Czechs are spending increasing amounts of money on Christmas, according to
a survey carried out by the agency Nielsen Admosphere, presented on
The average amount Czechs will spend on Christmas shopping is CZK 12,297, which is CZK 1,310 more than last year.
While in 2016, the average amount Czechs spent on Christmas gifts amounted to CZK 4,500, last year it exceeded CZK 6,000 and this year it reached CZK 7,046.
The Prague City Hall assembly on Thursday approved the signing of a
sister-city agreement with the capital of Taiwan, Taipei. According to
Prague mayor Zdeněk Hřib, the agreement should be apolitical and cover
cooperation in the business and cultural spheres.
Prague City Hall in October terminated its sister-city agreement with Beijing after the Chinese capital refused to let Prague remove a clause saying it respected the policy of One China.
Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is attending an EU summit in Brussels on
Thursday and Friday focused on plans to combat global warming. European
heads of state are set to debate ways for the 28-nation bloc to become
carbon neutral by 2050.
Mr Babiš said ahead of the summit that the Czech Republic was also committed to carbon neutrality, but it won’t be able to reach it without nuclear energy and called on Brussels not to exclude nuclear energy from its sustainable finance classification scheme.
He also pointed out the "astronomical costs" of a conversion to carbon neutrality, evaluating them at 26 billion euros. EU leaders will also discuss their long-term budget plans, economic developments and Britain’s departure from the European Union.
The population of the Czech Republic grew by more than 30,000 over the
first nine months of this year to 10.69 million, the Czech Statistics
Office announced on Thursday.
As in recent years, the numbers were driven by immigration, mainly from
Ukraine and Slovakia.
More people were born than died during the first nine months of 2019, but both of the figures were lower than in the same period last year.
The number of Prague citizens increased by 10.056 to 1.319 million.
Some 200 people gathered outside the University Hospital in Ostrava on
Wednesday evening for a memorial service for six people killed there the
previous morning by a gunman.
Originally, the service was to be in the hospital chapel, but it could not accommodate those wishing to pay their respects to the victims. One woman remains in critical condition.
Sirens across the Czech Republic will sound at noon on December 17 to commemorate the victims.
The gunman, a 42-year-old construction technician with a history of mental illness and minor scrapes with the law, later committed suicide in his car as police closed in on him.
The new European Space Agency will be based in Prague from 2021 onwards,
the Czech Ministry of Transport announced on Wednesday.
The agency will be created by extending the existing European GNSS Agency (GSA), which is already based in the Czech capital. It is currently mainly responsible for operating the Galileo satellite navigation system and employs 100 people.
The new agency – the European Union Agency for the Space Program (EUSPA) – will employ approximately 700 people. Apart from developing satellite telecommunications it will monitor the nearby surroundings of the Earth.
The EUSPA will also manage of Copernicus which, along with Galileo, have become global references in satellite positioning and earth observation, and the governmental satellite communications initiative Govsatcom.
Achieving carbon neutrality in the Czech Republic would cost some 675
billion crowns, something that the EU should take into account in the next
EU budget period, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) tweeted on Wednesday.
His assertion came following a meeting with Minister of Environment Richard Brabec (ANO), State Secretary for European Affairs Milena Hrdinková, and the head of power utility ČEZ, Daniel Beneš.
According to Babiš, they have agreed on a strategy for the European Council in Brussels that starts on Thursday and will focus on the bloc’s aim to be carbon neutrality by 2050.
He further reiterated his assertion that the country cannot achieve carbon neutrality without boosting nuclear energy production.
By 2050, nuclear energy could form about one half of the Czech energy mix, and coal and natural gas about 20 percent each.
The ransomware attack early on Wednesday that disabled the computer system
of a hospital in Benešov, central Bohemia, is far from an isolated
incident, the Czech News Agency (ČTK) reports.
This year, one in five Czech healthcare facilities have been subject to attempted blackmail by hackers demand ransom money to unencrypt data, the agency says, citing Kaspersky antivirus statistics.
The Benešov hospital had to postpone planned operations and turn away new patients due to the cyberattack, and some of its equipment and services remain offline.
Czech-American director Miloš Forman’s 1984 biopic Amadeus is among the
films added to the US Library of Congress’ National Film Registry this
Each year the Registry adds 25 films, chosen for their cultural, historic
and aesthetic importance to America’s film heritage.
Forman left Czechoslovakia for America after the Soviet-led invasion of 1968 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1977.
Amadeus is considered among the best films of all time. It received 40 awards, including eight Oscars (including the Academy Award for Best Picture), four BAFTAs, four Golden Globe Awards, and a Directors Guild of America award.