The Czech Republic obtained CZK 45.3 billion more from the coffers of the
European Union last year than it put in, according to figures released on
Thursday by the Ministry of Finance. The difference in 2017 was CZK 56
Ministry officials said the gap had decreased partly because of higher Czech contributions to the EU and partly because a rise in the use of EU funds for the 2014 to 2020 period had not offset a decline in EU budget revenues in the previous seven-year period.
The Czech Republic has been a net beneficiary of EU funds every year since it joined the bloc in 2004.
Nine out of 10 people in Prague say that they feel safe, suggests a survey
carried out by the agency Ipsos Public Affairs. In some parts of the city,
as many as 98 percent of respondents said they had a feeling of safety.
Under 30s were the population group who considered themselves most in danger, according to the results of the study, in which over 1,100 Prague residents and 100 tourists were interviewed.
Respondents identified drug-related issues, vandalism and street crime as the city’s biggest problems.
The seventh annual Dry February, aimed at highlighting the dangers of
excessive drinking, will begin in the Czech Republic on Friday. The event
is organised by the group League of Open Men but is also encouraging women
to not drink a drop of alcohol during February.
The group has a dedicated website offering tips on exercises and alternative, non-alcoholic drinks, as well as advice from psychologists. Czechs rank among the top five nations in the world in terms of annual consumption of pure alcohol per head.
The Senate has approved October 8 being made Sokol Memorial Day in honour
of the Czech gymnastics and sports association. If the president signs the
legislation, the date in question will become a “day of significance”
rather than a state holiday.
Sokol was founded during the Czech National Revival in 1862, making it one of the country’s oldest organisations. Around 1,500 of its members were arrested by the Gestapo on October 8, 1941.
Senators also voted to have November 17, the Day of Struggle for Democracy and Freedom, officially mark International Students’ Day in the Czech Republic, as it did in the past.
During a trip to Washington, the Czech foreign minister, Tomáš
Petříček, will discuss the possibility of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš
meeting President Donald Trump at the White House, Hospodářské noviny
reported on Thursday. Mr. Petříček will raise the matter with his US
counterpart, Mike Pompeo, in late February.
Mr. Petříček told Hospodářské noviny that the Czech authorities’ stance toward Chinese telecoms giant Huawei had helped to bring about the possible meeting with Mr. Trump, which is mooted for this spring.
Organisations crucial to the running of the Czech state have been ordered to review their use of Huawei products in view of a potential security risk. The US authorities have accused the Chinese firm of the theft of technology and other crimes.
The Czech capital has agreed in principle to provide the state with land
towards creating a special government district in the Letňany area, Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) said.
Some 10,000 civil servants at the Ministry for Regional Development and dozens of other state bodies could be relocated there. A new hospital and apartment buildings would also be built in the area.
In return, Prague wants 60 billion crowns to complete the city ring road, to build apartments at the current Na Bulovce Hospital, and transfer ownership in dozens of buildings, including many now vacant.
PM Babiš said his government will send a specific offer to the city within 14 days. It is not yet clear how specifically the proposed exchanges should take place.
Earlier, the Prague City Councillor asked the prime minister for an unused state building that could serve the city instead of the Škoda Palace, which it now rents.
Karolína Plíšková is to replace Petra Kvitová in the first round of
the Fed Cup against Romania, taking place in the Czech city Ostrava from
February 9th -10th.
Kvitová, who took second at the recent Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne, has decided to focus on upcoming contests in St. Petersburg and Doha.
Apart from Plíšková, on the Czech women’s team are Kateřina Siniáková, Barbora Krejčíková and Markéta Vondroušová.
The winner of this clash will face either France or Belgium in the semi-finals, in April.
The Czech Republic is the current Fed Cup title holder and has won 6 of the last 8 editions.
The oldest citizen of the Czech Republic, Marie Schwarzová of Brno,
celebrated her 109th birthday on Wednesday.
According to a district mayor, who attended a ceremony in her honour and asked if she had any birthday wishes, Mrs Schwarzová said she would like a linden tree on her street to be trimmed so as to allow more sunlight into her home.
Mrs Schwarzová, a former teacher and amateur actress, was born in Brno in 1910, when it was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The Czech National Bank on Wednesday issued a second series of three
20-crown coins and a special 100-crown banknote in celebration of the 100th
anniversary of the Czechoslovak currency.
People queued for hours to be among the first to get the coins, which feature portraits of the First Republic economists – First Minister of Finance Alois Rašín; his successor, Karel Englis; and the first governor of the National Bank of Czechoslovakia, Vilém Pospíšil.
The issue is part of the central bank’s “Personalities of the Czechoslovak State” edition featuring the Czech and Slovak political figures.
In October, it released into circulation 20-crown coins with portraits of the founding fathers of Czechoslovakia – Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Edvard Beneš and Rastislav Štefánik.
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Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott