• 07/28/2021

    An area of the Jizera Mountains in North Bohemia known as Jizerskohorské bučiny (Jizera Mts Beechwod) has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The protected national park made the prestigious list as part of what UNESCO referred to as “ancient and primeval beech forests of the Carpathians & other regions of Europe”. Jizerskohorské bučiny is the first Czech natural site to have been recognised in this way.

    The Czech minister of the environment, Richard Brabec, said it was a prestigious recognition of Czech nature protection at the world scale.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    Prime Minister Andrej Babiš says that he will propose to the government that all employees working in the state administration who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 receive two extra days paid leave. Mr. Babiš said on Wednesday that the cabinet wished to motivate people to get the jab.

    The prime minister said the government would call on all ministers to grant two days off to all employees who showed a Covid certificate. He recommended that regions, municipalities and companies follow suit.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    The Czech Republic has a programme to help Afghans who worked with Czech soldiers in their country and have remained there following the withdrawal of Western armies, the minister of defence, Lubomír Metnar, said on Wednesday. Speaking on Czech Television, Mr. Metnar said the provision of asylum to such persons had not been ruled out. The cabinet will discuss the matter at their next meeting.

    Christian Democrat MP Jan Bartošek, who is on the lower house’s defence committee, said he welcomed the plan but that other countries had put such schemes in place more quickly.

    Afghans who worked with international forces face the serious threat of reprisals from the Taliban.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    The sale price of new apartments in Prague rose by an average of 9.4 percent year-on-year at the end of June, according to a report from property developers Trigema, Skanska Reality and Central Group.

    Average prices increased by 5.6 percent compared to at the end of the first quarter of 2021.

    The developers say that prices have increased due to demand outstripping supply, as well as a rise in the cost of construction materials.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    Organisers of large events should check that audience members are either fully-vaccinated against Covid or have had the illness in the previous 180 days, says the Czech minister of health, Adam Vojtěch. From Sunday the limit for attendance at outdoor seated arts or sports events will rise to 7,000, while up to 3,000 will be allowed at indoor events.

    Dancing will also be allowed in nightclubs and at shows from August 1.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    It should be mainly sunny in the Czech Republic on Thursday, with an average high temperature of 25 degrees Celsius. The following days are expected to be overcast.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    Czech women tennis players could take two medals after reaching the semi-finals at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. Markéta Vondroušová made it into the last four in the singles after her opponent in the quarter-finals, Paula Badosa, withdrew after the first set, citing exhaustion. Vondroušová had earlier caused a sensation by knocking out world number two Naomi Osaka.

    The doubles pair of Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková also reached the semi-finals on Wednesday. They are among the favourites to win gold.

    Author: Ian Willoughby
  • 07/28/2021

    Czech energy provider ČEZ has successfully finished selling its Bulgarian assets which were purchased by Bulgarian corporate finance firm Eurohold for EUR 335 million, ČEZ Spokesman Ladislav Kříž said on Tuesday.

    The Czech energy provider has been in the process of exiting the Bulgarian market since 2017, when it sold a coal-powered electricity plant in Varna. Since then, ČEZ has sold seven of its daughter companies in Bulgaria. According to Ladislav Kříž, ČEZ has earned over CZK 10 billion from its sales in Bulgaria, enabling the company to make an overall profit of over CZK 1 billion.

    Apart from exiting Bulgaria, ČEZ says it is also suing the Bulgarian state for breaching privatisation rules and commitments that Bulgaria had made in the energy market upon accession to the EU in 2007. The case was recently registered at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 07/28/2021

    Tuesday saw 252 people test positive for the coronavirus in the Czech Republic – 49 cases fewer than on the same day a week ago. Health Ministry statistics show that the number of positive cases has been steadily falling over the past 10 days.

    The reproduction number – the average number of people infected by one person with the virus – is at 0.86, which is the lowest it has been since the end of June.

    52 patients required hospitalisation on Tuesday, eight of whom were in serious condition. There have been no deaths from coronavirus in the past six days, according to current Health Ministry statistics.

    The Delta variant is now the dominant form of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic, accounting for 80 to 90 percent of infections.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe
  • 07/27/2021

    A group of hackers is trying to sell information on the dark web which they claims contains internal data belonging to Gordic, a company whose systems support thousands of public agencies including the Czech Ministries of Defence and Interior, news site Aktuálně.cz reported on Tuesday. Gordic says that it has not registered any data leak, but the issue is being investigated by the Czech National Cyber and Information Security Agency.

    The hacker group has set up an auction on the dark web for the 52GB of data which they claim contains personal employee data, e-mails, contracts, accounting details and further unspecified content. The asking price for the information has been set to USD 100,000 by the hackers, who promise to deliver the information immediately if the sum is raised to USD 500,000.

    Author: Tom McEnchroe

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