Today's headlines: Daily news refresh for Czechia

The country's top news in brief for the week of Oct. 31–Nov. 4, 2022.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 31.10.2022 07:00:00 (updated on 04.11.2022) Reading time: 22 minutes

Nov. 4, 2022

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Czechia facing unprecedented number of cyberattacks

Czechia faced an unusually high amount of cyberattacks in October, according to a statement by the National Office for Cyber ​​and Information Security (NÚKIB) earlier, as reported in Novinky.cz. Government websites are particularly at risk.

There were more DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks targeted at Czechia in October than in the nine preceding months combined, NÚKIB Director Lukáš Kintra said.

The incident comes amid news that Russian web attackers crashed three of the top five US airport websites in October, according to cybernews.com.

AGENCY PROPERTIES

Apartment for rent, 3+1 - 2 bedrooms, 114m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 3+1 - 2 bedrooms, 114m2

Jana Masaryka, Praha 2 - Vinohrady

Villa for rent, 741m<sup>2</sup>, 881m<sup>2</sup> of land

Villa for rent, 741m2, 881m2 of land

Juárezova, Praha 6 - Bubeneč

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 81m<sup>2</sup>

Apartment for rent, 3+kk - 2 bedrooms, 81m2

Na Radosti, Praha 5 - Třebonice

BANKING Two top Czech banks register strong profits

The net profit of one of the country’s largest banks, Komerční banka (KB), increased in the first three quarters of this year by 51.1 percent annually, to CZK 12.9 billion, Seznam Zprávy reports. The largest domestic bank, Česká spořitelna, also reported a rise in earnings, by 40 percent, to CZK 15 billion.

KB’s client base also grew by about 28,000 from the year-earlier period. KB paid CZK 2.8 billion to the state in tax last year. The government wants to introduce a tax on exceptional profits for some companies, including banks, to cover the current energy crisis.

DIPLOMACY Czech embassy in Berlin may move due to high expenses

High regional energy prices in Germany are casting doubt over the current building of the Czech Embassy in Berlin, ČTK reports. The allocated money to operate the embassy is not enough, and a new location may have to be found. 

"We are solving very significant problems related to high energy prices. It's not just Prague, we have the same problems abroad," said State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Radek Rubeš.

In October, German consumer price inflation registered 10.4 percent year on year, according to the Federal Statistical Office.

ECONOMY Czech National Bank downgrades growth forecast

The Czech National Bank (CNB) has worsened its economic forecast for next year. The updated forecast now predicts annual GDP growth of 2.2 percent in 2022 and 0.7 next year. The prior forecast – made in August – anticipated 2.3 percent growth this year and 1.1 percent in 2023.

"We expect that domestic demand will decrease [and] household consumption will be hit by a drop in real incomes," CNB Governor Aleš Michl said in a press conference.

Czechia registered 3.3 percent GDP growth in 2021 and a contraction of 5.8 percent in 2020, according to World Bank data.

DIPLOMACY Government warns against travel to Iran

Due to the worsening security situation in Iran, the Czech Foreign Ministry recommends traveling to the country only in absolutely necessary cases, ČTK reports.

The alert comes amid frequent mass protests in the country and police violence. The Czech government also warns against traveling to Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan, among other places in the area.

Over 300 protesters have been killed and thousands arrested since the unrest began, as ABC News reports.

"It is highly recommended to avoid mass gatherings and not to take pictures of government buildings and other sensitive objects," the ministry added.

POLITICS Czech president vetoes state budget change

President Miloš Zeman yesterday vetoed a proposed amendment to the 2022 state budget, the presidency’s website reported. He had been unhappy with lower revenues, owing to a lack of change in the income tax law. He calls for a changed income tax law that would yield more money for the state.

"The reason for my veto is the fact that the revenue side of the budget is lower than it could be if the proposed amendment to the law on the state budget for 2022 was preceded by an amendment to the law on income taxes,” he said yesterday.

IMMIGRATION Czech interior minister: Western Balkans must change visa policies

Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan urged at an inter-governmental meeting in Albania yesterday West Balkan states to harmonize their visa policies with those of the EU, according to a press release from the Interior Ministry.

The EU is currently experiencing high inflows of illegal immigrants from Turkey and other Asian countries. Europe-bound migrants are using the Western Balkans corridor as a way to travel into the EU, owing to those countries’ relaxed visa policies.

Serbia, which shares visa-free arrangements with India and Tunisia, last month agreed to collaborate with the EU to alleviate the problem.

