An estimated 571 people died in traffic accidents on Czech roads in 2018,
69 more than in 2017, traffic police head Tomáš Lerch told the ČTK news
The greatest number of fatalities were recorded in August and September this year, when 64 people in total died in traffic accidents.
The number of motorcycle fatalities in the Czech Republic ranks among the highest per capita in Europe. Final figures on traffic deaths will be released at a January 8 news conference.
Wednesday should be cloudy with freezing rain or light snowfall likely throughout the Czech Republic. Daytime highs should range between-1 to 3 degrees Celsius. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute is warning of strong winds in the mountains of Bohemia and Moravia with gusts of over 100 kilometres per hours possible.
New Year’s Eve celebrations passed without major incident in the Czech
Republic, but firefighters noted an increase in calls, most related to
store-bought fireworks set off in private celebrations.
Firefighters responded to 176 fires nationwide, 27 more than last year. Most resulted from smoldering used fireworks discarded in trash bins and containers. In Prague, firefighters responded to 46 fires, 44 of which involved pyrotechnics.
In Mladá Boleslav, north Bohemia, police broke up skirmishes on Old Town Square between intoxicated Polish and Slovak revellers. Elsewhere, several people lost or severely damaged fingers when setting off fireworks.
An official New Year’s Day fireworks celebration traditionally take place in Prague at 6pm on Letná Park and may best be observed from the Vltava River embankments and nearby Prague bridges. The theme this year is linked to the 30th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, which saw the fall of communism.
Police, paramedics and fire fighters are gearing up for the New Year
celebrations in the centre of Prague and other big cities.
Officers will be out in force in the city centre where thousands of people like to see the New Year in in boisterous street parties and traffic restrictions will be in force in areas where there is a bigger congregation of people, such as Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square.
The New Year fireworks will traditionally take place at 6pm on January 1st on Letna and may best be observed from the river embankments and nearby Prague bridges.
Fifty-six percent of Czechs have made a New Year’s resolution for 2019,
according to a survey conducted by the Albert supermarket chain.
The most frequent resolutions concern losing weight, leading a healthier lifestyle and exercising. Young people mostly resolve to travel more in the coming year or get serious about their education and future.
According to the survey 60 percent of women and 54 percent of men make a New Year’s resolution, but it is generally young people who are most serious about keeping them.
The number of centenarians in the Czech Republic has been dropping in
recent years, according to data from the Labour and Scial Affairs Ministry.
There are presently 437 Czechs aged over a hundred, and the majority of
them live in the South Bohemian region or Prague.
The oldest person in the country is a woman aged 108, followed by a man who is three years younger. Experts say the slight decrease in the number of centenarians is the result of a natural demographic curve.
The number of public service employees is the highest in seven years, the
ctk news agency reports citing data released by the Labour Ministry.
The number of people working in state administration in 2017 was close to 635,000 up by 22,000 as compared to 2014.
This is criticized by the opposition parties who accuse the government of squandering public funds and inflating state administration beyond the country’s needs.
Czechs will have to pay more for food, housing and electricity in the
coming year. According to economic experts the price of electricity is
expected to go up by eight to ten percent, the price of gas by five to
Food prices are expected to rise by four to five percent on average by mid-2019 and rents are expected to go up by five to ten percent.
The rise in rents is driven by the lack of new construction. Presently around 22 percent of Czechs live in rented accommodation.
The Czech Republic has maintained an excellent credit rating in the past
year, getting some of the best ratings in Central and Eastern Europe from
key international rating agencies.
Standard & Poor’s gives the country an AA for local currency and AA- for foreign currency, with a stable outlook. Moody's credit rating for the Czech Republic is at A1 with a positive outlook.
The agencies looked positively at the shape of public finances, the declining outlook for public debt, low unemployment and sound economic growth. This year’s credit ratings for the Czech Republic are the best since 1993.
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