Weekend headlines: Prague will not hold annual New Year's fireworks show

Plus: heavy snowfall in Moravia results in road closures, railway and public transport changes go into effect, and more weekend headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 10.12.2022 11:47:00 (updated on 12.12.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

New Year's No fireworks show for Prague to kick off 2023

Prague will once again not hold its traditional New Year's fireworks show on January 1, and the city is not planning any alternative event, Prague city spokesperson Vít Hofman has told Radiožurnál. The Czech capital did not host an annual fireworks show in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic and related restrictions. According to Hofman, celebrations did not seem appropriate this year due to current events.

"Among the main reasons are the situation in Ukraine and also the unfavorable economic situation of many households, as well as the need for the capital itself to save on expenses," said Hofman. While Prague won't be hosting its annual fireworks show, other cities including Most and Ústí nad Labem still plan to stage a New Year's event.

WEATHER Roads closed in Moravia following heavy snowfall

Road authorities in Třinec, in the Czech Republic's Moravian-Silesian region, declared a state of emergency this morning (since cancelled) after heavy overnight snowfall. Major roads in the area remain closed by police until the situation is resolved. Neighboring areas, including Zlín and Vsetín, have also reported large amounts of snow on local roads and some closures.

Snowfall was seen across the Czech Republic Sunday morning, though Prague was largely spared. Drivers throughout the country are advised to proceed with caution on potentially icy roads. Snow remains in the forecast for today and through Tuesday, with areas of east Moravia expected to see the highest amounts.

Transport Czech railway and public transport changes go into effect

Widespread changes to the Czech Republic's railways go into effect today, largely affecting departure and arrival times. Some lines have been sped up thanks to new innovations, including rail travel from Prague to Ostrava and České Budějovice, and new routes have also been launched. Ticket prices have also risen to go along with the new changes, by an average of 15 percent on Czech Railways.

Prague's public transport will also see some extensive changes today to go along with the new railway timetables. The most significant changes affect bus travel and connections through the Central Bohemian region. A full list of new changes on Prague public transport in effect from today can be found here.

Economy Year-on-year inflation sped up in November

After slowing down in October, year-on-year inflation in the Czech Republic sped up again according to analysts contacted by ČTK, who pegged year-on-year Czech inflation at 15.5 percent, up from October's rate of 15.1 percent. Official data on November inflation will be released by the Czech Statistical Office on Monday.

Food prices saw the greatest rises in November. According to the analysts, inflation in November and December will be artificially lower by about two percentage points due to the government's energy-saving subsidies. Inflation rates are expected to rise at greater rates from January.

Business 68 percent of Czech companies are owned by men, finds study

More than two-thirds of Czech companies are owned solely by men, a new study of data from the Czech Credit Bureau has revealed. Of the country's 480,964 companies, 328,295, or 68 percent, are owned exclusively by men. A total of 18 percent of companies are owned solely by women, with that number rising two percent over the past three years, while 14 percent of companies have male and female owners.

Companies owned by women also tend to be smaller."Looking at the number of employees, we can see that companies owned by women are smaller," says Czech Credit Bureau analyst Věra Kameníčková. "85 percent of companies owned by women have five employees or less, while 77 percent of companies owned by men have the same."

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Culture Boy and girl scouts bring Peace Light of Bethlehem to Czechia

Boy and girl scouts of the Czech Republic will bring the Peace Light of Bethlehem from Vienna to Brno by train today, arriving at the city's main train station at 6:36 p.m. this evening. The Peace Light of Bethlehem, a symbol of the Christmas season, was created in 1986, and involves carrying and distributing a flame lit in Bethlehem throughout Europe every year.

Tomorrow, scouts will bring the Peace Light of Bethlehem to Brno's Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul. Next Saturday, December 17, they will begin transporting it throughout the Czech Republic by train, giving citizens across the country the opportunity to collect the flame with their own candle or lantern. More information about the light's distribution can be found here.

Shopping First Czech recycling store opens in Prague shopping center

No Neke, billed as the first recycling store in the Czech Republic, has opened its doors within Prague's Westfield Chodov shopping center. A recycling store is one where all products sold have been recycled or reused, or have been organically or sustainably produced. The Prague store is modeled after Stockholm's ReTuna Återbruksgalleria.

"We want to break down prejudices about second-hand purchases," No neke CEO Michaela Kloudová states in a press release. "We believe that customers will say to themselves after coming to us that it's not even possible that this is a thrift store." Second-hand stores from across the Czech Republic have contributed to No Neke's wares.

Ecology Scientists make breakthrough in efforts to save rhino species

A team of scientists from the BioRescue council led by the Czech Republic's Safari Park Dvur Králové nad Labem zoo, working with colleagues from Osaka University in Japan, have taken a step closer to saving the critically endangered northern white rhino by developing primordial germ cells, representatives from the council told reporters this weekend.

The primordial germ cells, embryonic precursors to sperm and egg cells, were developed from genetic material harvested from the female rhino Nabiré, who died at the Dvur Králové zoo in 2015. The last two members of the northern white rhino species, a 30-year-old female and her daughter, previously resided at Dvur Králové and now live at the Ol Pejeta Game Reserve in Kenya.

War Poll: Czech public interest in Ukraine war is falling

Czech public interest in current developments in the war in Ukraine is on the decline, according to a poll conducted by the Czech Center for Public Opinion Research and released in Friday. Along with the general decline in interest, fewer Czechs are in support of the steps taken by the country to support Ukraine compared to earlier this year.

"At present, only 57 percent of Czechs are interested in the current situation in Ukraine, which is 21 percent less than in during spring," the Center for Public Opinion Research reports. More than 25 percent of Czechs now oppose the country's acceptance of Ukrainian refugees, 14 percent more than in the spring.

Fire One dead following fire at nursing home in Semily

One death has been reported in the wake of a fire at a nursing home in the town of Libštát in the Semily district of the Czech Republic's Liberec region, according to Liberec Firefighters. Forty senior citizens have been evacuated from the residence due to the fire, and are temporarily being housed in a local elementary school.

"We are currently investigating the cause of the fire," Jakub Sucharda, a spokesperson for the regional firefighters, told journalists after the fire was extinguished at around 10:45 on Friday evening. The people who were evacuated were conscious, though some had suffered smoke inhalation.

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