Nov. 3, 2022

ECONOMY Czechia unemployment rate falls, remains lowest in EU

Newly released data from Eurostat shows that Czechia still has the lowest unemployment rate in the whole EU, at 2.2 percent in September. This marks a decline from August, when it had registered 2.4 percent.

Ten years ago this figure was significantly higher, at 6.7 percent in 2011, according to the Czech Statistical Office.

Average EU unemployment stands at 6.6 percent, a slight decline from the previous month. In absolute terms, almost 13 million people across the EU are jobless. Spain and Greece recorded the highest unemployment rate in September, at 12.7 percent and 11.8 percent respectively.

Czechia has historically had low unemployment due to large volumes of vacancies from factory jobs and historically favorable tax exemptions for large businesses.

RUSSIA Czech parliament: current Russian government is "terrorist"

In a resolution passed in the Czech Chamber of Deputies today, the current government of Russian President Vladimir Putin was officially recognized as being “terrorist”, ČTK reports.

The Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament passed the ruling today: 12 out of 14 members voted for it.

"In harmony with a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the foreign committee denotes the current Russian regime as terrorist," the fourth point of the resolution said.

The committee also supports the efforts of Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský to set up a special European tribunal to prosecute war criminals.

ACCIDENT Bus full of Czech tourists crashes in Slovakia, injures nine

A bus carrying Czech tourists has crashed near Dunajská Streda, southern Slovakia, according to Slovakian police. A total of 50 people were on board, nine of whom sustained varying degrees of injuries.

Three people were seriously harmed and have been transported to hospital, iDnes.cz reports. The vast majority of the bus’s passengers were senior citizens, according to Public Radio and Television of Slovakia. A rescue helicopter arrived on the scene, as well as support from neighboring areas. 

"For reasons not yet determined, the bus crashed sideways into the trees on the side of the road," said Slovak firefighters on Facebook. 

ENEGRY Fuel prices decrease marginally, remain high

The price of fuel in Czechia fell marginally this week compared to seven days ago, according to ČTK, but still remains considerably higher than the year-earlier level.

The best-selling Natural 95 gasoline fell by almost half a crown from last week’s price, to an average of CZK 42.39 CZK per liter. The price for diesel decreased by 26 hellers (100 of which make up one Czech crown), to CZK 47.08 per liter.

Around this period last year, however, drivers paid CZK 5 less for gasoline per liter, and diesel was CZK 11 cheaper.

In the coming weeks, analysts anticipate more price reductions. "Gasoline could get closer to the 40 CZK mark per liter and diesel close to 45 CZK per liter," says Petr Lejsek, an analyst of Czech finance broker Purple Trading, as reported in ČTK.

WEATHER Prague registers one of warmest Octobers since records began

The average temperature throughout October in Prague’s Klementinum building was 13 degrees Celsius – in the top 4 percent of warmest-recorded temperatures since measurements began, the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute reported today.

Prague’s center this October was 2 degrees Celsius higher than average temperatures recorded from 1991 to 2020. The second half of October, which was atypically warm in Czechia this year, had on average the third-warmest temperature for this period since 1775. The only times it was warmer had been in 2013 and 1795.

Several daily records were broken towards the end of October around the country. For example, the warmest Oct. 30 was registered in 86 of Czechia’s weather stations, with temperatures having risen to above 26 degrees Celsius in South Bohemia.

DEATH Worker dies in Czech mine

A Polish miner tragically died in a Czech coal mine in North Moravia yesterday, ČTK reports. The death is thought to be caused by an apparatus that was used, according to the spokesperson of the firm that owned the mine, OKD. Police, trade unions, and OKD management are dealing with the exact cause of the fatality.

This is the second death in an OKD coal mine this year. In March, a miner died in a cave-in. In the late 20th century, as many as ten people died in OKD mines a year in Czechia.

The vast majority of mines in the country have been closed, due to low profitability.

Experts say that miners still face a risk today: underground tremors that threaten miners' lives are ultimately omnipresent.

HEALTH Government to earmark CZK 1 billion for vaccines in 2023

The Ministry of Health is planning to earmark CZK 1 billion for vaccines against Covid-19 in the 2023 budget. The government intends to set aside CZK 160 million for the operation of “Smart Quarantine,” a system that searches more efficiently for people who could be infected with the virus, and tracks infected people’s movements. It also eases the process of vaccinating civilians.

Some cuts will be made at regional hygiene stations, where 134 jobs will end. In 2021, the state budgeted considerably more on vaccines – around CZK 6.1 billion.

