Euroregion Elbe/Labe

Weekly review no. 10

First German-Czech Regional Forum – School strike and doctors’ protest in the Czech Republic –
The route of the new Dresden-Prague line should be determined next year

01.12.2023

First German-Czech regional forum

The first German-Czech regional forum took place in Chemnitz. At the invitation of the Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry Anna Lührmann, representatives from the federal, state, district and municipalities from Germany and the Czech Republic exchanged ideas for two days. A wide range of representatives from various organizations active in the German-Czech border area were also invited, who spoke not only about the key topics of transport, the labor market and healthcare.

“Our goal is that people in the border regions are no worse off than elsewhere,” said State Minister Lührmann at the beginning of the forum. Workshops highlighted concrete problems that have existed for years in the emergency services, the status of Czech workers in Germany, cross-border transport connections, language training and the recognition of qualifications and have not yet been solved. The regional forum is intended to improve networking not only between the two states, but also between the administrative levels, the individual players and, last but not least, between Saxony and Bavaria. Lührmann announced that the problems raised would be forwarded to the appropriate authorities and that regional forums between the two countries would take place regularly in the future.

School strike and doctors' protest in the Czech Republic

On Tuesday, thousands of teachers took part in a nationwide strike. Unions announced that around half of schools had gone on a one-day strike. They were protesting against planned cuts in the education sector. They ensure that the number of hours is reduced, which is why there is a risk of loss of hours, especially in smaller schools in the regions. Employees from some companies and students also took part in the strike out of solidarity.

The strike was directed against the government, which has presented an austerity package to get the budget deficit under control. It is reacting to the necessary special spending in recent years as a result of the corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine, which have caused the budget deficit to rise sharply. In response to the strikes, Prime Minister Petr Fiala pointed out that the education budget, along with the defense budget and the social budget, are the only three departments whose spending will increase in the 2024 budget.

An indefinite strike by the medical profession seems to have been averted. Doctors had announced that they would no longer work overtime from December 1st, which would have led to severe disruptions to health care. The doctors' goals are to change the labor code to regulate 24-hour shifts and to improve pay. These demands are now being met. Labor Minister Marian Jurečka and Health Minister Vlastimil Válek introduced an amendment that reverses planned changes to labor law and allows doctors to work twice as much overtime as before. In addition, after negotiations, Prime Minister Petr Fiala promised almost 10 billion crowns more for higher doctors' salaries.

Czech route Dresden-Prague next year

The Czech Transport Minister Martin Kupka would like to announce the route of the new Prague-Dresden line on the Czech side by the end of 2024 at the latest. The minister said this at a dialogue forum with affected communities in Ústí nad Labem. The state railway network administration Správa železnic (SŽ) is currently pursuing three different routes through the Bohemian Central Mountains, which are rejected by the affected communities. The tunnel exit at Chlumec and the passage through Ústí are also controversial. The Elbe city calls for freight traffic to be routed around the city. The approximately 57 kilometer long section from the Bohemian Central Mountains to Prague with a new terminal at Roudnice nad Labem has already been determined. The first commissioning of the new high-speed line is also expected here.

(This is an automatic translation by Google Translator.)

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