15:30 Hacker Party leader says electronic ID could be a reality by 2023
By 2023, Czechs could start using an electronic identity card in addition to their existing physical personal data card, according to Pirate Party leader and Minister of Regional Development Ivan Bartoš. It could be the same for driving licenses. Bartoš said many people would choose to stick with a physical card, but it should also be possible to identify yourself on a cellphone or other electronic device. The new Czech government has included the gradual digitization of state services as a political program commitment, with changes expected by early 2025. It also wants to abolish the requirement to carry an ID card as soon as possible once alternative means of identification are in place. place.
14:08 Prague anti-Covid protests turn violent
A protest outside the Czech parliament against the proposed pandemic law extension turned violent this afternoon. Several demonstrators attacked police officers who were ensuring the smooth running of the debate and the demonstrations. An officer was injured and four attackers were arrested by the police. In a repeat of protests held last week, gallows again appeared outside parliament, threatening MPs voting on the Pandemic Bill Amendment. Police estimate that around 1,500 protesters were present during today’s demonstration in Malostranské náměstí.
sport CNN names Czech Ledecká ‘athlete to watch’ in Beijing
american broadcaster CNN has named Czech snowboarder and skier Ester Ledecká one of its 25 “athletes to watch” at the Beijing Winter Olympics starting Friday. In previous games, Ledecká became the first athlete to compete in both snowboarding and alpine skiing events at the same Olympics; and she won gold in both disciplines. She won the super-G ski event and later the parallel giant slalom in snowboarding. His astonishing feat was the first time in 90 years that an athlete had won gold in two different sports at the same Winter Olympics.
Business IBM opens artificial intelligence center in Prague
The technology company IBM has opened a center in Prague for the use of artificial intelligence and data processing. It has also launched similar centers in Moscow and Warsaw. The value of the investment is not yet known. Prague was chosen as the base for the company’s AI activities due to the advanced development of AI implementation in the country. The latest European Union Digital Economy and Society Index report found that 40% of Czech companies are using AI technology, well ahead of the European average of 25%. IBM’s new center will provide customer service, employing developers, data scientists and security experts.
Health HIV cases fell in the Czech Republic in 2021
The incidence of HIV in the Czech Republic decreased by 7% in 2021 compared to 2020. 233 cases of HIV were registered last year according to the National Institute of Public Health in data released yesterday. AIDS developed in 52 patients, a fifth more than in 2020, while 19 people died of the disease last year, one more than the year before. HIV incidence has been declining since peaking in 2016, when 286 cases were confirmed. It is believed that since records began in 1985, 4,074 people in the Czech Republic have contracted HIV. Most of those infected are men: last year, only 32 women contracted HIV. Just over half of the recorded cases involved Czech citizens (131), while the rest involved long-term resident foreigners (102).
prague The burned wing of the industrial palace will be rebuilt
The Výstaviště Industrial Palace in Prague is today handed over by the town hall to the construction company Metrostav for reconstruction. The start of construction works comes after a long approval process for the renewal of a large part of the palace which burned down in 2008.
The construction consortium will create a replica of the building’s original burnt-out wing equipped with modern technology, including heat pumps and air conditioning. A new basement will also be created under the wing providing space for exhibitions. The contract to rebuild the burnt-out wing of the palace was originally announced in 2018, but canceled in 2019 due to an incorrect listing. The palace was built in 1891 for the Provincial Jubilee Exhibition and was designed by architect Bedřich Munzberger.
Economy Brace for another interest rate hike, analysts say
A survey of Czech economic analysts by Reuters resulted in a prediction that the Czech National Bank will make at least one more significant interest rate hike when it meets on Thursday. By raising the base rate in recent months, the bank has sought to combat spiraling inflation by encouraging people to save rather than spend.
The base rate has risen by a total of 300 points in three recent hikes; the 125 basis point increase in November 2021 was the largest rate increase seen in the Czech Republic for 24 years. Now nine out of 10 analysts contacted by Reuters expect interest rates to rise further, with an increase of another 75 points to an expected 20-year high of 4.50%.
On the road New motorway toll stamps needed from today
Motorway toll stamps in the Czech Republic are up for renewal starting today, with motorists rushing last week to upgrade to 2021 to 2022 stamps allowing them to continue using Czech motorways. The Czech Republic now uses a electronic sales system for highway stamps, whose sales reached around 25,000 a day last week. Nearly one million stamps that have not yet been renewed will expire today.
The electronic system, which came into effect last year, sees stamps linked to vehicle license plates, making it no longer necessary to stick them to car windshields. This year, the stamps cost the same as last year: an annual stamp costs 1,500 CZK, a 30-day stamp is 440 CZK and a ten-day stamp is 310 CZK. The new Minister of Transport, Martin Kupka, has already mentioned the possibility that prices will increase in the coming years.
Business Škoda unveils new electric car model
Czech automotive giant Skoda has expanded its range of electric vehicles by unveiling the new Enyaq Coupé iV. The new electric model will be sold in Europe alongside a faster Rally Sport version. It has two different battery sizes and can use the rear for four-wheel drive.
The new Enyaq Coupe follows the introduction of the Enyaq iV model in 2020, an electric SUV based on a modular electric vehicle platform owned by Czech brand parent company Volkswagen. Škoda has since also created plug-in hybrid models of its Superb and Octavia models. According to Škoda executives, sales of the new Enyaq iV exceeded expectations, which could be behind the company’s decision to focus on all-electric vehicles and move away from PHEV plug-in hybrids.
criminality Manhunt for Czech man who falsified foreigners’ documents
Czech police are looking for a South Bohemian man suspected of falsifying the medical records of foreign female employees. It is alleged that the two employees tested positive for Covid-19 last year, but the man hid the fact in order to let them continue to come to work. He presented their forged health reports to the Písek Foreign Police Department.
If found guilty, the 45-year-old faces up to eight years in prison for actions to spread an infectious disease during a state of national emergency. Police added that the man himself also tested positive for Covid when he went to the Písek Police Department to provide the falsified health records. The man is believed to have deliberately ignored the Covid quarantine at least twice.