According to Deputy Minister of Health Helena Rögnerová, the ministry expected more money to be provided from health insurance companies, which provide the state money for the vaccines. 

Nov. 2, 2022

UKRAINE New help center for Ukrainians to open in Prague

A new support center will open for Ukrainian refugees to help with financial, housing, or education problems, Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib announced today, as reported by ČTK.

The current Regional Center for Help and Assistance to Ukraine (KACPU), which helps an estimated 200 to 300 people daily, will continue operations as normal. The proposed new center will work in conjunction with the current KACPU and in the same building, in Prague 9.

The capital will finance the facility from the CZK 333 million it received from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to solve the refugee crisis.

The government expects the center to open in late November or early December. Since February, over 450,000 visas have been issued to fleeing Ukrainians in Czechia.

ENERGY Energy-price cap will also apply to state enterprises

Government-regulated capped energy prices will also apply to “non-commercial state or municipal enterprises,” ČT24 reports. The price ceiling, set at 6 crowns per kilowatt hour of electricity and 3 crowns for gas, previously had applied only to households, and small- and medium-sized companies.

Technical services, urban transport companies, and cultural centers are examples of businesses that the cap will now apply to. Such companies must be owned by the state or “territorial self-governing units” without a commercial purpose – such as hospitals. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MPO) also drew up plans today to offer a subsidy for large companies’ rising energy costs. The state plans to distribute up to CZK 30 billion for firms without capped electricity and gas prices.

COMMUNICATION Government changes rule on data boxes

The government plans to cancel a previous decision to automatically create data boxes for people (an electronic inbox that enables communication with public authorities), ČTK reports.

Originally, data boxes (or "datové schránky") were planned to be created for every individual who logged in to a government digital service from 2023. Their establishment will instead be completely voluntary.

Self-employed people, however, are still required to set up and use a data box from next year. They have until March 2023 to ensure this. Authorities and legal entities are also still required to use the data boxes, of which there are about 1.6 million currently in use.

A data box aims to ensure that citizens won’t have to repeatedly provide the same data to state institutions. Communication with courts and filing of tax returns are examples of things that can be done using the online portal.

DIPLOMACY Czech embassy in Afghanistan to close

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Lipavský, the Czech embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, will cease operations from the start of 2023. Lipavský announced the plans to the government today, as reported by ČTK.

The embassy had been temporarily closed since September 2021. The reason for its closure had been security concerns amid the Taliban seizing power in the area in August of last year.

The government holds the view that there will be no near-term improvements in the security situation. The Czech embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital, will act as the nearest source of support. Humanitarian aid sent to Afghanistan will continue, and will be provided by Czech non-governmental organizations operating in the region.

POLITICS Andrej Babiš gets support of his party for presidential election

Opposition ANO leader and former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has received the support of 56 ANO members of parliament in his presidential bid, which he announced Sunday, spokesperson for the party Martin Vodička told ČTK today.

A candidate needs at least 20 signatures from the Chamber of Deputies to be able to run for president, which he now has. 

Some discord exists within ANO ranks. Earlier this week, ANO deputy chairman and Moravia-Silesia Region Governor Ivo Vondrák said that only a “small group” within the party makes the most important decisions, referring to Babiš, former Deputy Prime Minister Karel Havlíček and former Minister of Finance Alena Schillerová, as written in Seznam Zprávy.

POLITICS Presidential candidate Danuše Nerudová gets 100,000 signatures

Danuše Nerudová, a Czech economist and former head of Mendel University in Brno, is eligible for the 2023 presidential election. Today she announced that she acquired over 100,000 signatures from the public, 82,000 of which have been submitted to the Ministry of Interior for approval.

Czech law dictates that potential presidential candidates must collect at least 50,000 signatures from the public to be able to run for office (or alternatively obtain signatures from Czech members of government). 

Nerudová is currently third favorite to win the presidential election in public opinion polls. A survey released in mid-October by Median polling agency put retired army general Petr Pavel as favorite with 24 percent of the vote, followed by former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with 23.5 percent. Nerudová received 10 percent support.

SPORTS Czech Republic to get name change in sports sphere

Sports athletes representing the country on the international stage will now wear shirts and clothing with the word “Česko” (Czechia in English) displayed, rather than the currently used “Czech Republic," ČTK reports.

The Czech Olympic Committee will request the International Olympic Committee to register the new name in the international sports database.

The name change follows a past diplomatic decision for the country to be represented as "Czechia" in inter-governmental organizations such as the UN or NATO.

