President Miloš Zeman and his wife Ivana hosted a charity ball at Prague
Castle on Friday night. The event, held annually to raise money for
charities which the president and first lady support, was attended by a
thousand guests, among them politicians, cultural figures and business
The ball opened with a waltz by the president and first lady. Admission to the event cost 10, 000 crowns, the proceeds of which went to organisations helping orphaned children and children at risk.
Prizes in the traditional raffle included dinner with the presidential couple, a wild boar or a keg of beer.
Men and women from Czech religious orders joined millions of others the
world over in celebrating the 23rd World Day of Consecrated Life
traditionally marked on February 2nd.
The event is not just a celebration of consecrated life within these communities but an opportunity to deepen public understanding of people with a vocation and increase awareness of what life is like in a religious order. Pope Francis traditionally celebrates the event with a mass in St Peter’s Basilica.
There are close to 100 religious orders in the Czech Republic, 63 for women, 31 for men.
Beef from a Polish abattoir accused of handling sick cows was imported into
the Czech Republic, Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman (Social
Democrats) said on Friday.
In total about 300 kilos of meat from an abattoir near Ostrow Mazowiecka in north-eastern Poland was brought into the country. It has not been determined how much of the beef is fit for consumption.
Covert filming at the abattoir broadcast early this week by Polish station TVN 24 showed cows too sick to stand being dragged into the slaughterhouse.
Poland triggered the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), informing other member states, on Tuesday.
Cases of acute respiratory diseases including influenza have reached
epidemic proportions in the Czech Republic.
The Ministry of Health said on Friday there are around 1,715 reported cases per 100,000 people.
Regions with the highest rate of illness include Liberec, Pilsen, Moravia-Silesia and southern Moravia.
Episodes of the new Czech TV comedy miniseries “Most!”, set in the
bleak northern Bohemian town of that name, have attracted a record average
viewership of over 1.5 million.
“Most!” is the sixth joint project of director Jan Prušinovský and screenwriter Petr Kolečko, known for unconventional series such as “Trpaslík” (Gnome).
A spokesperson for the public broadcaster told Czech Radio that while “Trpaslík” was a hit, based on current viewership, “Most!” looks set to become a “phenomenon”.
The word “most” means “bridge” in Czech and the series addresses a number of divisive issues, such as homophobia and racism. Fans of the series appreciate the irreverent dark humour while detractors fear it perpetuates stereotypes.
“Most!” features several Roma characters and also a transgender person. It is filmed on location in the city, a historical coal mining town known for its struggling local industry, high unemployment rate, and great concentration of housing estates built during communism.
The number of dogs registered as pets in the Czech capital grew to 83,297
last year, up by 1,857 compared to 2017 but down from a record high of
100,544 the year before.
According to the Prague authorities, small dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers and Dachshunds are the most popular breeds, followed by Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.
The most common name for a dog is “Ben”, followed by “Max”, “Betty”, “Bára” and “Nelly”.
The demolition of the Transgas building behind the National Museum in
Prague will proceed as no formal appeal to save the brutalist-style complex
Conservationists and architects had tried to save the Transgas building by having it declared a cultural heritage site. Others consider it an ugly yet otherwise unremarkable building typical of the late seventies.
Current owner HB Reavis plans to construct a new administrative centre on the site a couple hundred metres from Wenceslas Square, as well as to free up some space for public use.
MPs have rejected a Senate proposal to ease copyright law by not requiring
entities, such as pubs and restaurants, to pay fees to play background
The Ministry of Culture, as well as some 1,600 artists, had come out in opposition to the proposal, put forth by Senator Ivo Valenta (unaffiliated).
Opponents argue that it contravenes both Czech and European Union law, and goes against an EU Court of Justice ruling.
Czech state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar sold more beer in 2018 than
in its entire 123-year history, following a 7.3 percent rise in sales to
2.57 billion crowns.
Budvar, which has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. giant Anheuser-Busch over use of the “Budweiser” brand, said output rose 3.6 percent last year to 1.602 million hectoliters. The growth followed a 4-percent decline in 2017, caused by shifting production to a premium brand.
In 2019, the brewery plans to build a third bottling plant. It said its focus on premium lagers is paying off.
The volume of new Czech housing loans declined in December to the lowest
level in two-and-a-half years. The drop was driven by stricter
recommendations from the central bank and strong frontloading in the second
half of 2018, ING says.
The total volume of housing loans slowed to 23.8 billion crowns in December. Looking at new loans without refinancing, the volume declined to 14.8 billion, the lowest figure since mid-2016.
This development most likely was driven by substantial frontloading of mortgages during June-October last year, before stricter central bank recommendations kicked in. In 2019, the market expects the volume to fall by around 10 percent, according to ING.