Multiple voting in the European Parliament elections will be classified as
a misdemeanour and fined with up to CZK 10,000 under an amendment to the
law on the EP elections passed by the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday.
The change, which complies with the European Council's decision, will take effect as of next year if it is approved by the Senate and signed into law by President Miloš Zeman.
The opposition Pirate Party failed with their proposal to introduce voting for MEPs at Czech embassies abroad.
Czech cinemas recorded a significant increase in attendance last year, the
Union of Film Distributors said on Wednesday. In 2019, cinema operators
sold over 18 million tickets, which is the highest number since 1993, when
the figure reached nearly 22 million visitors.
Sales reached a record CZK 2.6 billion, a year-on-year increase by 15 percent. The most popular film in 2019 was the Czech comedy Jogging for Love with over 1,500 000 visitors.
The average mortgage rate in the Czech Republic fell to 2.34 percent in
December from 2.35 percent the previous month, according to data from
financial advisors Fincentrum released on Wednesday.
Last month was the 11th in succession that mortage rates fell. They hit their lowest point, 1.77 percent, in December 2016 before again showing an upward trend.
The average amount loaned in new mortgages in December, CZK 2.54 million, was a record high.
The Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš, begins a two-day visit to Israel
on Wednesday. Mr. Babiš is set to meet Israel’s president, Reuven
Rivlin, and prime minister, Benjamin Netanjahu, on the opening day of his
stay. On Thursday he will attend the fifth annual World Holocaust Forum in
Jerusalem alongside the presidents of France, Russia and Germany.
Prime Minister Babiš will also meet Czech Holocaust survivors, the chairman of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, and Petr Starý, who is the Czech Republic’s liason office in Ramallah.
A Czech married couple have pledged to donate CZK 200 million to dozens of chemistry and science students over the next two decades. Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday about their foundation Nadace Experientia, Hana and Dalimil Dvořák said that in addition to its existing support and grants for early-stage researchers it would also now focus on high school and university students.
An increasing number of Czech elementary school children are suffering from
speech defects, the Czech News Agency reported on Tuesday. According to
Ministry of Education data, around 8,500 children were receiving speech
therapy in the last academic year. This represents a four-fold increase in
just 10 years.
Clinical speech therapist Jitka Kaulfuss told the Czech News Agency that the reason for the rise was a change in lifestyles. She said Czech parents were now paying less attention to their children, adding that 20 or 30 years ago most speech defects had been dealt with before children reached school age.
The short film Dcera (Daughter) by Daria Kascheeva, a student at Prague’s
FAMU film school, is set to compete at this year’s edition of the
Sundance film festival, which gets underway on Thursday. The animated film
has also been nominated for the Academy Awards and has already earned the
director a Student Oscar.
Another Czech student film, SH_T HAPPENS, directed by Michaela Mihályiová and Dávid Štumpf, will also be screened at Sundance, one of the best-known independent film festivals in the world.
The Czech Republic’s minister of industry and trade, Karel Havlíček,
will also be appointed minister of transport on Friday. The ANO appointee
will get the post officially once the party’s leader, Prime Minister
Andrej Babiš, returns from an overseas trip.
In a related move, the ministries of transport and industry and trade are to be merged into one government department.
The previous ANO minister of transport, Vladimír Kremlík, was dismissed by the prime minister on Monday following criticism of the price tag attached to a sales system for new electronic motorway vignettes.