Czech Post will increase the price for some of its services as of January 1st and introduce dual-speed deliveries. The state-owned company, which is undergoing reorganization, has been criticized for late deliveries. As of next year it will offer clients the choice of paying more for guaranteed faster deliveries of mail and parcels, which should be delivered by the following day, or stick with the basic price in which case the delivery will take longer.
The tiny post office in the West Bohemian mountain town of Boží Dar –
meaning God’s gift –has started processing huge amounts of Christmas
mail from around the country and abroad.
The post office annually stamps hundreds of thousands of Christmas greetings with a special Christmas stamp, making these letters a popular collector’s item for the sender and recipient.
It is also the post office to which Czech children send letters to Baby Jesus or Ježísek telling him what they’d most like to get for Christmas. In the course of December the post with its four employees gets on average 15 kilograms of mail a day.
This year’s stamp, designed by Pavel Sivko, is a Christmas motif of floating candles in nutshells.
The struggling Czech Post office will get a 3.3 billion crown payment from
the state next year for so-called universal services from previous years,
subject to approval of the European Commission.
Last year, Czech Post recorded a 1 billion crown loss. It may have to eliminate 7,000 positions as part of a restructuring in order to return to profitability by 2021.
The European Commission has twice approved billions in Czech state support, finding it compatible with EU internal market regulations and as such allowed.
Czech Post had a monopoly on the delivery of letters and other direct mail weighing less than 50 grams until the start of 2013. Now these services may also be offered by competitors, which focus mainly on corporate clients.
Interior Minister Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats) has proposed the budget
for the state-controlled postal service be tripled to 1.5 billion crowns.
Česká pošta, which employs about 30,000 people, has more than 1,300 vacancies due to low wages, he said during a visit on Tuesday of the service’s biggest processing centre.
Last year, the average salary at Česká pošta was about 5,000 crowns below the national average, Mr Hamáček said.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has backed the interior minister ‘s decision
to sack the head of the Czech Postal Service, Martin Elkan. The prime
minister said that Mr. Elkan lacked vision and under his management Czech
Post lacked transparency and was in a state of disarray. He said there
would be an open competition for the post.
Interior Minister Lubomír Metnar announced his decision to sack the head of the Czech Postal Service on Thursday, citing poor management.
An exhibition marking 200 years since the introduction of post boxes in the Czech lands is currently on display at Prague’s Postal Museum. On display are mailboxes from various periods of history as well as related objects. Among other thing, visitors can see the country’s oldest existing post box, dating back to the 1830s.
Czech hurdler Zuzana Hejnová has threatened to take Czech Post to court
over a stamp it issued on the occasion of the Olympic Games in Rio last
year. Hejnová claims she is clearly the athlete on the stamp and says
Czech Post violated the law on copyright by not getting her permission.
The athlete on the stamp bears a marked resemblance to a photo of Hejnová taken at the London Olympics in 2012. Hejnová is demanding one million crowns in compensation. Czech Post insists the stamp was not made according to her photo and represents an anonymous athlete.
Czech Post on Wednesday unveiled a new souvenir sheet containing a 46 crown stamp marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Anthropoid. In the mission, Czechoslovak parachutists were dropped into occupied territory to assassinate Nazi governor Reinhard Heydrich. The souvenir sheet, about the size of a postcard, gave the artist greater room to pay homage to those who gave their lives in the operation or were murdered in reprisal by the Nazis.