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USAID: public image of Czech NGO sector deteriorating

USAID: public image of Czech NGO sector deteriorating

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has ranked the Czech Republic third among post-communist nations in the sustainability of the civil society sector for 2017, the Czech News Agency reported on Saturday.

The USAID annual report compares the situation in 24 former Eastern bloc countries, focusing on the legal environment, financial background of the NGOs, their organisation, implementation of interests, provision of services, infrastructure and public image.

It suggests that the overall sustainability of Czech NGO sector remained unchanged. However, the sector’s public image deteriorated as the current government portrayed it as unreliable and incompetent, which resulted in growing public distrust in NGOs.

The report also says that governments expressing hostility to established democratic norms, practices, and institutions are increasingly common in Central and Eastern European countries.

Several renovation projects planned for Prague Castle next year

A number of renovation projects are planned for Prague Castle, one of the city’s most visited landmarks, the Prague Castle Administration spokesman told the Czech News Agency on Saturday.

The administration is set to renovate the façade and roof of the left wing of the New Royal Palace and the residence in the Royal Garden. Works will also continue on the Renaissance building of the Supreme Burgrave’s House.

The overall cost of the repairs at Prague castle next year is expected to exceed 300 million crowns. Most of the expenses, around 75 million crowns, will be used to repair the interiors of the residence in the Royal Garden, where the presidents of Czechoslovakia once lived.

Skiing season launched in Špindlerův Mlýn

Skiing season was launched in the country’s biggest ski centre in Špindlerův Mlýn in the Krkonoše Mountains on Saturday. According to ski-operators, there are around 40 centimeters of artificial snow on the slopes. Several ski centers around the country have been open since last weekend. The cross-country ski trails in the country remain closed due to lack of snow.

Average temperatures expected in next four weeks

Average temperatures for the season are expected in the coming four-week period. According to the long-term weather forecast of the Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute issued on Saturday, we can expect daytime temperatures of around two degrees Celsius.

Rainfall levels in the next two weeks should be slightly above the long-term average.

Meteorologists warn of high winds

The Czech Hydro-Meteorological Institute has issued a warning against high winds with a force of up to 70 km an hour for most parts of the Czech Republic. The warning is valid until 16 pm on Sunday.

The authorities have advised people to secure their windows and garden furniture and avoid trees and older buildings as their roofs could be ripped off. Drivers have been warned to exercise extreme caution and mountain rescue services have advised people against mountain hiking during the weekend.

Czechs finish fourth in World Cup two-man bobsled race

The Czech Republic’s Dominik Dvořák and Jakub Nosek finished fourth in the World Cup season’s opening two-man bobsled race in Sigulda, Latvia on Saturday, securing the second best result in the country’s history.

The Czechs finished 92 hundredths of second  behind the winning German team, consisting of Francesco Friedrich and Alexander Schueller.  

Weather .

Sunday is expected to be overcast with rain or snow showers and daytime temperatures ranging between 6 and 10 degrees Celsius