News Central bank accepting old banknotes for another week
People have just one more week in which to exchange any 20 and 50 crown banknotes still in their possession. The banknotes were taken out of circulation several years ago but according to the central bank people still have over a quarter of a billion crowns of them in their possession. They can be exchanged at Central Bank outlets until next Friday.
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Czechs are increasingly investing in modern technology, according to the results of a survey conducted by the agency Nielsen Admosphere. The survey of technology in Czech households suggests that the number of smartphones has doubled in the past year to 39 percent. 48 percent of households have a laptop which is gradually replacing PCs now present in 39 percent of households. Ipads can be found in 17 percent of Czech households, up from 14 last year, and 11 percent of households now have a smart TV, up from 8 percent last year.
Chapman Taylor, a studio of international architects and designers, is to transform Prague’s Václav Havel International Airport with the aim of giving it a strong Czech identity, the news site idnes.cz reports. According to idnes, the plan is for the airport to be decorated with images that are related to Prague and the Czech Republic- well-known sights and faces from the country’s history, culture, music, sports and other areas. The airport’s owner allegedly wants a strong statement such as visitors can see at the international airports in Vancouver, Kuala Lumpur or Amsterdam.
The Czech Bar Association has urged its members to offer their services to the foreign migrants held in Czech detention centres. According to Stepan Holub, the lawyer coordinating the volunteer effort, the Bar Association has received signals from journalists and the Ministry of Justice that migrants are in dire need of legal aid. They are held in detention, with no money, no possibility of contacting a lawyer and no knowledge of the Czech language, frequently they are unaware of the fact that they have the right to legal services, Holub told the news site ihned.cz. Twenty lawyers have so far offered their services.
Several hundred people are expected to join the fourth Roma Pride march through the centre of Prague on Sunday afternoon. The event is an annual celebration of Romany culture and identity and aims to draw attention to the discrimination of Romanies in the Czech Republic, be it in the sphere of housing, education or on the job market. Similar Roma Pride marches are taking place in 13 European capitals. There are estimated to be around a quarter of a million Romanies living in the Czech Republic.
Allstar Refugee Band, Tonya Graves, Michael Kocáb and Monika Načeva will perform at a charity concert in aid of migrants on Sunday evening. The concert at Prague’s La Fabrika is co-organized by People in Need and United Islands. We want to make people remember what their lives were lie 30 years ago, the fact that many Czechs also fled from communism and were not welcomed with teargas in Western Europe, the head of La Fabrika Richard Balous told the ctk news agency.Well-known Czech emigres have pre-taped video messages for the audience and two short films will be screened from Syria and Turkey, documenting the plight of Syrian refugees.
People in fifty Czech towns and cities can take part in a series of events entitled Days of Architecture which focus on city planning and interesting architectural buildings in the given locality. The Days of Architecture, organized by the civic association Kruh, aim to raise public awareness of decisions impacting people’s surroundings, insensitive reconstructions, co-existence of historic and modern architectural styles, public spaces and the revitalization of communist-era housing estates. The program includes lectures, forums, film screenings, and excursions in search of architecture and interesting exhibitions that are dedicated to new trends in architecture.
The Food Inspection Office says that over a third of Czech restaurants, delis and eateries are not complying with the law on allergy labelling which went into force in December of last year. The office says 37 percent of restaurants and eating places inspected either failed to provide the respective information on their menus or only gave it on request. According to the legislation food businesses are bound to provide information relating to 14 of the most common allergens, including eggs, milk, fish, molluscs and peanuts. While the information is now available on pre-packaged foods, restaurant and deli owners have not yet fully complied with the norm, arguing that it is obtrusive and confuses their diners who are generally not interested in the ingredients of their dishes.
Petr Dongres, the former head of President Zeman’s security team, has been appointed deputy head of the special operations force responsible for protecting public officials and visiting foreign dignitaries, the ctk news agency reports. Dongres asked to be released from his post in the president’s service after a breach of security last month in which activists, posing as chimneysweeps, managed to climb onto the roof and hung a pair of red underpants in place of the presidential standard. He had served as head of security at Prague Castle since 2012 when his predecessor Jiri Sklenka resigned after a man in the street shot several pellets at then president Klaus from an airsoft plastic gun.
The power utility ČEZ has applied for a new ten-year license for the operation of the first unit of the Dukovany nuclear power plant. The current license is due to expire at the end of this year. The first unit was taken out of operation at the end of August for safety tests and maintenance. In requesting a new license ČEZ will be required to prove to the State Nuclear Safety Authority that Dukovany fully complies with all internationals safety requirements. The plant’s first unit was put into operation in 1985. The four-reactor plant was originally projected with a 30-year life span but the power utility wants to significantly extend it through modernization. ČEZ has to gain new licences for the remaining three units in 2016 and 2017. The Dukovany nuclear power plant covers one fifth of domestic electricity consumption.
Police officers around the country are working overtime in order to fulfill their duties and meet the additional requirements stemming from the migrant crisis, police chiefs from different regions have confirmed. South Bohemian police chief Milan Bajcura said that in exceptional circumstances such as the migrant crisis police officers could be ordered to serve an extra 150 hours a year without financial compensation. He said his men were not only working overtime but spent more hours on standby in the event of an emergency call. However he assured the public that the police was not neglecting its regular duties as a result of its involvement in the migrant crisis. The Interior Ministry is to get more money next year to deal with the crisis.