The lower house is due to vote on a controversial bill on care for the country’s nature reserves. Deputies will be debating amendments to the bill made by the Senate which proposed changes predominantly backing the interests of villages located inside nature reserves, plans for local development and the tourist industry. Some of the country’s leading academics and four former environment ministers have protested against the Senate-proposed amendment arguing that the proposed changes would severely restrict possibilities for environmental protection and would have far-reaching consequences for the country’s nature reserves. They claim the proposed changes go against the latest trends in environmental protection in Europe where countries are increasing the number of nature reserves and the area of no-intervention zones in them.
Thousands of euros in bribe money acquired by middlemen abusing the Czech visa system in Ukraine are going to Poland, Czech Television reported on Tuesday. According to Czech Television’s investigative reporters the money collected from Ukrainian workers seeking to get a work permit in the Czech Republic are taken to a person in Katowice who alone can enter names into the Czech consulate’s Visapoint system where the list of applicants has been blocked for months in advance. Czech Radio’s reporters also confirmed earlier that the issuing of visas for Ukrainian workers has turned into a booming business for agents and middlemen. The Czech Foreign Ministry has said it is aware of the problem and is working to tackle it.
The One World 2017 international documentary film festival focused on human rights will present some 121 documentaries from 70 countries in Prague in early March, organisers revealed at a press conference on Tuesday. The main focus of this years’ event is the art of collaboration and sharing. The festival will get underway with the screening of a Bulgarian documentary called the Good Postman, set in a small village on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, which is a gateway mostly for Syrian refugees. After Prague, the One World festival will move to an additional 32 cities in the Czech Republic as well as to Brussels.
Prague Institute of Planning and Development will continue to place chairs and tables around the city to improve the quality of Prague’s public spaces. The project was approved on Tuesday by the councillors at Prague City Hall. At the moment, there are 430 chairs and 90 tables situated in various squares and parks around Prague. According to the analysis carried out by the Institute of Planning and Development, around 220,000 people used the urban furniture in 2016. In the future, the institute plans to add more municipal furnishing, such as portable bike stands and grills.
Average price of auction item rose to 57,000 crowns in 2016 The average auction price of an item at Czech auctions increased to 57.000 crowns (over 2,000 euros) last year, the art investment website artplus.cz informed on Tuesday. The price rise was fuelled by an overall surge in sales at Czech auctions, which exceeded one billion crowns for the first time in history. The overall turnover at Czech auctions in 2016 increased by over 30 percent on the previous year to more than 1.25 billion crowns.
Melting snow and heavy rainfall have raised water levels on rivers in some parts of the Czech Republic. The worst affected areas are in the regions of Liberec and Děčín in the north of the country, where the highest level flood alerts have been declared. Authorities have also issued flood warnings in the Pilsen and South Bohemian regions. Meanwhile, meteorologists expect more rain and strong winds in the days to come.
An avalanche warning has been issued by authorities in the Krkonoše mountains in the north of the country on Tuesday. The grade two warning on a five-point scale has been issued following a recent snowfall combined with relatively high daytime temperatures. Skiers and hikers have been cautioned not to stray from marked trails and follow weather reports. The Jeseníky Mountain rescue service has issued a similar warning.
Wednesday is expected to be mostly cloudy with showers expected in most parts of the country. Daytime highs will reach up to 11 degrees Celsius.