Inspectors from the Czech Trade Inspection Authority have started
inspecting fireworks retailers throughout the country. They are focusing
particularly on those who have violated the law in the past or those
against whom they have received complaints from buyers.
Fireworks are sold in different categories, for users over 18, over 21 and for professionals only. The use of fireworks is moreover banned in all of the country’s four national parks, including in villages, hotels and guesthouses located in these nature reserves. Breach of the law can be fined by up to 10,000 crowns.
The average Czech household spent 149,162 crowns per person last year,
according to figures released by the Czech Statistics Office. Consumer
spending, which includes spending on food, housing, holidays, health,
transport or education, increased by 3.4 percent year-on-year.
The biggest share of the family budget is spent on housing, the second biggest amount is spent on food. The cost of food and accommodation increased by more than seven percent last year.
The only expenditures that showed a year-on-year decline were postal and telecommunication services due to lower mobile and internet tariffs.
Police are investigating a robbery of jewellery and watches worth at least
20 million crowns stolen from a store in the Arkády Pankrác shopping mall
on December 16th.
The video from a security camera published by the police shows seven robbers breaking into the shopping centre in the late night hours. The break-in lasted only about two and a half minutes, giving the men time to escape before the first police officers arrived at the scene.
The police have asked the public for help in reporting anything suspicious they may have noticed.
The police were called to another incident at the statue of the
controversial Russian marshal Ivan Konev in Prague 6 on Saturday.
Several dozen people who turned up to pay their respects to the marshal on the 122nd anniversary of his birth got into skirmishes with the marshal’s critics, who point out that as well as liberating the country from Nazi oppression, Konev was also involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
The local council has already voted to have the statue moved to a different location.
The incident has sparked fresh criticism from Russia, where the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Russian Parliament Konstantin Kosachev said “new Nazis were emerging in the Czech Republic and desecrating the memorials to those who helped defeat them.“
30 years ago today, on December 29, 1989, the dissident playwright Václav
Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia, in a vote that marked a
definitive end to one-party communist rule in the country.
The dissident labelled “an enemy of the state“ by the communist regime was paradoxically elected in a unanimous vote by the country’s still communist-dominated Czechoslovak Federal Assembly.
Following the resignation of not only the communist party leadership, but also of president Gustav Husák, Marián Čalfa, a reformist communist, who then headed a so-called “government of national unity” convinced his party colleagues to fall in line and vote for change.
The cabinet is due to debate a proposed amendment to the law on cyber
security in the coming days, the head of Military Intelligence Jan Beroun
told the ctk news agency. The amendment is now being studied by Prime
Minister Andrej Babiš, and should be addressed by members of the State
The bill would give Military Intelligence broader powers, among others the right to continuously monitor public communications networks.
The country has seen two big cyberattacks in the past few weeks, targeting a hospital in Benešov and the OKD coal mining company. Previous attempts to amend the law have failed due to privacy concerns.
The majority of Czechs (81 percent) will celebrate the arrival of the New
Year at home or among their relatives and close friends. Four percent of
respondents plan to go to a restaurant or club and twelve percent said they
had no special plans for the big night. Three percent of Czechs will see
the New Year in abroad.
Czechs will spend on average 2,290 crowns on food, drink and fireworks this year; a 16 percent increase on last year. Thirty-one percent of respondents said they would toast the New Year with champagne, 26 percent will opt for wine and 18 percent with beer.
The police say they have arrested a cocaine kingpin who supplied customers throughout Prague with the drug for years. The 38-year-old suspect has been charged and is in custody. During a raid of his home police confiscated large amounts of the drug and tens of thousands of euros. If convicted he could face between ten and twenty years in prison.
After-Christmas and New Year sales are in full swing in most chain stores
in the Czech Republic with Czechs expected to spend almost as much as in
the Christmas rush. Moreover 13 percent of Czech families leave gift-giving
until the New Year in order to save money.
According to statistics Czechs spent 52 billion crowns in e-shops in the run up to Christmas and are expected to spend a similar amount in the New Year sales.
Customers are spending predominantly on mobile phones and household equipment such as TV sets, washing-machines, dishwashers, and fridges.
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