Czech Post is putting its prices up. From next month the cost of sending an
ordinary letter will jump from CZK 16 to CZK 19, while registered letters
will go up by CZK 6 to CZK 44. Packages weighing over two kilogrammes will
not increase in price.
Czech Post, which has over 3,000 branches, says it has to increase the prices in order to ensure high-quality and accessible postal services.
The company has seen its delivery numbers fall. It refuses to release absolute numbers but says it recorded an 11-percent decline in the number of pieces of mail it delivered in 2016.
The public broadcasters Czech Radio and Czech Television have begun airing
campaign slots from candidates running in next week’s presidential
elections. The incumbent, Miloš Zeman, has not sent a clip so Czech
Television is going to fill the time allotted to him with photos and
His spokesperson said Mr. Zeman was not actively participating as this would represent a “pre-election campaign”, which the head of state is not leading.
The first round of the presidential elections takes place on Friday and Saturday next week. If none of the nine candidates receives more than 50 percent, the front two will go through to a run-off two weeks later.
The Czech Foreign Ministry has confirmed that two Czech children died in a
fire in the Netherlands on Saturday. They were aged five and six. Their
parents are in hospital with serious injuries. It is not yet clear how the
fire that ravaged their home broke out.
A collection was launched by the family’s neighbours. The Czech Embassy in the Netherlands is in contact with the parents to provide whatever assistance it can in the wake of the tragedy.
Hundreds of people turned out for a festive change-of-guard ceremony and an
exhibition at Prague Castle marking 25 years since the establishment of an
independent Czech Republic on Monday.
Viewers could admire the original copy of the Czech constitution, the country’s national symbols and high state distinctions and congratulatory letters to the country’s first president Vaclav Havel from foreign statesmen.
In the course of the year Prague Castle will hold several exhibitions dedicated to the centenary of Czechoslovakia.
President Miloš Zeman with the first lady, Ivana, and Prime Minister Andrej Babiš with his wife Monika will meet for a traditional New Year lunch at Lany Chateau on Tuesday, according to the president’s office. The two officials are expected to discuss the future government in view of the difficult negotiations following October’s general elections. Although the prime minister has failed to secure support for his minority government, President Zeman has promised to give him a second chance to form a government in February. However much depends on the outcome of the January presidential elections.
The two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova pulled out of the Brisbane International with a viral illness on Monday. The former 2nd, now 29-seed,who won the tournament in 2011, was due to take the court in her first round match against Estonian Anett Kontaveit. She was replaced in the draw by Heather Watson. Kvitova is hoping to be fully recoverd for the tournament in Sydney next week.
2018 will bring a number of significant changes in the social sphere, including a higher minimal wage which should reach 12,200 crowns a month, a four percent hike in pensions, amounting to close to 500 crowns a month and tax benefits for parents with children, as well as a more flexible parental leave and a week-long paternity leave. There will be more money for old age homes and caregivers and higher benefits for companies employing people with disabilities.
The start of the New Year has kicked off the largest and most successful fund-raiser in the country. The Three Kings Collection, organized by the Catholic charity Caritas involves thousands of volunteers, most of them children, taking to the streets dressed as the Three Wise Men, singing carols and asking people to donate money to charity. Since the year 2,000 the collection has raised overall 1.1 billion crowns in aid of the needy. It lasts for a fortnight.
The year 2018 will bring a number of significant anniversaries, such as the
centenary of the birth of Czechoslovakia in October, fifty years since the
Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia and 25 years since the break-up of
the common state of Czechs and Slovaks.
It will also bring a number of important political events. On January 12-13 Czechs will vote in the first round of presidential elections and two days earlier Prime Minister Babis will ask the lower house for a vote of confidence in his minority government. Since he has failed to win backing for it in the lower house, it is likely that he will make a second attempt at forming a government in February. The lower house will also vote on whether to strip the prime minister, who is suspected of EU subsidy fraud, of his immunity, opening the way for prosecution.
Karel Gott to get funeral with state honours as singer’s death is mourned at home and abroad
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czech pop music legend Karel Gott dies at the age of 80
Karel Gott’s Mona Lisa to be put up for auction
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott