The coronavirus scare is driving tourists away from popular skiing resorts
in the Alps to winter resorts in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the ctk
news agency reported.
Local skiing resorts who at this time usually suffer from a lack of visitors say there has been an unexpected influx of visitors who cancelled holidays in Austria at the last minute, despite the fact that Austrian ski resorts are still considered safe.
Resorts in this country have welcomed the interest after a particularly poor season due to the lack of snow. Due to recent snowfall the conditions are now reported to be good.
The prime ministers of the Visegrad Group states will meet in Prague on
Wednesday to discuss measures being taken to prevent the spread of
coronavirus, the Office of the Czech Government confirmed on Saturday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Twitter it was important for Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to boost cooperation and coordinate measures to try and protect the region.
No country of the Visegrad Group has so far registered a coronavirus infection.
The Czech government has sent a warning to Czechs travelling in high-risk
areas of the danger of coronavirus infection and given them directions on
how to behave upon their return.
People returning from high-risk areas are being asked to stay at home and contact their GP who will then decide on a further course of action.
Those without symptoms will remain in quarantine at home, those showing signs of the disease will be tested. 307 Czechs are currently in quarantine, most of them after returning from northern Italy.
No case of coronavirus infection has so far been registered in the country.
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who refused to meet with the EU delegation
mapping potential irregularities in applying conflict of interest
legislation, said on Friday that the Czech MEPs who had initiated the
debate in the European Parliament were “traitors” who had acted against
their own country’s government.
The criticism was directed against Mikuláš Peksa from the Pirate Party and Tomáš Zdechovský from the Christian Democrats. Both parties have protested against the statement, and MEP Zdechovský said on Twitter he would sue the prime minister. Criticism has also come from other opposition parties who say the prime minister’s words were over the top.
A group of European MEPs which visited the Czech Republic to investigate
the facts surrounding Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ alleged
conflict of interest and the use of EU funds, has concluded that there are
no reliable mechanisms in place to identify a conflict of interest.
The head of the delegation, Chair of the Committee on Budgetary Control Monika Hohlmeier said the team was departing with more unanswered questions than they arrived with and that a thorough analysis of the situation was needed.
Czech MEP Tomáš Zdechovský, who was a member of the team, and who originally pointed to the problem in the Czech Republic, said laws against money-laundering were also being applied inadequately.
The Prague-born US-based jazz guitarist Rudy Linka will be awarded the role
of goodwill ambassador for the Czech Republic. The aim of the post is to
promote the good name of the country abroad.
Mr Linka is one of the most accomplished Czech jazz guitarists, who gained fame abroad after moving to Sweden in the 1980s. Since 2005, he has been organizing the annual Bohemia Jazz Fest in the Czech Republic.
Mr Linka will be appointed to the post by Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček at a ceremony in the Černín Palace on Monday.
There are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Czech
Republic, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said at a press briefing on Friday,
warning the public against mass panic and food hoarding.
According to Mr Babiš, so far 154 Czechs have been tested for the COVID-19
virus with all results negative, while another eight people are still
waiting for the results.
Mr Babiš also advised that people returning from high-risk areas in northern Italy consult a health specialist and stay in self-quarantine.
The National Security Council is scheduled to meet again on Monday morning to discuss the development of the coronavirus epidemic.
Czech lottery winners have already contributed around CZK 30 million in
taxes to state coffers since January this year, when a new bill came into
force introducing taxing of lottery winnings, the daily Novinky.cz reported
The new legislation, introducing a 15 percent tax on all lottery winnings exceeding one million crowns, was approved by the Chamber of Deputies last November. So far the highest jackpot this year in the country’s biggest lottery Sportka, over CZK 50 million, was won on January 8. The winner had to pay over CZK seven million in tax.
A court in Prague has sentenced former Prague imam Samer Shehadeh to ten
years in prison on terrorism charges.
Mr Shehadeh was found guilty of helping his brother and sister-in-law to
travel to Syria to join the terrorist organisation Al-Nusra Front. He was
also convicted for supporting the group financially.
The ex-imam has confessed to the actions, but said didn’t believe they were unlawful as he didn’t recognise the Syrian government and didn’t view the Al-Nusra Front as terrorist.
Mr. Shehaded left the Czech Republic in 2017 but was later arrested in Jordan and handed over to the Czech authorities.
American rapper Macklemore will be among the headliners at this year’s
Metronome festival, which is to take place in the Czech capital in June,
the festival‘s organizers announced on Friday.
Macklemore has received four Grammy awards for his debut album The Heist and his single Thrift Shop, which has recorded more than 1.3 billion views on YouTube. He appeared in the Czech Republic in 2018 at the Aerodrome festival in Panenský Týnec.
Other international stars to appear at the fifth edition of the festival include US multi-instrumentalist and seven-time Grammy award winner Beck or the British electronic music group Underworld.
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