. Wages rose the most in the financial and insurance sector, up 15.9 percent, real estate activities, up 13.9 percent, and accommodation and food service, up 11.2 percent. Prague has the highest average wage in Czechia, at CZK 48,498. Lukáš Kovanda, chief economist at Trinity Bank, in mid-May said that Czechia was experiencing its largest decline in living standards since the start of the country in 1993 due to the gap between wage increases and inflation.

Crime Constitutional Court rejects appeal in Charles Bridge graffiti case

The Czech Constitutional Court rejected the appeal of German tourist Benjamin Wittig who got a one-year suspended sentence, a CZK 100,000 fine, and a five-year expulsion from Czechia for spraying graffiti on Charles Bridge in Prague in 2019. Wittig complained about the media coverage of the incident, which he claimed influenced the original verdict. The Czech Supreme Court previously rejected Wittig's appellate review. Wittig and his brother Niclas Steiger were arrested in mid-July 2019 after having sprayed a five-meter-long and two-meter letters on one of the pillars of Charles Bridge. Steiger admitted having sprayed on the bridge and accepted the sentence.

Politics Czech and Hungarian presidents to meet at Prague Castle today

President Miloš Zeman will receive the new Hungarian President Katalin Nováková at Prague Castle today. A longtime member of the ruling Fidesz party, Nováková has a reputation as a loyal supporter of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Nováková will arrive in Prague this morning accompanied by her husband and will be welcomed at Prague Castle with military honors. She is expected to discuss the state of the Visegrad four with Zeman as well as the ongoing Russian invasion. On Wednesday, Nováková plans to hold talks with Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS).

Elections ANO leading general election polls ahead of ODS

The opposition ANO movement of former prime minister Andrej Babiš would win a general election in Czechia in May with 28.5 percent of the vote, followed by the Civic Democrats (ODS) with 16.5 percent and Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) with 11.5 percent, according to the latest survey by polling agency Median. Fewer than half of the people approached by the pollsters are uncertain about voting and which candidate they'd vote for. A third of those polled say they'd vote but aren't decided on the party. Almost one in seven people is uncertain about their attendance and preferences.

Innovation High-speed train kicks off Czech tour in Prague

A legendary French high-speed TGV train from the 1980s passed through the Czech Republic yesterday and is on display in Brno until June 9 as part of Rail Business Days. It will then be in Jihlava on June 10 and Ústí nad Labem on June 11. Hundreds of people waited to see it pass through Prague’s Hlavní nádraží yesterday. According to Transport Minister Martin Kupka, the aim of the TGV presentation in the Czech Republic is to convince people of the advantages of building high-speed railways, which are still being talked about and the preparation is still in the beginning.  

Culture Imagine Dragons frontman waves Ukrainian flag in Prague

American singer Dan Reynolds was seen holding a Ukrainian flag in the air while on stage during an Imagine Dragons concert in Prague. Reynolds received a Ukrainian flag from an audience member before holding it in the air and declaring, “Peace, love, and equality for all!” Reynolds continued performing the band’s song ‘Walking the Wire’ before throwing the flag back into the crowd. The singer showed support to the war-torn country during the band's first show in the Czech capital on June 5; on Monday a second show took place to sold crowds at Prague’s Letnany Airport. The band appeared in Prague as part of its ‘Mercury’ tour.

Accident Man seriously injured at Opatov station

A 21-year-old man fell under a train at the Opatov metro station in Prague on Monday evening and was seriously injured. Service on the Metro line C stopped for over an hour from 9 pm to 10:15 pm between the Kačerov and Háje stations. Rescuers put the injured person in an artificial coma. He was transported to the University Hospital Vinohrady (FNKV) with injuries to his chest, pelvis, and lower leg, the Emergency Rescue Service said on Twitter.

Weather A cold front will cross Czechia today

A cold front will cross the Czechia on Tuesday. Precipitation will occur in most areas. The highest temperatures will reach 16°C to 21°C in Bohemia and up to 26°C in Moravia and Silesia, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. Precipitation will decrease in the afternoon and evening. Tuesday night to Wednesday morning will be cloudy to overcast, with the lowest temperatures around 16°C to 12°C, and lower in the west and northwest of Bohemia. Wednesday will see cloudy to partly cloudy skies with possible morning fog.

June 6, 2022

CORRUPTION Two Agrofert firms should return 4.6 million subsidies

Two firms from the Czech Agrofert holding, previously owned by former prime minister Andrej Babiš, should return over CZK 4.6 million from the subsidies they have received, the server wrote today. The Finance Ministry checks found errors in six projects of two firms from the holding and has filed a criminal complaint about the examiner who reviewed the requests on account of the wrongly granted subsidies.

The server has at its disposal a letter of the Czech authorities to Brussels over the audit inspecting Babiš's suspected conflict of interest. The check of 11 subsidies received by Agrofert group firms was demanded by the European Commission because the check of all projects regarding its firm did not take place within the audit.

metro Prague could take a loan from EIB for metro D line construction

Prague will be able to take out a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the amount of approximately CZK 22.76 billion for the construction of the D metro from Pankrác to Písnice, writes Ekonomický deník. The capital will be able to defer payments for eight years and repay the principal for up to 40 years. The loan can be drawn in crowns or euros, and if they choose the euro, the interest rate will be set at less than two percent. The bank will provide the loan without the need for collateral, and it will cover about half of the total cost of subway construction. The loan has yet to be discussed and approved by representatives of the capital.

economy EU suspends import duties on Ukrainian goods

The European Union suspends import duties on Ukrainian agricultural and food products for one year from today, as reported by České noviny. The measure will also affect fruit and vegetables and industrial products imported from Ukraine into the EU. The regulation was published in the Official Journal of the EU on Friday. The Union wants to support the Ukrainian economy, which is facing the consequences of the Russian military invasion.

In addition to the abolition of import duties, the EU is also taking measures to facilitate the transport of goods between the EU and Ukraine, including through so-called solidarity routes. Their goal is to replace Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea blocked by the Russian army with new safe corridors for the transport of cereals from Ukraine.

real estate Flat construction on the rise in Czechia

In 2021, 34,581 new flats were completed in the Czech Republic, which is half a percent more than the year before. Last year, 118 billion crowns went to the construction of new flats, eight percent more year-on-year. The average size of living and usable space remained the same, but the costs of building a square meter in both of these areas increased. The builders completed most of the apartments in family houses (55 percent) and a third in apartment houses. The data were published today by the Czech Statistical Office (CSO).

Brno Police stops a car with children behind the wheel

The municipal police in Brno stopped a car with children heading down the road. The unlicensed drivers were reportedly heading for a swim at the Brno dam. 

DISINFORMATION Shutdown of disinformation websites only temporary solution

The Czech government called on NGOs and businesses to switch off disinformation websites, but it is well aware of the fact that it was only a temporary solution, PM Petr Fiala wrote today in reaction to a question raised by ANO opposition MP Patrik Nacher. The opposition MP pointed to the shutdown of various websites and argued that it was not clear how and according to what criteria the servers were temporarily switched off.

On May 25, the CZ.NIC Czech internet association unblocked seven disinformation websites after it had shut them down on February 25 in reaction to Russia's attack on Ukraine, as the webs do not pose any threat now, the association wrote. The shutdown of the servers Russia Today and Sputnik was ordered by the European Council, Fiala wrote.

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