Radio Prague News Brief: PM Summit Priorities, French Election, One Million Below Poverty Level

PM says he will push for protection of rights, legal and economic continuity at upcoming summit

Czech priorities at the upcoming extraordinary EU summit on Brexit include the protection rights of Czechs living and working in Great Britain and Czech companies operating on British soil, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has revealed. His mandate was backed by his government on Monday ahead of the summit on Saturday aimed at setting the direction of future negotiations between Great Britain and the 27-member bloc. The prime minister emphasised in a tweet that he would also push for legal continuity and continuity in economic ties. Great Britain voted last year to leave the EU; the process to leave the bloc, under Article 50, was triggered last month.

Czech politicians welcome Macron’s victory in first round of elections

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Czech politicians have welcomed the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the first round of the French presidential elections. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka tweeted shortly after the news broke that Macron’s victory was good news for France, the EU and the Czech Republic. It gives fresh hope to all who are against nationalism, extremism and populism, the prime minister wrote. ANO leader Andrej Babis welcomed the defeat of traditional parties in France describing Macron as “the better candidate“ of the two frontrunners. Opposition TOP 09 leader Miroslav Kalousek said it was good news for Europe that neither left nor right wing extremism had won support in France.

Roughly one in 10 Czechs living below poverty level

Around one in 10 Czechs, a little over one million people, live below the poverty line, according to Czech Statistical Office. The line is put at monthly income for a single person of just over 10,000 crowns and for a family of two with two children at twice that amount. The percentage figure of 9.7 percent has been stable over the last two years. However the material comfort of most Czechs rose slightly in real terms in 2016. The Czech Republic is regarding as one of the European countries with the lowest levels of poverty.

62 billion crown surplus to cover some of state debt

The government has agreed that a 62 billion crown surplus from 2016 could go towards cutting state debt as well as using around 10 billion crowns. The news was confirmed by Education Minister Kateřina Valachová. A proposal for some of funds to be used for the future valorization of old age pensions, sought by the Social Democrats, was not agreed. Government spokesman Martin Ayrer said after the cabinet meeting on Monday that funds for boosting investment were being sought from this year’s budget.

One in two hundred Czechs suffers high cholesterol related to hereditary defect

One in two hundred Czechs suffers from high cholesterol due to a hereditary genetic defect, experts says, where positive lifestyle changes has little effect. Patients who fail to take medication for the condition risk heart attack or a stroke as early as the age of 30, the chairman for Czech Society for Atherosclerosis Michal Vrablík told journalists on Monday at the start of an international congress. He stressed that while there was no cure, the condition could be treated. The problem is that many sufferers are unaware they have a medical condition.

Czech footballer František Rajtoral commits suicide

František Rajtoral, a Czech footballer playing for Turkish top tier club Gaziantepspor, has commited suicide. The club’s president, Ibrahim Kizil, told reporters that the 31-year-old footballer had hanged himself in his house in the southeastern Turkish province of Gaziantep. The former Czech Republic international moved to Turkey in August 2016 having previously played for Marila Příbram, Baník Ostrava, Viktoria Plzen and Hannover.

Weather

Cloudy conditions are expected on Tuesday and daytime highs of around 17 degrees Celsius.