Czechs are borrowing more than ever to buy Christmas presents for their relatives and friends, suggests a survey carried out among the country’s non-banking consumer lenders. In the months preceding the festive season, loan firms are traditionally recording an increase in the number of loan applications.
Despite the Czech school system maintaining a relatively strong position in international testing, the ratio of what the country’s teachers earn in comparison to other university graduates is among the lowest in the OECD. The government’s manifesto promises to increase the amount of investment in schooling, but it will likely be a long time before the effects become evident.
Second-hand booksellers in the Czech Republic and several other countries have lost a significant outlet to sell their books abroad after an Amazon subsidiary AbeBooks announced it would no longer support them. In reaction to the announcement, more than 450 antiquarian booksellers from all around the world pulled their books off the website in solidarity with those affected.
Depending on who you talk to, the centuries-old vision of building a canal linking the Elbe, Oder, and Danube rivers is either a brilliant way to open routes for the Czech Republic to three seas – a “Suez canal for Bohemia” – or an exorbitant project of monumental folly that would endanger water quality in all three river basins and erase precious floodplains from the map of Central Europe.
On Wednesday, Parliament is expected to discuss a new legislation amendment, which intends to make it easier for district authorities to remove aging car wrecks abandoned in otherwise useful parking spaces. The Ministry of Transport has criticised the amendment, saying it is lacking in a number of areas, but said it is finalising its own legislation proposal.
According to a study published by the Czech Republic’s Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) on Monday, more than a third of the trains currently in the service of Czech Railways (ČD) have been in use for over 30 years, making them unsuitable to the needs and expectations of customers. The state’s main public transport provider has defended itself by saying that it has only had a chance to start updating its equipment since 2008. However, the NKÚ believes that modernisation is going at too slow a pace.
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