The nation’s athletes could begin formally using the new name at the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The national ice hockey, football, and basketball teams already use the one-word version of the name.

SECURITY More cyberattacks target Czechia

The National Office for Cyber ​​and Information Security (NÚKIB) has warned of the increased risk of so-called DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks against Czechia. According to the office, a “significant increase” in the number of such attacks against the country has been reported, the organization announced on its website yesterday.

"In the last month, among other things in the context of the geopolitical situation in Eastern Europe, we have registered a significant increase in the number of attacks of this type in the Czech Republic," NÚKIB said.

China and Russia were last month pinpointed by the Czech Security Information Service as being dangers to the cybersecurity of Czechia.

Politics Fiala: I would not pardon Babiš

Prime Minister Petr Fiala told journalists yesterday that he would not co-sign a presidential pardon that would protect former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš from being charged in the ongoing Stork’s Nest subsidy-fraud case, as reported in Novinky.cz.

The president of Czechia is able to issue pardons to people either prosecuted or in the process of a legal trial, before any judgment is made.

Babiš, however, states that he does not need any pardons. "I am convinced that the court will not convict me. I rejected the abolition from the president in the past, I don't count on any intervention by the president even now, it won't be necessary," said the head of ANO on Monday.

Fiala tweeted earlier this week his belief that Babiš is seeking immunity from any potential guilty verdict by trying to become president.

Nov. 1, 2022

POLITICS Czechia gets temporary new Minister of Environment

From today Deputy Prime Minister Marian Jurečka will temporarily head the Ministry of Environment, following the resignation of Anna Hubáčková on health grounds, iDnes.cz reports.

The suggested new Minister of Environment is Petr Hladík (who along with Jurečka is part of the KDU-ČSL party that is in government), although his appointment has been postponed due to ongoing police questioning into his knowledge about a subsidy-fraud case relating to the privatization of municipal flats in Brno.

Jurečka estimates that he will be in charge of the position for about 4 weeks, until Hladík’s case is resolved.

ENVRIONMENT Lány park warns of culling one third of its animals

The Lány Forestry Administration stated earlier that, due to government cuts to its funding, it will need to cull one third of its animals, Novinky.cz reports. The reserve, which is based in Kladno (west of Prague) currently has about 1,300 wild animals, including deer and wild boar.

In 2021, the forest administration’s budget was reduced by CZK 30 million. In a letter sent to the government, Deputy Director of the Lány Forestry Administration Ivana Pokorná states that current members of management had been unaware of budgetary changes.

Outgoing Director of the Lány Forestry Administration Miloš Balák was convicted earlier this year of manipulating a public contract, before President Miloš Zeman pardoned him. This was the government's reasoning behind the CZK 30 million reduction in funding.

"In the current situation, it is impossible to provide such a large amount of game with food for the winter. Therefore, we must reduce the number of farmed game," stated Pokorná.

CRIME Woman murdered in Pilsen, suspect detained

A 46-year-old woman was murdered this morning in the Bory region of Pilsen, ČTK reports. A 25-year-old man was soon after arrested in connection with the murder, according to police. 

"A while ago, the police managed to arrest a man in the center of Pilsen who we were looking for in connection with today's crime of murder. The regional criminal investigators are investigating the case," said Hana Reindlová, a spokesperson for the police. 

Today’s killing comes amid a rise in the number of murders in Czechia. It was reported earlier today by ČTK that there were more murders in the January-September period than the whole of 2021.

POLITICS Opposition to reject new Czech Television and Czech Radio law

The opposition movement Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) will use “all legal means” to block the approval of the government amendment on Czech Television (ČT) and Czech Radio (ČRo).

The proposal – being discussed in the Chamber of Deputies today – includes a change in the composition of the council members of both organizations and the way they are elected, Novinky.cz reports. It gives more decision-making power to the Senate.

The government wants to increase the number of council members within ČT, to 18. Under the suggested new rule, 12 would be elected by the House of Representatives and six by the Senate. For ČRo, the number of members would stay the same, but the House of Representatives would elect six, and the Senate select three.

Both opposition movements, ANO and SPD, oppose the amendment. SPD Chairman Tomio Okamura believes that the government wants to regulate public media bodies so that only "pro-Brussels and pro-government opinions” appear in the news and journalism, according to ČTK.

ECONOMY Czech GDP falls quarter on quarter

According to today’s estimate from the Czech Statistical Office (CZSO), Czech GDP fell by 0.4 percent quarter on quarter in July-September. However, on a year-on-year basis, it rose by 1.6 percent.

