More than a third of Russians say the Soviet Union was correct to intervene
in Czechoslovakia in 1968 while almost half know nothing about the
invasion, according to new polling data obtained by the Guardian newspaper
before its release.
The polling data reflects the resurgence of “Brezhnev-era propaganda, stereotypes of the Soviet period,” said Lev Gudkov of the Levada Center, which will release the results later on Monday, the 50th anniversary of the crushing of the Prague Spring.
More than one in five Russians blame a “subversive action by Western countries” to split the communist bloc for a Czechoslovak programme of liberalisation that ended in a Soviet-led invasion of the communist country, the Guardian reports.
The National Museum has responded to criticism that a recent renovation of
the façade of its building on Prague’s Wenceslas Square has left bullets
holes dating back to the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia barely visible.
In a press release issued on Monday, the museum said restorers took great care to leave the distinctive traces of the nation’s history – including attempts by Soviet occupiers to literally whitewash them – in place for generations to come.
In refurbishing the façade, the contrast between the original stone parts and the embedded fillings of the bullet holes was partially lost but the colour differences were intentionally preserved, it said, describing in great detail the process and care given to preserving the history whilst protecting the façade.
Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Jana Maláčová (Social Democrats)
will propose a new mechanism for determining the minimum wage, setting it
at 50 per cent of the average salary in the country for the previous year.
As of this January, the minimum wage in the Czech Republic is 12,000 crowns (480 euros). Trade union representatives had been seeking an increase of 1,500 crowns, or 12 per cent.
The valorisation mechanism proposed by Minister Maláčová would require amending the Labour Code. According to the Czech news agency ČTK, trade unions would back the proposed change, which could come into effect in 2020.
Several dozen activists from the animal rights group Obraz packed
themselves into Prague trams on Monday wearing chicken masks and
distributing leaflets to raise awareness about what they see as inhumane
conditions for hens in poultry farms.
The activists were heading to the headquarters of COOP, which unlike major supermarket chains such as Lidl and Globus has not pledged to gradually phase out the sale of eggs from caged hens, according to Obraz.
Data from the Bohemian and Moravian Poultry Union shows more than 87 per cent of Czech eggs come from battery farms. Only 11 per cent of hens are kept in free-range farms and just about one per cent of the birds are bred in natural conditions.
Czech e-shops taking part in the Free Transport Days promotion starting on
Monday will not charge customers for the delivery of orders worth over 300
crowns. The promotional event ends on Wednesday at one minute before
Almost 1,000 online companies are taking part this year, according to its organiser, Heureka.cz. A similar promotion has been held in the two weeks leading up to Christmas, traditionally the busiest season for online retailers.
The average weight of a newborn baby in the Czech Republic has held steady
at around 3.3 kilograms over the past ten years, the Czech Statistical
Office (ČSÚ) said on Monday.
The proportion of multiple births has fallen in that period – from 2.1 per cent of live births in 2007 to 1.4 per cent last year – a change that could signal a drop in the use of fertility treatments, which increase the chances of having twins.
The majority of babies were from 49 to 51 centimetres long at birth and were born in the 39th or 40th week of pregnancy. Last year, 505 children were born in the Czech Republic who weighed less than one kilogram, up from 430 in 2007.
Czech Railways (České dráhy) has announced a tender for the delivery of
up to 90 express wagons to replace its ageing fleet that should feature air
conditioning, internet access and electrical outlets, and offer passengers
a smooth ride at speeds of up to 200 km/hour.
This is the second major investment announced this summer by the national railways operator, which faces increasing competition from private transport companies. In late June, Czech Railways signed a contract for the delivery of 50 passenger trains for its Prague - Brno - Bratislava - Budapest line.
The Zlín branch of the Brno Regional Prosecutor’s Office has filed a
lawsuit against six individuals and four legal persons for having allegedly
illegally used European subsidies worth tens of millions of crowns.
The main suspect is a 57-year-old man who works for an organisation that facilitates the drawing of EU subsidies, which in this case went towards constructing accommodation in the Zlín region, a spokesperson for the Prosecutor’s Office said.
An investigation into the alleged illegal activity had been underway since 2014. If found guilty, the suspects face up to 12 years in prison.
One of the best-known Czech music DJs, DJ Loutka, has died at the age of
51. The death of the dance music scene stalwart, whose real name was Michal
Maudr, was confirmed by a representative of Prague’s Roxy club, a venue
where he performed regularly.
DJ Loutka began his career at Bunkr, which was one of the leading Prague clubs in the early 1990s. The tabloid news site Blesk reported that he had committed suicide.