In Business News this week: days before the introduction of a new electronic truck tolling system on Czech motorways, many haulage companies are unprepared; Czechs sent a record number of SMS and MMS messages on Christmas Eve; an estimated 100,000 Czechs are going on sun holidays this winter; as rent deregulation fast approaches, not all residents know how much more they are going to have to pay; and electricity prices are going up while gas prices are falling - at least for now.
The Czech Statistical Office has just released a new report on the number of foreign citizens living in the Czech Republic. Its most recent figures show there are over 300,000 foreign nationals with permanent residence in this country. At the end of last year, they accounted for some 2.5 percent of the overall population. Although compared to other EU countries the share is relatively small, it keeps growing steadily.
This Saturday, leading artists gathered at Prague's State Opera to receive and present the Cesky Slavik - Czech Nightingale - music awards. The event was hosted by celebrity radio presenters Milos Pokorny and Roman Ondracek. Among the winners: thirteen year old Ewa Farna from Ostrava, who was voted best newcomer of the year. Dita Asiedu has more on who got what:
In the United States, Thanksgiving - one of the nation's most important holidays - is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. In Prague this year, numerous establishments catered to Americans far from home by serving up traditional Thanksgiving food and hosting full-fledged turkey dinners. Emily Udell checked out a few Thanksgiving celebrations in Prague.
The oldest citizen of the Czech Republic, Marie Kraslova from South Bohemia, celebrated her 108th birthday on Monday, surrounded by family members and still in good health. This year alone, almost two hundred Czechs have reached or are about to reach the age of 100, and the number of centenarians is expected to rise as the trend of population ageing continues.
The "National Theatre House" in the Moravian town of Prostejov - a centre of the Czech clothes industry - has just put some unusual items on display. The Art Nouveau house of culture, which was built in 1907, is exhibiting negligees from the early 20th century. The owners of the elegant dressing gowns are the town's residents themselves. Dita Asiedu reports:
You may well ask why I always manage to dwell on this country's unfortunate past - the Communist era. The reason is that even sixteen years on, it still shapes almost everyone's attitudes. The older people one sees on trains or trams still have, a lot of them at any rate, that cowed, beaten look that one had to adopt then to survive. Look fresh and alive and you look challenging: and the System couldn't cope with challenge. Don't stand out from the crowd, or you'll be in trouble. Last Sunday I saw an old man cycling, right ahead of me - and suddenly
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