Hundreds of people have been lining up to view the Czech crown jewels which are now on display in the Vladislav Hall of Prague Castle. The crown jewels only go on public display on special occasions. This year they are being shown for ten days on the occasion of the election of President Miloš Zeman. The crown jewels include the St. Wenceslas crown, which Charles IV had made in 1347, the coronation crucifix also from the 14th century, as well as the royal sceptre and the royal apple from the first half of the 16 th century. Thousands of people are expected to view these symbols of Czech statehood in the next ten days.
Czech annual inflation remains unchanged at 1.7 percent, which is in line with market expectations and slightly below the forecast of the Czech National Bank (1.8 percent). Consumer prices rose by 0.1 on the month in April, driven by the higher prices of clothing, footwear, alcohol and tobacco products. On the other hand, the price of foodstuffs, primarily pastry and dairy products, decreased slightly. Separate data released by the Czech Labour Ministry on Friday showed the April jobless rate at 7.7 percent down from 8.0 percent.
The national vehicle registration system was out of operation for over three hours on Friday morning, the CTK news agency reports. According to the Transport Ministry the problem was not linked to the system itself but was due to a failure between the system and the police data base to which it is connected. The new system which is linked to the Schengen database has been dogged by problems since it was introduced in July of last year. As of April the system changed hands and is now being administered by ICT and Telephonica.
The Ukrainian branch of the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights has called on the Czech Republic not to extradite a Russian manager wanted for embezzlement in the Ukraine on the grounds that she could face torture, the daily Lidové noviny reports. Tatjana Pareskevic, who has been charged with embezzling 5 million dollars in the Ukraine, claims that she is victim of a politically motivated trial. The Czech Foreign Ministry has also spoken out against her extradition. The Prague Supreme Court recently approved it on the grounds that it had received assurances from Ukrainian officials that she would get a fair trial. Paraskevic has appealed the verdict. She was arrested in the Czech Republic last spring while visiting a spa resort for health reasons.
The Czechs improved their standings at the Ice Hockey World Championship with a hard-won 4:2 victory against Slovenia on Friday night. Slovenia turned in a strong performance and the game was undecided until the third period when Zbynek Michalek took advantage of a power play and Jiri Novotny scored an insurance goal to clinch the badly-needed victory. The Czechs have so far given a lacklustre performance at the Ice Hockey World Championships and Zbynek Michalek said after the game that despite the win he was far from happy with the results.
President Miloš Zeman is suffering from a viral infection and his engagements for the next few days have been cancelled, his spokeswoman Hana Buriánová said on Friday. She said the president had a head cold and was feverish but should be back in his office on Monday. Mr. Zeman appeared unwell and was visibly unstable at Thursday’s ceremony of bringing the crown jewels out of storage, sparking speculation regarding the cause of the problem.
The police have charged 25 people with tax fraud relating to imported goods from Asia. Among those charged are five customs officers and several Vietnamese nationals. The damages could reach millions of crowns. Individual members of the group have also been charged with organized crime and taking or soliciting bribes.
An association of foreign and Czech solar energy investors, International PhotoVoltaic Investors Club, has filed an arbitration suit against the Czech Republic, asking for compensation for the financial losses resulting from the introduction of a 26-percent tax on solar power stations’ profits. The Czech government offered numerous incentives in the past to foreign investors in solar energy, promising extensive tax breaks. The retroactive profit tax was introduced in 2011 and applies to power plants that began operations in 2010 and 2009. This year, solar power stations received 44.4 billion crowns in government support, which is 66% of all the public finances for renewable energy.
Dozens of homes and an industrial complex were flooded in the town of Studénka in eastern Moravia, after heavy rainfall hit the area on Wednesday night. Fifteen fire brigades assisted businesses and residents to drain the water from their homes and gardens throughout the night and into Thursday morning. One man was trapped in his car in high water, but was eventually rescued by firefighters. No major injuries were reported.
Twenty-one people were injured in a collision between a bus and a lorry on route R7 on the outskirts of Prague, near the Václav Havel airport. Most injuries were relatively minor, though one woman was more seriously hurt and was airlifted to a Prague hospital. The accident happened on Thursday morning and emergency services closed down the freeway in both directions for a short while, in order to treat the injured. The bus, belonging to the transportation company Student Agency, was en route from Chomutov to Prague.
Country’s leading epidemiologist makes U-turn on strategy of herd immunity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Fall in coronavirus reproduction number shows efficacy of strict measures
How is coronavirus affecting Prague’s real estate market?
Czech government loosens restrictions ahead of Easter, but masses and caroling strictly banned