Nearly 32 million crowns were collected in the Czech Republic during Giving Tuesday, a global event created in 2012 to promote charitable and philanthropic acts, Magdalena Martinková from the Association of Social Responsibility told the Czech News Agency on Wednesday. The figure is four times higher than in the previous year. Giving Tuesday, which took place in the Czech Republic for the third time, is designed to serve as a counter-weight to the shopping events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Higher security measures will be in place in the Czech Republic over
Christmas and the New Year, Interior Minister Jan Hamáček and deputy
police president Martin Vondrášek said at a press conference on Thursday.
The measures, formally in place from December 1 until January 9, will include an increased police presence in streets as well as stepped up protection of airports, shopping malls and other public places. They will also include concrete barriers installed in key public areas, such as the Christmas Market on Prague’s Old Town Square.
A first level security alert has been in place in the Czech Republic since March 2016, but according to Mr Hamáček, there are no indications of an immediate threat of a terrorist attack in the country.
Financial Administration officials have carried out over 160,000 checks
since the introduction of electronic cash registers, a measure introduced
by former Finance Minister Andrej Babiš to counter the grey economy and
The authorities have issued nearly 13,000 fines to the tune of 128 million crowns. Twenty-eight businesses were forced to close down for failing to follow the rules.
The first phase of the four-stage electronic cash registers system was introduced in December 2017. There are currently around 177,000 businesses using the registers.
Record low temperatures were registered in many part of the Czech Republic
on Thursday morning. Around ten out of 147 weather stations keeping records
for 30 years or more recorded new lows.
The coldest place was Rokytská Slať in the Šumava mountains in South Bohemia, where minus 22.6 degrees Celsius was recorded.
The Prague City Council plans to raise rents on flats now leased out by the
municipality or city administration at below market rates, councillor Adam
Zábranský (Pirates) told the ČTK news agency in an interview.
Zábranský said the council plans to review the contracts of up to 10,000 flats, many of which are rented out at one-third the going rate “for no apparent reason”.
According to the developer Trigema, as cited by ČTK, tenants of city dwellings usually pay 60 to 120 crowns per square metre, so between 4,680 to 9360 crowns for a standard 78 sq m flat. The market rate would be above 20,000 crowns.
The government has agreed on the biggest reduction in public administration
positions since the Civil Service Act was adopted in 2014.
Within the framework of the ongoing so-called systematization of jobs, 860 positions will be cut as of January, Deputy Interior Minister Josef Postránecký told reporters on Thursday.
About one-third of the 860 positions are currently filled. The biggest cuts are expected in the ministries of education, justice, agriculture and defence. Meanwhile, due to the approaching census, the Czech Statistical Office will take on new staff.
The Civil Service Act was meant to stabilise the public administration and open it up to experts while preventing political purges at ministries following each general election.
However, the ruling ANO-Social Democrat coalition, with support from the Communists, in October pushed through an amendment to the act that would allow ministers to recall state secretaries.
The Foreign Affairs Committee of the upper house of parliament, the Senate,
has condemned Russia’s detention of Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea.
Members of the committee recalled the right of vessels to access the Sea of Azov, to where they were headed on Sunday.
Russia claims the Ukrainian vessels had crossed into its waters, but that is based on its illegal claim to Crimea, which it seized in 2014.
Under a treaty ratified by Ukraine and Russia in 2004 that is still in force, the Sea of Azov and Kerch Strait were defined as shared territorial waters.
On Monday, members of the lower house’s Foreign Affairs Committee advocated tougher sanctions against Russia, while the Czech foreign minister has spoken of forcing a reduction in the relatively high number of diplomats at Russia’s Embassy in Prague.
Czech police say a criminal gang based in Karviná, near the Polish border,
over the past two years sold an astounding 163 kilos of crystal meth, known
locally as Pervitin.
The street value of the drug could have been between 100 million to 200 million crowns.
Police said last week they arrested seven members of the gang at various locations throughout the country. They had used highly sophisticated methods to avoid their production and distribution networks from being detected.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in is wrapping up an official visit to the
Czech Republic on Wednesday.
He is due to hold talks with Prime Minister Andrej Babiš that will focus on bilateral relations, cultural exchanges and the situation on the Korean peninsula.
On Tuesday, Moon Jae-in met with Koreans living in this country. From Prague, he is heading to Buenos Aires for a Group of Twenty summit.