The use of social networks among Czechs has seen a slight drop, according
to a survey conducted by AMI Digital Index.
While last year 80 percent of Internet users in the country went on social networks daily, now their number is at 77 percent and the average time spent on social networks has dropped from 149 to 143 minutes a day.
Although Facebook and You Tube remain the most widely-used social networks, the popularity of Facebook, in particular, is dropping, while the popularity of Instagram is on the rise.
The state-owned forestry company Česke Lesy saw a 70 million crown loss in
profit in 2018, down from 3.08 billion crowns the previous year.
The reason was a significant fall in the price of timber due to the bark-beetle calamity that has hit many areas of Bohemia and Moravia, which resulted in extensive logging.
Logging in infested areas was given top priority while other plans were shelved, which meant that the company mainly did business with lower quality timber.
České Lesy owns almost half of the forests in the country.
The Senate has established a special commission to assess the European
Commission audits concerning Prime Minister Andrej Babiš's suspected
conflict of interest which could mean that the Czech Republic might have to
return close to half a billion crowns in EU subsidies.
The commission, headed by Zdeněk Nytra from the Civic Democrats' senators' group, does not have the status of an investigative body, it will merely analyse available information on the case.
The two EC audits, which are both preliminary, claim that the Czech prime minister has a conflict of interest due to continued influence on the agro-chemical business conglomerate Agrofert which he established and later put in trust funds in order to comply with a strict new conflict of interests law.
Prime Minister Babiš has denied any wrongdoing, saying he fully adhered to Czech law.
Prague has the lowest level of differences between the rich and poor,
according to a study conducted by the consulting firm A. T. Kearney, which
analysed the quality of life in 130 metropolises across the world. The
Czech capital came in first in the so-called Gini coefficient, a measure of
statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth
distribution among residents.
According to last year’s Eurostat data, the Czech Republic is also the state with the most equal distribution of income in the European Union.
The upper house of Czech Parliament agreed on a resolution on Wednesday,
stating that the ongoing suspicion around Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s
conflict of interests is damaging the Czech Republic’s position at
European Council meetings and could have an impact on discussions regarding
the EU budget.
The resolution was voted on during a Senate meeting discussing the programme of a June summit in Brussels, which will be attended by European politicians.
Asked by journalists what he thinks of the decision, Mr. Babiš said that the senators seemingly have nothing else to do.
The Czech Republic’s population grew by 3,000 in the first quarter of
2019, the Czech Statistics Agency announced on Wednesday. The rise was the
consequence of net migration, which reached 16,700 people in the measured
period, the highest number in the past 10 years. In contrast, registered
births were the lowest in four years, with the number of deaths surpassing
births by 3,600.
The largest numbers of migrants come from Ukraine and Slovakia. Meanwhile, 10,000 Czechs left the country. The population increase was registered in all regions of the country, with the highest noted in the Region of Central Bohemia. The statistic did not change compared to last year when it comes to the average lifespan, which lay at 79,8 years for women and 73,1 for men.
The Czech sculptor Petr Váňa, who has spent years crafting the components
of a new baroque style Marian Column, whose predecessor used to stand on
Prague’s Old Town Square before it was torn down by an angry mob in
November 1918, has transported the pillar’s pieces by boat to the
capital. He was greeted by a small crowd cheering “Glory!” on the river
bank. However, Mr. Váňa still lacks authorisation to erect the statue
from the Prague 1 district.
The group pushing for the column’s restoration on Prague’s famous square is set to meet there on Saturday, with Mr. Váňa presenting the project.
The Ministry of Labour and Social affairs and the General Financial
Directorate are just some of the government offices with serious
cybersecurity issues, according to an examination conducted by the National
Cyber and Information Security Agency, the Czech daily Deník N reported on
The agency identified problems not just in the offices’ online security, but also in the actual protection of workplace computers and networks. Systems such as social benefits, and the electronic register system, which was introduced in 2016 to counter the grey economy and tax fraud, are therefore critically vulnerable, sources told the newspaper.
Following a preliminary audit from the European Commission, which found the
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš to be in a conflict of interest due to
the structure of the trust funds currently owning his former company, the
opposition has proposed a Senate commission on the matter. It will be made
up of two members from each party in the upper house and give an official
verdict on the matter at the end of January.
Opposition politicians have stressed the commission’s task will not be to evaluate the audit, but to interview relevant actors and come up with its own position, both on the alleged conflict of interests of the prime minister and the Minister of Agriculture Miroslav Toman, who was mentioned in a second European Commission audit.
The Senate is set to vote on the proposal on Thursday.