"The quarter-on-quarter decline was caused by lower domestic demand, especially lower household final consumption spending, which recorded a decline for the fourth quarter in a row. On the contrary, foreign demand had a positive effect, " said Vladimír Kermiet, Director of the National Accounts Department of the CZSO, as reported on its website.

Employment increased by 2 percent in the third quarter from the year-earlier period.

UKRAINE Czech prime minister receives state honor from Ukraine

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has been given the title of Ukraine's Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, following a Czech governmental visit to Kyiv, as written by ČTK.

Former President Václav Havel has received the prize in the past.

Zelenskiy bestowed the award upon Fiala for his contribution to the "development of Czech-Ukrainian relations and cooperation," and for supporting the sovereignty and "territorial integrity" of Ukraine.

"I feel surprised and really moved. I immensely esteem this honor, I view it as an appreciation of the Czech people, the Czech Republic, of the huge support that Ukraine enjoys in our country," Fiala said.

On Oct. 28, the Ukrainian president honored Prague with the title of "City Savior" for its assistance in the war with Russia. The Czech Order of the White Lion, the highest order of the country, was also given to Volodymyr Zelenskiy last week.

Oct. 31, 2022

UKRAINE Czech firms to help with rebuilding of Ukrainian infrastructure

Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka, who was part of a ministerial delegation visiting Ukraine's capital today, has stated the willingness of Czech firms to assist Ukraine in reconstructing damaged and fallen buildings, ČTK reported earlier.

Particular attention was given to the Ukrainian railway system. According to Kupka, many possibilities of development and improvement exist, including in the modernization and acquisition of new locomotives. 

More than 100 Czech firms from different fields and of various specializations are interested in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine, according to the Czech Chamber of Commerce.

SOCIETY Man commits suicide outside government building in Prague

An elderly man committed suicide in front of the main government office in Prague this afternoon, according to Czech police. The man died by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Prague 1. Prague police spokesman Richard Hrdina says that authorities are investigating the motive for the act.

"In front of the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic on the Edvard Beneš embankment, we are dealing with a case where a 74-year-old man apparently committed suicide on the street," the police reported earlier.

Medical assistance arrived to help the man, but he died at the scene. No comment has been issued yet by government authorities. 

POLICE Missing boy found in Czech forest

On the evening of Oct. 29, a two-year-old boy was reported missing to police, prompting a search operation by authorities. The incident occurred in Orlické Mountains, to the north of Czechia.

Led by the STOPA police team (a special police unit) and following the dispatch of a police helicopter, the boy was found a few hours after being reported missing; he had walked about 3.5 kilometers while being lost. He has handed to his parents without any physical injuries.

"The disappearance of a child is always very traumatic for both parents and others involved, and strong emotions are logically transferred to the searching police officers as well,” said the leader of the STOPA team, Libor Haken.

UKRAINE Explosions hit Kyiv ahead of Czech delegation's visit today

A series of explosions rang out in Kyiv, Ukraine, in the early hours of Monday morning, Reuters reported, citing witnesses in the city. Explosions were also announced by regional authorities in the northern, eastern, and central parts of Ukraine, including the cities of Kharkiv, Zaporizhia, and Kryvyi Rih. A joint meeting of the ministers of the Czech and Ukrainian governments is scheduled to take place in the Ukrainian capital today.

Ministers of the Czech government in Kyiv will discuss the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees on Czech territory with their Ukrainian counterparts. Due to the ongoing Russian military invasion of Ukraine, the joint meeting of the two cabinets is accompanied by strict security measures, ČTK reports. 

POLITICS Andrej Babiš announces presidential bid

Former Prime Minister of Czechia (from 2017 to 2021) and leader of the opposition ANO movement Andrej Babiš announced yesterday evening his intention to run for president, ČTK reports. He will today ask for support from his own party.

"When I see how the government doesn't work, how it doesn't help people, how inactive it is, I decided to go for it," said Babiš when discussing his decision. The former prime minister has until Nov. 8 to officially register his bid, which must have the approval of at least 10 senators, 20 deputies, or the signatures of 50,000 citizens.

Presidential polling for the presidential election – the first round for which takes place on Jan. 13 and Jan. 14, 2023 – puts Babiš as the second favorite, behind General Petr Pavel. A survey by polling agency Ipsos released on Oct. 18 found that Pavel had 27.9 percent of the vote share, compared with 23.3 percent for Babiš. The past two months have seen Babiš's popularity in polls decline, and that of Pavel's rise.

Babis’s current embroilment in the Stork's Nest subsidy-fraud case will likely hinder his chances of winning the election. Current Prime Minister Petr Fiala stated yesterday his belief that Babiš is seeking immunity from potential protection via the presidency. He wrote on Twitter that the "Czech Republic does not deserve that."

Czech media commentators and analysts have classed Babiš as a "very strong candidate" that will throw himself into the campaign "aggressively" and without inhibitions, ČTK writes.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR "Tens of thousands" attend anti-war protest in Prague

A mass demonstration took place Sunday afternoon to protest Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Novinky.cz reports. The protest was organized by "Million Moments for Democracy," a Czech protest organization that has previously held demonstrations against former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš during his incumbency.

According to city police, “tens of thousands” of people attended the event, held at Wenceslas Square. A video speech was also given by First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, who reminded participants that “Russia is fighting a light that will never go out,” as written by Novinky.cz.

A poster comparing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler was also on display on one of the podiums in the protest.

"It is time to show that we stand in solidarity with the attacked Ukraine. That we will not let the democratic values ​​that we fought for more than thirty years ago be taken away," said the organizers of the movement.

This demonstration was in contrast with a mass anti-government protest that took place just two days earlier on Oct. 28 (criticizing Czechia's involvement in the Russia-Ukraine conflict). Director of non-profit charity People in Need Šimon Pánek noted that "we shouldn't fall for fear and populists who use their voters to fight against the government, Ukrainians and the EU," as written in TV Nova.

About 80,000 people had attended a protest organized by Million Moments for Democracy on Feb. 27, 2022 in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

IMMIGRATION Almost half a million visas issued to Ukrainian refugees

More than 450,000 temporary protection visas have been granted to Ukrainian refugees since Russia’s widescale invasion of Ukraine in February, according to the Czech Ministry of Interior.

Since the start of the invasion, about 557,500 refugees have been registered by Czechia’s police. However, it is difficult to determine the exact number of refugees in the country at present, as some have returned to Ukraine since arriving in Czechia or have moved to another country.

According to Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka, an estimated 320,00 Ukrainian refugees currently reside in Czechia, as written in Fintag.cz

Over 140,000 Ukrainians received the monthly, state-issued allowance of CZK 5,000 in September. This is a substantial decrease from May, when claimants totaled over 237,000 people.

"From March to Oct. 13, the Labor Office paid out 1,334,608 humanitarian benefits in a total volume of over CZK 7 billion," Kateřina Beránková, a spokesperson for the Labor Office, said this month.

Today, Czechia has taken in the highest amount of Ukrainian refugees in the EU per capita, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

WEATHER More weather records set on warm October day

Temperatures reached above 25 degrees Celsius in some parts of Czechia yesterday, with records for the warmest Oct. 30 in the country being registered in 86 weather stations across Czechia, according to ČTK

The highest temperature in the country was recorded at an impressive 26.2 degrees Celsius in Vimperk, south-west Bohemia.

Very warm and dry air traveling from north-west Africa was the cause for the unprecedented warm weather yesterday, especially in regions in the country with high altitudes, as ascertained by Filip Smola of the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute.

Some areas registered records for the warmest ever day in the whole of October. For example, a temperature of 24.1 degrees Celsius in Měděnec (Ústí nad Labem) yesterday beat the previous record of 22 degrees Celsius, measured 11 years ago. 

Friday and Saturday also saw multiple regional weather records being broken across the country. This week’s weather will be markedly cooler, with maximum daily temperatures ranging from 10 to 18 degrees Celsius. 

SOCIETY National subsistence minimum to be increased

Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka stated over the weekend that the monthly subsistence minimum – defined by the government as “the minimum level of income considered to be necessary to ensure sustenance and other basic personal needs” – will increase by 5 to 6 percent, as written by Deník N.

The subsistence minimum forms the basis of a person’s allowance for state welfare, and is currently at CZK 4,620, having been increased twice this year due to inflation. Child allowance, which at present amounts to CZK 1,110 per month, is planned to be increased by 30 percent in 2023, according to Jurečka. 

Last week, the government passed a bill that increases the monthly mobility allowance (to help the disabled) from CZK 350 to CZK 900. 

"In addition to wider support, we have prepared an aid package aimed directly at those who are now most at risk. Together with the increase of disability pensions and social support benefits, we want to directly help specific groups,” said Jurečka in a party statement this month.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more