The upcoming VAT hike on foods and medicines due to come into effect in January has arrived early as many shops have gradually started increasing the price of various products, the internet daily idnes reports. The paper says that this “creeping” price rise is an old business tactic that served well in the last VAT hike in 2008 when the tax on food products went up from 5 to 9 percent. In the new year prices will stay put and people will get the impression that nothing much has changed. Czechs will be paying more next year not just for the said items but for water, power and public transport as well.
Twenty-two years after the fall of communism Czech shops are crammed with goods and people have long forgotten the hours they spent waiting in line to buy bananas and oranges for their Christmas table – a rare treat unavailable throughout the year. Shopping malls and supermarkets now offer a wide variety of goods sold across Europe. But beneath the surface of the glossy packaging –there’s a small hitch. Discerning shoppers often find that certain brand products they relished abroad still don’t taste quite as good in the Czech Republic. I met up
Poachers stole over a thousand fish from two ponds that they drained overnight on Sunday. Residents near the town of Šumperk said they had never seen a similar case, with about 33 thousand crowns worth of trout stolen from very near the owners’ homes. The owners themselves say they had responded to their dogs’ barking but saw no one. Police looked for footprints at the site on the Morning, but found only that the culprits had used wood from the owners’ wood stacks to avoid stepping in the mud. If convicted they face up to five years in prison.
Prices of food are expected to rise by around 10 percent next year, the novinky.cz news site reported on Sunday, citing Czech producers and traders. According to the president of the Czech Confederation of Commerce and Tourism Zdeněk Juračka, the price increase will be caused by a weakening crown, a VAT hike, growing commodity prices on foreign markets and rising costs of transport and energy. A spokeswoman for the Czech Federation of the Food and Drink Industries said higher prices might affect local production as consumers might travel to countries with a lower VAT. Producers have warned pressure on lower prices might lead to a decline in quality. According to the Czech Statistical Office Czechs consumed less meat, milk products, fruit and vegetables as well as alcohol and cigarettes last year. Producers say they believe the trend has continued in 2011.
Tram and car traffic is heavy on Prague’s Dukelských Hrdinů St. – not a very inviting location to open a business in the middle of the financial crisis. Yet the 45-year-old cook gone entrepreneur Petr Kosiner has set up his store Lázníčkový knedlík here. It is the only brick-and-mortar shop in Prague to sell homemade dumplings. Since it opened seven months ago, the store and the humble goods it sells have turned out to be so popular that already its owner has a hard time keeping up with the huge demand. Both restaurant professionals and regular
Czechs last year consumed less meat, milk products, fruit and vegetables as well as alcohol and cigarettes, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Wednesday. While a surge in the consumption of potatoes and chicken rose in 2010, the average consumption of meat dropped by 3.5 percent to less than 76 kilos per person, while the consumption of fruit and vegetables decreased by 7 and two percent, respectively.
A 45-year-old Italian national was killed on Friday afternoon when he
accidentally fell from Prague’s historic Charles Bridge. According to a
police spokesman, the tourist lost his balance while trying to take a
picture of one of the bridge’s many statues. The tragedy took place at
around four-thirty pm at Na Kampě street in the Malá Strana quarter: the
man died on the spot.
In 2003, another Italian just 19-years-old died at the bridge when – apparently under the influence of alcohol – he fell and drowned. In 2005, a visitor from Slovakia leapt from the bridge and was killed when he hit only shallow water below.
PepsiCo CZ has recalled a batch of flavoured water found to be contaminated. The beverage manufacturer made a press release stating that extensive microbiological tests had shown that no other batches or products were contaminated other than the one in question - Toma Natura Plus with peach and jasmine favouring. It says it discovered the problem after receiving one complaint.
The number of Czech breweries is dwindling, according to the Association of Czech Brewers. Since the early 90s some two dozen breweries disappeared from the market either because they were poorly managed following privatization or because their buyers had other plans. The number of traditional breweries is now down to 52 but according to the association, there is a growing fashion of mini-breweries set up by restaurants which offer their own brews in limited supply. According to available sources the number of breweries in the Czech lands peaked in the 1850s when there were over 1,000 of them. By 1900 their number had dwindled to 650.
In recent years, Saint Martin’s day has become a welcome opportunity for Czech winemakers to present their young wines. The revived tradition of Saint Martin’s wines has caught on, and November 11 has become a fixture in the calendar of Czech wine-lovers. One of the main wine festivals in the capital is held on Jiřího z Poděbrad Square, in the Vinohrady neighbourhood.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery