The three way forum for discussion between the government, employers and the unions, the Tripartite, dealt with the challenges and opportunities of lithium mining in the Czech Republic on Monday. The Czech Republic is estimated to have around 6 percent of the world’s reserves of the rare metal, which is used in mobile phones and electric cars. The main reserves are in the mountains in the north-west of the country bordering Germany and in the Slavkovsky Les district in the centre of the Karlovy Vary region. One of the government’s main targets is to ensure that mining also results in work further down the line, such as processing and the use of lithium in final products. One of the issues raised was to what extent the state firm Diamo would take part in mapping and mining lithium.
The government has decided to prepare legislation on the so-called shared economy, featuring such businesses as Airbnb and Uber. The move, decided on Monday, follows an analysis of the application of Internet offers to new parts of the economy which highlighted the fact that there is an impact on the traditional economy. Prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that ministries should prepare legislation which could come into force following October’s elections to the lower house of parliament. Airbnb currently offers 15,900 sites for accommodation in the Czech Republic, of which 11,500 are in Prague. The Uber taxi offer has already been challenged in some Czech cities.
Unions and employers have opposed government plans to widen road tolls to main highways as well as motorways. The plan was raised at a meeting with the government on Monday. Transport employers have warned that any increase in transport costs will be passed directly onto consumers. The transport ministry is looking to widen tolls to around 900 kilometres of first class highways. One of the reasons for the move is the ministry’s preparation of a new tender for charging lorries for the use of motorways.
Naturalists say the presence of the golden jackal has been confirmed in the Czech Republic. The confirmation follows photographs taken at a photo trap of a pregnant jackal at the Milovice nature reserve, sited between the town and Benátky nad Jizerou in the north of Bohemia. Sightings of jackal in the area were previously made in 2015 and 2016 but the latest proof, backed up by photos from a naturalist working in the area, has been judged to be definitive confirmation that the jackal has settled in the Czech Republic. It is common in other parts of Central Europe and the Balkans but is believed to be extending its territory to include the Czech Republic.
The Czech branch of the social watchdog group, Social Watch, has given a mixed appreciation of the Czech Republic’s moves to foster a more equitable and fairer country and world over the last year. The grouping of NGOs praised moves to increase the minimum wage and to take some steps to dealing with those profiting from citizens falling into the debt trap. However, it also highlighted the government’s failure to push through a bill on social housing, the continued wide gender gap on pay, and the high level of Czech arms exports to dubious regimes and low levels of development aid. The assessment was carried around in the context of the United Nations’ 2030 strategy for sustainable development.
Investment incentives to the tune of 6.3 billion crowns have been promised in the first half of the year by the government agency aimed at encouraging foreign direct investment, CzechInvest. The promise of help has been made to 42 protects with the total investment coming to 26.6 billion crowns and 4,767 jobs to be created as a result. The agency will release final details of incentives given to companies at a later date.
The last Czech Roma to have survived the Nazi attempts to kill the population during World War II has died at the age of 90, Czech Radio reported on Monday, Emílie Machálková’s death was confirmed by her family, the radio reported. Machálková and her family were rounded up to be taken to a concentration camp but their lives were saved when a local mayor persuaded the Brno Gestapo to let them go. Thirty three relatives and members of Machálková’s wider family did not survive the Nazi attempts to kill the Roma population. Machálková later made a name for herself as a singer of Roma songs she composed herself.
The workplace of the late Czech scientist Antonín Holý at the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague will open to the public on Monday to mark five years since his death. Mr Holý became internationally-renowned for his work as a chemist and for cooperation on the development of important antiretroviral drugs used in the treatment of HIV and Hepatitis B. He received considerable recognition for his work including a nomination for the Nobel Prize for medicine.
Karolína Plíšková officially becomes world women’s tennis number one on Monday. The 25-year-old Czech moved to the top of the rankings after Romania’s Simona Halep was defeated in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last week. Plíšková, who comes from Louny in north Bohemia, has moved to the top despite a second-round loss at Wimbledon and despite never having won a grand slam tournament. She is currently leading the rankings by 185 points.