The government on Wednesday condemned the acts of vandalism against several cafes and shops in Prague over the weekend. A number of coffee bars and shops which are part of the Hate-free project were sprayed with Nazi symbols and threats. Culture Minister Daniel Herman said it was important to take a firm stand against any expression of extremism. Several hundred people gathered on Monday in Prague to condemn the acts of vandalism, which is being investigated by police as hate-related crime.
The average price of apartments in the Czech Republic in 2015 increased by six percent on average year-on-year, according to a survey carried out by Deloitte. The average price per metre was 41,800 crowns. The most expensive apartments were sold in Prague (for 56,400 crowns per metre), while the cheapest apartments could be found in Ústí nad Labem region (for 10,000 crowns per metre). Last year, the overall sales of apartments amounted to 70 billion crowns, which is a 15 percent increase on the previous year.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec has criticised a police officer who forbid boy scouts from singing the Czech national anthem following a mass at a church at the Prague Castle complex on Sunday; in a tweet in response, the minister wrote the police officer had lost all sense and promised a swift resolution. On Sunday, the scouts were asked to leave the outside vicinity of the Church of St. George without singing the anthem as they had done in previous years. The Scouts’ organization later expressed dissatisfaction over the incident. The president’s spokesman Jiří Ovčáček later apologised, saying he would contact the Scouts to agree on steps in the future. Prague Castle, meanwhile, is not seeking disciplinary proceedings against the police officer in question.
Prague has become one of the most popular destinations among Airbnb travellers. More than 10,000 people in the Czech Republic are currently offering their rooms or flats for rent via the Airbnb home-rental site, which is an 86 percent increase on the previous year, the economic daily E15 reported on Wednesday. According to the data provided by Airbnb, Czechs accommodated some 362,000 guests in 2015.
A former police instructor crashed into dozens of parked cars in Prague on Tuesday. Karel Kadlec, who is 46, was arrested in a street in the Vinohrady district adjacent to where he ran his SUV into 51 other vehicles. A witness told the news site iDnes.cz that he seemed to be acting deliberately and had rammed some vehicles repeatedly. Police said that the policeman – who had one per mille of alcohol in his blood – had been involved in a similar incident while under the influence last year.
Currently running the arts website Proti šedi (Against the Grey), Jana Kománková has been a well-known figure on the Prague music scene for over two decades. The critic and Radio 1 DJ was born in the city and has lived her whole life in the Žižkov district. But our tour of “Jana Kománková’s Prague” starts in the adjacent neighbourhood of Vinohrady, specifically at the airy and stylish La Boheme café on Sázavská St.
Dozens of Chinese flags placed on the road from Prague Airport into the city ahead of a visit by Chinese President Xi Yinping on Monday were vandalised on Friday night. Unknown perpetrators marked the flags, which were put up by the Czech-Chinese Mixed Chamber for Mutual Cooperation, with dark paint, the police said. The spokesman of Czech President Milošs Zeman said political and moral responsibility for the damage lay with the TOP 09 major of Prague 6, who said he sympathised with such actions.
Prague City Hall plans to launch a bike-sharing scheme in the capital, the internet news server Aktualne.cz reported on Friday. The system would offer around 1,000 bikes, which would be stationed at around 120 points around the city. The city would also provide regular services of the bikes and an on-line booking system. The costs are estimated at around 50 million crowns, the website reported. A company that would operate the system should be chosen by the end of the year. Currently, a bike sharing scheme is offered in Prague and several other cities in the Czech Republic by a non-profit organisation Rekola.
Prague deputy mayor Petr Dolínek has suggested that activists occupying an improvised social centre should be moved to a former nursery school building in the Prague 4 district. The Social Democrat politicians said the district was not against the move for the activists from Žižkov’s Klinika centre. They have been occupying the building, used as an alternative cultural centre and for offering help to immigrants, although the short term lease on it from a state authority ran out last week. Dolínek added that Prague City Council could try and buy the Klinika building but this would take a long time with an uncertain outcome. The Klinika centre was the target for a firebomb attack, probably by an anti-immigrant group. Police are still investigating.
Details have been released of the visit to the Czech Republic by Chinese President Xi Jinping on March 28 and 29, the first by a Chinese head of state. The Chinese president will visit his Czech counterpart Miloš Zeman at both Prague Castle and the Lány residence outside Prague. A business forum will also be attended by Xi Jinping a large delegation of accompanying businessmen. Czech Television reported that the president will also have a working breakfast with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. President Zeman has suggested the Chinese are ready to invest around 45 billion crowns and sign around 20 agreements during the visit which is the only European stopover on a trip to the United States.
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