Clean-up operations continue in many parts of the country following heavy
snow-fall over the weekend.
The situation is reported to be worst in Kladno, west of Prague, which declared a state of emergency on Sunday and the Usti and Olomouc regions which saw fresh snow overnight.
Maintenance crews have been out in force to clear up second and third class roads in southern Bohemia which saw 30 cm of fresh snow at the weekend. Fallen trees blocked roads and rail tracks disrupting traffic.
The eastern part of the country is expected to see more snow on Monday.
The government is preparing more significant income tax cuts than
previously planned to make up for the fact that the planned abolition of
the so-called “super-gross” tax wage has been postponed until 2021.
Under a tax reform bill being drafted by the Finance Ministry the income tax Czechs pay could drop from the present 20 to under 19 percent. Finance Minister Alena Schillerova told Czech Television she wanted to link the proposed tax changes with changes to the health insurance system.
On the other hand, the prime minister has stressed the need to cut expenditures in public administration and has requested ministers from his own party to outline their cost-saving plans.
Some two dozen people gathered outside Prague Castle on Sunday to protest
against the security checks at the gates to the Prague Castle compound,
which were introduced in 2016 and have remained in place since.
The security checks, which every tourist or local must undergo if they wish to enter the compound, have brought protests from travel agencies and members of the public who were used to visiting the seat of the head of state freely.
The president’s spokesman has repeatedly defended the security checks saying they were made following recommendations to the Office of the President by security experts.
The Dutch company Fynerdale Holdings is suing the Czech Republic over lost
investments in trade in poppy seeds.
The Dutch investor provided loans to the Czech company YTRIX a.s. and the Maltese company Poppyseed Limited, to be used for trade in poppy seeds produced in the Czech Republic.
The business turned out to be a scam and the Dutch firm claims the Czech government failed to act on the claimant’s criminal complaint regarding its business partners’ fraudulent activities, which allegedly entailed the loss of the company’s assets.
Fynerdale Holdings is demanding over 108 million US dollars in compensation.
Heavy snowfall has been complicating traffic around the country. Most
regions, including Central Bohemia and the capital Prague, saw heavy
snowfall overnight with some areas of the country getting 15 to 20 cm of
Although road maintenance crews have been out in force and working around the clock not all roads have been cleared and drivers have been warned to exercise extreme caution. Some roads have been closed to heavy trucks.
Prague’s international airport reported delays in scheduled landings and at least one flight was re-directed to Brno. Bus transport in Prague was also affected, with delays and some routes cancelled due to problematic terrain in the heavy snow.
Thousands of households in South Bohemia have been left without power.
A snow warning remains in place throughout Sunday.
Robert Sedláček’s film Jan Palach took the Czech Film Critics'
Award for Best Film at a gala event at Prague's Archa Theatre on
Saturday night. The film tells the true-life-story of a student who in 1989
took his own life in protest of growing public apathy to the 1968
Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
The director’s award went to Olmo Omerzu for his road movie Všechno bude / Winter Flies and Best Screenplay went to Lucie Bokšteflová’s comedy Chata na prodej/Country-house for sale.
The European Commission is considering proposals that would amount to a
de-facto ban on Huawei Technologies Co. equipment for next-generation
mobile networks, the news agency Reuters reported citing four senior EU
The issue is a matter of concern in many EU member states, including the Czech Republic, where the National Cyber and Security Information Agency recently issued a warning regarding Huawei products. Prime Minister Andrej Babiš ordered the Office of the Government to cease using mobile phones produced by the Chinese company and Czech experts are now analysing the possible security risks to the country’s infrastructure.
The question of whether to ban Huawei from the 5G mobile network has raised controversy since it could mean delays and extra costs, undermining the country’s efforts to stay competitive.
Prime Minister Babiš recently called for cyber-security concerns to be addressed and resolved at EU-level.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has expressed regret over the decision of the
US to withdraw its obligations under the INF or Intermediate-Range Nuclear
Forces Treaty in response to Russia’s material breach and Moscow’s
decision to respond in kind. He expressed the hope that the two countries
would use the six-month period that the formal withdrawal period lasts to
go back to the negotiating table and reach agreement. Babiš said the world
today faces too many global problems to return to the era of the Cold War
and a new arms race.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said he hoped there was still time to reverse the decision, but stressed that the ball was now in Russia’s court. Along with its NATO allies the Czech Republic has repeatedly called on Russia to adhere to its obligations under the INF treaty.
The INF, or The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, Treaty was signed between the former Soviet Union and the United States on December 8, 1987 and entered into force on June 1, 1988. The treaty covered deployed and non-deployed ground-based short-range missiles (from 500 to 1,000 kilometres) and intermediate-range missiles (from 1,000 to 5,500 kilometres).
Half of the suspect beef deliveries from Poland have been sent back to the
country or seized and destroyed, the Czech Veterinary Authority said on
According to earlier reports some 300 kg of suspect beef from a Polish slaughterhouse where sick cows were butchered were exported to the Czech Republic.
One hundred kilograms of the meat was reportedly sent back to Poland at the request of a Polish tradesman. The Czech authorities said some of the meat had already been sold to customers or delivered to restaurants and school canteens.
The Czech Union of Meat Processors has urged its members to avoid using Polish meat products until the case has been cleared up. Likewise the public has been advised to check the origin of meat products and focus on domestic produce.
The consignments of suspect Polish meat were delivered to four cities: Prague, Varnsdorf, Nový Bydžov and Kostelec nad Labem.
According to the European Commission suspect Polish beef deliveries were traced in 14 EU member states.
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