The Road and Motorway Directorate says it has saved 280 million crowns on road maintenance so far thanks to the mild winter. For instance the amount of technical salt used on roads dropped from 16,000 tons last year to 5,700 tons this winter. The money saved is to be used for road repairs in the spring.
The police on Thursday arrested controversial Prague businessman Ivo Rittig and three other people, including his attorney. They have been charged with money laundering, Prague High Attorney Lenka Bradáčová said. The case is related to the alleged siphoning of funds from Prague’s city public transport company, the news website idnes.cz wrote. The firm is reported to have bought tickets from anonymously owned companies whose beneficiary is Mr Rittig. He allegedly received a cut from each ticket sold. The controversial businessman also figured in a police operation that led to the fall of the government last June.
Heavy snow in the east of the Czech Republic blocked roads and caused accidents on Wednesday. The worst affected areas were the Moravia- Silesia and the Zlín regions. Weather forecasters have warned of a further 10 centimeters of snow and up to 25 centimeters on high ground and say that icy conditions will persist until at least Thursday.
Czech Airlines has dropped a plan to have its new uniforms designed by the local fashion designer Blanka Matragi. A spokesperson said the reason for the rethink was a disagreement between the designer and CSA over the contract for the uniforms. For her part, Matragi said the deal on the table would not have allowed her to express her artistic vision. The airline will now either hire a different designer or stick with its current outfits.
Transport Minister Antonin Prachař has said linking up the country’s highways to the European network is a top priority. The minister said he wanted to push ahead with work on the D3 highway to Linz and the R52 motorway to Vienna. The minister has announced a shakeup at the Road and Highway Directorate where he ordered a financial audit. A new management is to be installed within two months.
Strong winds and icy roads have been causing traffic problems in parts of the Czech Republic. In some places, roads were blocked by fallen branches on Tuesday, while snow covered some roads, mainly in the west, east and north-east of the country. Police warned drivers to exercise extra caution while meteorologists said weather conditions were not likely to improve much during the day.
The Czech-born, Lebanon-based fashion designer Blanka Matragi will design new uniforms for Czech Airlines and other parts of the Czech Aeroholding, a spokeswoman for the group said on Monday. The state-own firm chose Matragi, who settled in Lebanon in the 1970s, from among 14 designers. The designer will have to respect the firm’s colour scheme dominated by dark blue. Czech Airlines also want the new uniforms to be more conservative than the currently used attires. Czech Airlines flight attendants and other employees should get new uniforms in 2015.
The Prague Transport Authority has indicated there may have been irregularities in the construction of Prague metro’s A line to Motol. The Prague Transport Authority is conducting an internal audit into the construction which is still underway and according to unofficial sources the building company in charge of the extension may have failed to call public tenders on some of the work undertaken. The head of the PTA Jaroslav Duriš said on Sunday the results of the audit would be made public within two weeks. He said some irregularities have been uncovered though they were not as serious as presumed earlier. The extended A line to Motol should open to the public in early 2015.
The Lochkovsky tunnel on the Prague ring-road is closed for repairs over the weekend and drivers have been asked to use the cities southern ring road instead. The tunnel was seriously damaged by a burning truck in mid-January after which it remained open to traffic in one lane only. The damage was estimated at 6 million crowns. The tunnel should be open to traffic by mid-day Sunday.
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