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01-12-2016 14:51 | Ian Willoughby

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Finance minister’s flagship electronic cash registers up and running

The flagship measure to combat undeclared earnings, electronic cash registers, began to take effect across the Czech Republic on Thursday. The measure has been pushed by finance minister and ANO leader Andrej Babiš against opposition from the centre-right opposition. In the first wave, the measure applies to hotels and restaurants covering an estimated 40,000 businesses. It will be widened out to the rest of the economy in the following years. After heated discussion over last minute moves to water down the measure within the government coalition, Babiš now says that it will go ahead as originally planned.

Prague again ranked best place to live in national survey

Prague is the best place to live in the Czech Republic, according to the research project Místo pro život (Place for Life). While the capital retains top spot in the survey, the Pardubice Region has shot up from ninth last year to second place, followed by Plzeň, which also came in third in 2015. The authors said Prague triumphed thanks to factors such as wage levels, healthcare standards and number of associations and charities.

Sixty percent of drivers flouting rules at rail crossings

Sixty percent of drivers in the Czech Republic flout traffic regulations when using railway crossings, Roman Budský of the national Road Safety Team said at a news conference on Thursday. The most frequent violation is driving over the crossings after warning signals begin. Mr. Budský said the majority of those killed at such spots live nearby and feel that they know them well. He also said that the Czech Republic was the European per capita leader in railway suicides.

Prague opens winter night shelters for homeless

Winter night shelters for the homeless opened in Prague on Thursday. The number of beds available has more than doubled this year to over 430. The Czech capital has seen freezing night temperatures several times this week. Centres are in place in the Michle, Žižkov and Holešovice districts of the city, while a boat on the Vltava offers accommodation to the homeless all year at a charge of CZK 20 a night. City officials believe there are up to 5,000 homeless people in Prague. Eighty percent of them are men.

Tennis stars Plíšková and Kvitová “swop” trainers

The Czech tennis stars Karolína Plíšková and Petra Kvitová have “swopped” coaches. Plíšková, the world number six, has just announced that she is to begin working with David Kotyza, who until January trained Kvitová. The latter, meanwhile, has hired Jiří Vaněk, who Plíšková parted company with in mid-November. World number 11 Kvitová is a two-time Wimbledon winner. Plíšková reached the final of the US Open this year.

Domestic ice hockey league to celebrate 80 years of existence

The Czech ice hockey Extraliga is to mark the 80th anniversary of its foundation in a series of events over the coming weeks. They will begin with a game between Sparta Prague and Vítkovice on Sunday and conclude with a clash between Zlín and Hradec Králové on January 13. During the celebrations large-scale fan polls will be conducted to decide on the greatest event in the league’s history and the best five players. The first ever Extraliga game took place on 3 January 1937.

Weather forecast

It should be mainly cloudy and wet in the Czech Republic on Friday, with temperatures of up to 4 degrees Celsius. The weekend is expected to be colder but with some sunny spells.

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