Twenty-five Czech nationals remain unaccounted for in South Asian disaster regions. The number of unaccounted for dropped by 7 on Monday, after two Czechs in Thailand, and five on Sri Lanka got in touch with authorities. So far the Czech Republic has had only one casualty confirmed, a 24-year-old woman who died in Thailand. The Foreign Ministry says 7 of the 25 missing are likely to have died in Thailand and Sri Lanka in the tsunami catastrophe. Three Czech women in Thai hospitals to return home
The Czech ambassador to Thailand has said that three Czech women who are in Thai hospitals with serious injuries since last week are due to return to the Czech Republic in the coming days. The three include Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova who suffered a broken pelvis, one other adult woman and a nine-year-old girl who suffered severe cuts in the tsunami disaster.
Czechs have now raised more than 37.5 million crowns (1,233,000 euros) in public collections called by aid organisations to help the countries struck by the tsunami disaster. The government said it will donate another 5 million crowns on top of the 10 million already pledged for immediate relief.
The Czech Republic's budget deficit in 2004 totalled 93.5 billion crowns or just over 3 billion euros, some 700 million euros less than previously projected, the Finance Ministry said Monday. According to the ministry the outcome was the result of high tax revenues, and savings on expenditure.
Czech Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda has announced that Turkey has abolished visa requirement for Czech citizens. As of this month Czechs travelling to Turkey will no longer be required to apply for visas. Turks travelling to the Czech Republic will still require Czech visas but the procedure has been simplified.
New Year's sales in stores around the Czech Republic including a major hypermarket and a well-known furniture outlet have reportedly spurred dramatic shopping sprees in Czech and Moravian cities like Usti nad Labem, Pilsen, Ostrava, and Brno. It has been reported that in some areas, as a result of the shopping, traffic even grinded to a halt. The price drops saw Czechs pack stores to buy electronic and photo items, toys, women's and men's wear, and home appliances.
The coming hours are expected to see light rain. Daytime temperatures over the next few days are expected to hover at around 4 degrees Celsius.
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