Italian national goalkeeper and Juventus star “Gigi” Buffon married long-term partner Alena Šeredová in Prague on Thursday. The couple were forced to switch the wedding venue at the last minute because of a national transport strike and fears that protesters would turn up as unwanted guests at the Prague Castle cathedral.
Protesting Czech transport unions closed down the national rail network and close the capital's subway system in an action called to oppose the center-right government’s planned health, pension and tax reforms. Elsewhere, though support was patchy with many Czechs choosing to stay at home to avoid problems.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas failed on Wednesday to convince unions to cancel a 24-hour transport strike scheduled for Thursday in protest of a raft of reforms to the health, pensions and tax system. The strike will paralyze the rail network and lead to considerable disruption in Prague. Outside the Czech capital, the response is likely to be more patchy.
The decision of the Prague Municipal Court to ban a strike by transport workers on Monday (now set for Thursday) has highlighted gaps in Czech law over what type of strikes are permitted or not, and under what conditions. The court ruling itself, which sparked the debate, contributes little of substance and, according to some lawyers, was probably reached after judges scrambled to find the wrong precedent for their decision.
Czech trade unions have agreed to postpone their nationwide strike against the government reform package from Monday until Thursday; however, in some towns railway service will be halted as originally planned, the Czech News Agency (ČTK) reported, citing a trade union source.
Prague's public transport workers called a half-day strike Monday to protest the center-right government's package of tax, health, social security and pension reforms. Counterparts in the country's second city, Brno, are reported to have signed up for the strike action that could soon be declared nationwide.