Hundreds of people took part in the St.Vavřinec Day pilgrimage to the top
of the Czech Republic’s highest mountain Sněžka in the Krkonoše
Mountains on Friday. They also attended a mass served at the St.Vavřinec
chapel situated on the peak of the mountain.
The annual climb takes place on St. Vavřinec Day, which falls on August 10, since St. Vavřinec is the patron saint of the Krkonoše Mountains. Among those who regularly attend the pilgrimage is former Czech president Václav Klaus.
Jiří Josek, one of the leading Czech translators from English, has died
at the age of 68. The news was confirmed by his daughter Zuzana Josková on
Jiří Josek was known mainly for his translation of William Shakespeare’s plays. In 1999, he received the Josef Jungmann prize for best translation into Czech for his translation of Hamlet. Among others, he translated the legendary novel On the Road by Jack Kerouack.
World-renowned Czech photographer Josef Koudelka presented his book
Návraty, or Returns, at the Museum of Applied Arts in Prague on Thursday
in connection with an exhibit of the same name and in celebration of his
The exhibition, which runs until September 23, is arranged chronologically in seven sections, each comprising an individual thematic series. Among them is Invasion 68, his reportage series on the crushing of the Prague Spring, which forced to leave the country in 1970.
Meteorologists called off a smog alert for Prague and the Central Bohemian
region on Thursday evening, and later also in the Ústí nad Labem region.
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has announced the alert due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone in the air, cautioning people with respiratory problems, as well and children and the elderly in general, to stay indoors.
Acting Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Hamáček (Social Democrats)
arrived in Damascus on Thursday to take over and return home two people
working for a German humanitarian organisation who had been held by the
Syrian government. They had been arrested months ago near the Iraqi border
for allegedly crossing the border illegally.
The Czech Republic is currently the only EU country with an ambassador in the war-torn country and carried out the negotiations with the consent of authorities in Brussels.
During a meeting with his Syrian counterpart, Mr Hamáček strongly condemned the use of chemical weapons and stressed perpetrators must be brought to justice. He also said the withdrawal of Iranian forces from the Israel-Syria border area would contribute to stability in the region.
A study commissioned by Prague City Hall on traffic and air pollution has
found that more two-thirds of gaseous pollutants are generated by just 10
per cent of the vehicles operating in the Czech capital.
Many of these vehicles have missing or faulty exhaust systems or diesel engines in poor condition, the study found. The Prague municipality is now looking at ways to improve the city’s air quality, which could include measures such as introducing a congestion tax.
Harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, sulphur dioxide, mercury and dust particles are a leading cause of respiratory diseases and result in an estimated 11,000 premature deaths in the Czech Republic each year.
The General Directorate of Finance (GFŘ) says it has records of the
untaxed revenue of Czech Airbnb hosts dating back to 2015 and will soon
begin collecting them, the daily Hospodářské noviny reports.
Apart from back payments, the tax authority plans to impose penalties of up to 40 per cent. The GFŘ also considers Airbnb hosts to be subject to VAT payments for the fees Airbnb charges.
In Prague, Airbnb hosts may also owe fees to the municipality, which can charge a penalty of up to 500,000 crowns for failing to register for local taxes.
Mothers who stay at home with children for a shorter period tend to earn
more upon returning to work than those who take longer maternity leaves,
according to a new study, the daily Hospodářské noviny reported.
Under current law, a parental leave benefit is paid monthly for a period of up to four years. Parents can opt to draw down more money over a shorter period, with the monthly allowance currently capped at 32,640 crowns.
The new study by economist Barbara Pertold-Gebická found that mothers with a university education take shorter maternity leaves.
The US Department of Energy plans to move its European regional office to
Prague from Sofia, with the decision reportedly influenced by
Westinghouse's interest in building new nuclear blocks in the Czech
Republic and the growing influence in Central Europe of Russia and China.
The US Embassy in Prague confirmed the planned move but did not comment on the reasons behind it beyond saying in a statement that the European region office works to promote energy security, non-proliferation, scientific cooperation, and American commercial interests in the region.