Czech lottery and betting company Sazka saw its profits rise by around one-fifth to over CZK 13 billion in 2018, the website seznam.cz reported on Thursday. The company boosted its turnover mainly due to Eurojackpot; last year, Czechs bet more than two billion crowns in the European lottery, which is a year-on-year increase of 53 percent.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš brought his wife to the presidential country retreat of Lány on Thursday, to honour an established tradition of both the head of government and head of state having lunch together with their spouses at the start of a new year. The Office of Government says that while the meeting is mainly a social occasion, government plans including domestic and foreign policy will be discussed. At a short photo session ahead of the lunch, the President let himself be heard that he hopes he will have new year’s lunch with Mr. Babiš four more times, suggesting he would like the current prime minister to win a second term. Meanwhile, Czech media are speculating that a possible government re-shuffle could be discussed, as well as important issues in the upcoming year, including Brexit and EU parliamentary elections.
The common blackbird has disappeared from about 50 percent of Czech
gardens, following the outbreak of a dangerous mosquito-carried African
bird disease in the summer of last year, the Czech Union for Nature
Conservation said on Thursday.
The blackbird, which used to be the country’s most common garden species, has become nearly extinct in Prague and Central Bohemia after being hit by the Usutu virus. The disease, which can also be transmitted to other bird species, was first detected in the country in 2011.
The Boston Bruins’ forward David Pastrňák has been included in the 2019 NHL All-Star team. It is the first All-Star Game selection for the 22-year-old Czech, who currently leads the Bruins in scoring with 24 goals and 26 assists. The last Czech to receive this honour was Jaromír Jágr in 2016. The game is set to take place on January 26 in San Jose.
According to newspaper Lidové noviny, the Czech police have suspended
their investigation of a 2013 computer system tender at the Ministry of
Regional Development, which Ministry of Finance auditors had judged to be
in violation of government guidelines.
The investigation was launched three-and-a-half-years ago after a Ministry of Finance audit pointed out a lack of transparency in the evaluation of proposals. A spokesperson for the ministry told Lidové noviny that the three-and-a-half-year investigation had cost the state CZK 820 million in potential funding, because the European Union had refused to cover the costs until case was finished.
The nominations have been announced for the ninth annual Czech Film
Critics’ Awards to be presented on February 2 at Prague’s Archa
Theatre. Director Robert Sedláček’s film Jan Palach about the student
who took his own life in protest of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of
Czechoslovakia received six nominations.
Adam Sedlák’s directorial debut Domestique, a claustrophobic drama about a couple’s breakdown, is nominated for four awards.
An avalanche alert has been issued by authorities in the Krkonoše
Mountains in the north of the country on Thursday. The grade three warning
on a five-point scale has been issued following recent snowfall and windy
Between 25 and 30 centimetres of fresh snow have fallen in the area over the past two days and forecasters expect more snowfall in the days to come.
The mayor of Prague, Zdeněk Hřib, says the cost of a traditional
municipal fireworks display on New Year’s Day – CZK 1.7 million not
including VAT – was too high. In an interview with Czech Radio’s
Radiožurnál station, the Pirate Party politician said next year fireworks
could be replaced by something else, such as a light show.
Mr. Hřib said many European cities were moving away from classic fireworks displays. This year’s New Year’s fireworks in Prague referenced the fact that this year the Czech Republic will be marking the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
2018 was the hottest year on the territory of today’s Czech Republic
since 1961. According to freshly released data from the Czech
Hydro-Meteorological Institute, the average daily temperature last year was
9.6 degrees Celsius. That was 1.7 degrees Celsius higher than the long-term
With the exception of February and March, above-average temperatures were recorded on Czech territory every month last year. April and May saw particularly high temperatures, with both the warmest since 1961.