There is a growing interest in Czech visas, the Czech Foreign Ministry
reports, citing a record 813,000 visa applications in 2019. The number
represents a 12. 7 percent increase year-on-year.
The overall revenues from visas could thus reach the one billion crown mark for the first time, the ministry says.
In 2018 it collected 771 million crowns in visa-related fees.
The vast majority of applicants, 91 percent, file for a Schengen visa which allows them to move within the Schengen area without restraint. 5.1 percent of these applicants were rejected.
The ministry says fewer travel restrictions are behind the boost, citing a growing number of tourists from China, India, Saudi Arabia and Belorussia.
Unemployment in the Czech Republic rose to 3.1 percent in January, up from
2.9 percent in December.
The number of people on the dole rose by 14.490 to 230.000. It is still the lowest January unemployment figure since 1997. Labour offices register just over 341,000 vacancies.
According to labour market experts a rise in the number of unemployed is a typical phenomenon at the start of the year when employers effect lay-offs of people with fixed-term contracts or private entrepreneurs close their businesses.
Emergency services, energy providers and fire fighters are dealing with the damage caused by the wind storm Sabine which hit the Czech Republic in the early hours of Monday, with a force of 180 kilometres per hour in the mountain regions. Over 120 thousand households were left without power and energy providers have called a state of emergency in four regions. Fallen trees complicated rail and road traffic in many parts of the country and Prague’s international airport cancelled a number of flights. The storm is expected to subside in the course of the day.
Many Czech travel agencies are cancelling planned trips to China in
connection with the coronavirus outbreak, the ctk news agency reported.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has warned Czechs against travelling to China and agencies said that, even prior to this warning, interest in trips to China had dropped by 50 percent.
Clients can either get their money refunded or chose a different destination. Travel agencies say interest in holidaying in other Asian states remains high and the financial losses from the cancellations should not be high.
Prague-born philosopher Erazim Kohák has died at the age of 86.
Kohák studied and worked in the US for close to four decades after fleeing with his parents to Germany and then the United States at the age of 14. He studied at Colgate University and at Yale University where he received a doctorate in 1958.
In 1960 he joined the Department of Philosophy at Boston University where he was subsequently appointed associate professor and professor.
From 1990 to 1995 Kohák lectured alternately at Boston University and Charles University. In 1995 he returned to the Czech Republic permanently.
In 2013 he received the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk for outstanding contributions to the development of democracy, humanity and human rights from President Zeman.
Norway’s Andreas Nygaard has won the annual Jizerská padesátka, a
gruelling 50-kilometre cross-country skiing race held in the Jizerské
mountains, north of Prague.
Nygaard defended his victory in last year’s competition covering the distance in 1:59:08,2. Sweden’s Brit Johansson won the women’s race coming in at 2:16:21,3. Jiří Pliska was the first Czech to reach the finishing line, placing 20th.
Jizerská padesátka is one of the most popular mass sporting events in the country, attracting both professional and amateur skiers of all ages from at home and abroad.
The Czech Republic has two nominations in this year’s Academy Awards.
The puppet stop-motion movie Dcera (Daughter), created by FAMU student Daria Kashcheeva is nominated for an Oscar in the category “best animated short“ and Czech set decorator Nora Sopková has an Oscar nomination for her work on the World War II Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit by New Zealand-born writer-director Taika Waititi.
Dcera has already collected a number of awards, most recently the Short Film Jury Award for Animation at the Sundance Film Festival.
Critics applaud Ms Kashcheeva’s original use of hand-held camera movement, inspired by live-action and documentary films.
Czech lawmaker are planning a fifth firearms amnesty for people who possess
The lower house is expected to approve the amnesty within changes to the gun law, which are being made to bring the country in line with EU regulations.
The head of the defence committee in the lower house, Jana Černochová, argues that weapons amnesties are a more effective means of netting illegal weapons than reprisals.
During the previous four amnesties people returned thousands of unregistered weapons.
The Czech Republic is bracing for gale-force winds in the coming hours.
Storm Sabine is expected to hit the Czech Republic on Sunday evening with
winds of up to 125 km per hour in the mountain regions.
The wind warning, from 6pm on Sunday to Tuesday evening, concerns all regions in Bohemia and parts of Moravia and Silesia where high winds may damage roofs, topple trees and bring down power lines. Emergency services and energy providers are on standby.