This winter has been considerably worse than the previous one in terms of the frequency with which permitted airborne dust levels have been breached in the Czech Republic, according to data released by the Ministry of the Environment. Between October 2012 and March this year there were only 48 days on which none of the country’s 53 smog warning stations did not record that dust levels had exceeded official limits. The previous winter there were 74 days on which no such problems were registered.
The Office for Personal Data Protection has imposed a CZK 100,000 fine on the Prague High State Attorney’s Office for making public the salaries of all its employees, along with their names and positions, the news website lidovky.cz reported. For her part, state attorney Lenka Bradáčová has stood by her decision. She says the information was released in response to a public request and that she acted in accordance with a 2011 court ruling. Her office plans to appeal the decision.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic fell from 8.1 percent in February to 8 percent last month, according to figures released on Tuesday. Some 573,875 people were out of work in the country in March. Analysts said the slight improvement was down to seasonal factors and pointed out that the Czech labour market was still beset by negative trends linked to the overall economic development. The jobless rate in Prague last month was 4.6 percent, the same as in February.
The final of the playoffs of Czech ice hockey’s Extraliga between Zlín and Plzeň gets underway on Tuesday evening. Zlín have only won one Extraliga title in their history, while Plzeň have never taken the trophy. There is no love lost between the two clubs’ fans, in part due to an incident in 2005 when the then Zlín goalkeeper prevented Plzeň from scoring by moving the goal. The best-of-seven series is scheduled to end on April 21, if not sooner.
A man who deliberately killed an old woman in a fire has been sentenced to 30 years in prison by a court in Liberec, north Bohemia. The court heard how Kosovo Albanian Fadil Dávid, who is 53, set fire to a house in a village near Liberec knowing that inside was a woman of 81 who had difficulty moving. She subsequently died trying to escape the blaze after suffering burns on 80 percent of her body. The man had regularly stolen from the woman, whom he had known for some years, and tricked her into leaving her home to him in her will. The defendant has appealed the verdict.
A unique exhibition of posters by the great Czech Art Nouveau artist Alfons Mucha is being launched at Prague’s Municipal House on Tuesday evening. The 116 works on display form an almost complete collection of Mucha’s poster art and are owned by the Czech-born former tennis star Ivan Lendl, who has been collecting the artist’s work for some years. The venue is significant, as Mucha himself created some of the Municipal House’s murals in the early 20th century. The exhibition, which is being described as one of the biggest art events of the year in the Czech Republic, runs until July 30.
Unemployed people who start businesses that operate for at least two years could receive a handout of up to CZK 80,000 from the state, while firms could get support for employing parents part-time or the under 30s, as part of a wide-ranging government plan to fight unemployment discussed by the government, unions and employers on Tuesday. A commission comprised of representatives of the three groups – known as the tripartite – are to work on developing the plan, which will be discussed again on April 25.
Details of Prague’s first luxury goods trade fair for the super rich have been revealed. The Billionaire Fair will be held at the city’s Žofín Palace on the last weekend of September and will feature 50 selected high-end retailers, the organisers said on Tuesday. Interested parties will have to register online and will be vetted as to whether they merit an invitation to the event, for which the most expensive tickets will cost CZK 25,000.
More of the French school pupils hospitalised after their coach was involved in a serious crash in West Bohemia on Monday morning are due to return home on a special plane on Wednesday. Some members of the group left for France on Monday night. One girl was killed when the bus went off the motorway and fell onto an underpass. Among six people seriously injured in the crash are a teacher, a driver and one of the students.
The Czech president, Miloš Zeman, says the late UK leader Margaret Thatcher was a person who also had respect for her ideological opponents. Mr. Zeman made the comment in a telegram of condolence he sent to the current British prime minister, David Cameron. In the telegram, which was posted on his office’s website on Tuesday, Mr. Zeman, the former leader of the Social Democrats, also said “her ideas were an inspiration to many of us” and that Mrs. Thatcher – who died on Monday aged 87 – would rank among the greatest British politicians of all time.
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