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Czechs to debate post-“hard Brexit” extension of same rights to Brits as EU citizens

The Czech government will reportedly consider a draft law guaranteeing Britons living in the Czech Republic the same rights enjoyed by EU citizens in the event of a so-called “hard Brexit”, up until the end of 2020.

According to the news agency ČTK, the draft law is based on a Ministry of Interior proposal, due to be discussed on Monday.

As it now stands, if the United Kingdom leaves the EU without an agreement, British citizens would lose free access to the Czech labour market, as well as the public health and social benefits systems.

The draft law aims to ensure legal certainty after the UK leaves the EU in order to avoid serious complications for both British citizens in the Czech Republic and the relevant Czech authorities, ČTK cites the Interior Ministry proposal as saying.

The Czech Republic would want a reciprocal arrangement – in the form of a post-Brexit transition period – from the British government.

Prague to name access to information Ombudsman, “night mayor”

Prague City Hall plans to name an information Ombudsman to handle requests within the context of the Free Access to Information Act passed in 1999.

Tapped to be Ombudsman is Oldřich Kužílek, a government lawyer and former MP who co-authored the Act along with then Senator Michael Žantovský.

In 2002 Kužílek and Žantovský wrote a book on how the law had been implemented since coming into force.

Prague councillors also have agreed to name a “night mayor” charged with overseeing issues related to nightlife in the Czech capital, especially in the historic centre.

Eurostat: Czech hospital stays longest on average in whole EU

The average length of a hospital stay in the Czech Republic lasts some 9.6 days, the longest in the EU, according to a new study by the statistical agency Eurostat based on data from 2016.

Croatia came second with an average stay of 9.3 days.

In contrast, the two EU member states with the lowest average number of days spent in hospital were Bulgaria (at 5.3 days) and the Netherlands (at 4.5 days, excluding long-stay hospitals).

Eurostat noted, however, that if institutions providing long-term care are not included in the national figures, the average length of stay is likely to be underestimated.

Ex-President of Germany Joachim Gauck awarded by Prague, Charles University

Former German President Joachim Gauck has been awarded the Charles IV Prize, a distinction bestowed by the city of Prague and Charles University to persons known for their outstanding contribution to culture, politics or economics.

Gauck is the seventh person to receive this award since its inception in 1993, which includes an honorary diploma. He should officially receive this distinction on 21 January in Prague.

Now 78, Gauck served as Germany’s head of state between 2012 and 2017. In that capacity, he made numerous visits to the Czech Republic.

Survey: Every third Czech complains about under-heated workplaces

Every third Czech finds their workplace uncomfortably cold in the winter and has no access to regulate the temperature themselves.

This according to a survey of ergonomics and health protection at work by the agency Preventado.

Government regulations require the temperature at indoor workplaces to be above 21 degrees Celsius during the winter.

State budget for 2018 ended with surplus of 2.9 billion crowns

The Czech Republic’s state budget for 2018 ended with a surplus of 2.9 billion crowns. The minister of finance, Alena Schillerová, presented the figures for the country’s economic performance in 2018 at a news conference in Prague on Thursday afternoon.

According to the ministry, it is the second best result since 1996. The finance ministry had initially planned for a CZK 50 billion budget deficit.

Tennis: Plíšková beats Tomljanović in Brisbane, advances to semi-finals vs. Vekić

Former Czech tennis champion Karolína Plíšková, now ranked no. 8 in the world, has beaten Australia’s Ajla Tomljanović in the Brisbane International quarterfinals.

Plíšková won the topsy-turvy three-set battle 6-1, 1-6, 6-1. She will now advance to the semi-finals and take on Croatia's Donna Vekić.

Weather outlook

The forecast for Saturday is for cloudy skies and freezing rain or light snow throughout much of the country. However, heavy snowfall is likely in the early hours of Saturday in many regions, includin Zlín, Moravia-Silesia, and Vysočina. Daytime highs should range between 1 to 5 degrees Celsius.