Depending on who you talk to, the centuries-old vision of building a canal linking the Elbe, Oder, and Danube rivers is either a brilliant way to open routes for the Czech Republic to three seas – a “Suez canal for Bohemia” – or an exorbitant project of monumental folly that would endanger water quality in all three river basins and erase precious floodplains from the map of Central Europe.
On Wednesday, Parliament is expected to discuss a new legislation amendment, which intends to make it easier for district authorities to remove aging car wrecks abandoned in otherwise useful parking spaces. The Ministry of Transport has criticised the amendment, saying it is lacking in a number of areas, but said it is finalising its own legislation proposal.
According to a study published by the Czech Republic’s Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) on Monday, more than a third of the trains currently in the service of Czech Railways (ČD) have been in use for over 30 years, making them unsuitable to the needs and expectations of customers. The state’s main public transport provider has defended itself by saying that it has only had a chance to start updating its equipment since 2008. However, the NKÚ believes that modernisation is going at too slow a pace.
A new “employee” of Prague’s Václav Havel Airport called Pepper is now roaming Terminal 2 and offering both directions and entertainment. He is the result of the airport’s ongoing adoption of new technologies through its PRGAirportLab initiative and can be seen as offering a taster of what is yet to come.
The state-owned Czech Railways transported 133.7 million passengers in the first three quarters of 2018, which is 2.8 million more than in the same period last year, the Czech News Agency reported on Thursday. In September, Czech Railways transported over 15.5 million people, a two percent increase on the previous year.
The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday approved the 2019 draft budget in its first reading. The basic parameters of the budget, such as the deficit goal, are thus definitively set with only minor shifts in funds possible. Government spending next year should prioritize the social sphere, investments, an increase in public sector salaries and pensions.