The Czech Republic is the latest country in Europe to report the outbreak of bird flu. On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture Marian Jurečka confirmed that the highly contagious Avian Influenza was discovered in birds at two poultry farms in South Moravia. Following tests on a dead specimen, veterinary officials confirmed that the flu strain is the highly pathogenic H5N and have ordered a safety perimeter instated around the farm.
The Czech government has decided to sue the European Commission over the new denatured alcohol guidelines that are to come into effect as of August 2017. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the government’s decision was a last-ditch effort to prevent their introduction, since the new rules and a single “Euro” formula would create considerable space for fraud and tax-evasion.
Excessive consumption of beer is a much bigger health risk than previously thought, according to a study undertaken by researchers at Brno’s Masaryk University. According to one of the authors of the study Pavel Grassgruber, excessive consumption of beer significantly contributes to Czech health problems and the fact that Czechs now top the European ladder in pancreas and kidney cancer. Czechs are the world’s leading beer drinkers with an annual consumption of 143 liter per head. Germany, known for its famous annual Oktoberfest, is in second place, with 110 liters per head.
Cuba has offered to repay its multi-million dollar debt to the Czech Republic with deliveries of its famous rum, the BBC news site reported on Friday. The Czech finance ministry confirmed that Havana had raised this possibility during recent negotiations on the issue. Cuba owes the Czech Republic 276 million dollars (222 million euros), a debt dating back to the Cold War era when Cuba and Czechoslovakia were part of the communist bloc. If Havana’s offer is accepted the country would have enough rum for more than a century. Cuba has also offered to repay the debt in pharmaceutical drugs but since it lacks EU certification payments in rum would be easier to arrange.
Czech fisheries are gearing up for the annual Christmas carp sales around the country, when sales of home-bred carp go through the roof due to the traditional Czech Christmas dinner of fried carp and potato salad. Although carp makes up for close to 90 percent of the fresh water fish bred in the Czech Republic many Czechs only ever eat it once a year- the rest is sold abroad.
The Japanese company Asahi Group Holdings is to buy the Czech brewery Plzeňský Prazdroj from SABMiller, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Plzeňský Prazdroj, which makes the famous Pilsner Urquell lager, is changing hands as part of a EUR 7.3 billion deal that also includes a number of other breweries in the Central and Eastern Europe region. Asahi reportedly outbid PPF, the investment firm of Czech tycoon Petr Kellner, and other contenders. The European Commission made the sale a condition for agreeing to SABMiller’s acquisition by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Consumer prices in November increased by 0.3 percent compared to the previous month, the Czech Statistics Office reported on Friday. This development was primarily due to a rise in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The year-on-year growth in consumer prices amounted to 1.5 percent, i.e. 0.7 percentage points up on October and the most since June 2013. Analysts ascribe the higher than expected growth to the introduction of the law on electronic cash registers ahead of which many entrepreneurs increased prices to make up for the extra expenditures. Analysts predict that inflation may thus reach the Czech National Bank’s target of 2 percent in the first months of 2017.
From the start of next month stricter new rules governing which foods can be sold as “Czech” come into force. The country’s supermarket chains are already calculating what percentage of the items on their shelves will be listed as locally produced – and their number could fall significantly, iHned.cz reported.