Overview of Czech news: Tuesday, January 11, 2022

12:45 Three-fifths of Czech companies allowed working from home last year

New data from the Czech Statistical Office shows that three-fifths of Czech companies have allowed their employees to work from home during the pandemic. Large differences were observed in attitudes towards working from home by occupation; companies in the information technology field were the most likely to let their employees use the home office. Size also mattered: 96% of large companies with more than 250 employees allowed working from home, compared to 84% for medium-sized companies and 53% of small companies with fewer than 50 employees. Working from home was least common in the restaurant and hotel, retail and accommodation services sectors, showing the stark divisions in the economy between activities that can be carried out at home. home and those who cannot.

12:00 A Czech museum will exhibit a replica of Napoleon’s imperial crown

The Turnov Museum in the Liberec region will exhibit a replica of the imperial coronation crown worn by Napoleon Bonaparte. The replica was created by famous jeweler Jiří Urban. The museum’s jewelry collection will display the 23-centimeter-tall crown in gilded silver from this Thursday until February 6. According to replica designer Urban, the most challenging aspect of creating the crown was the gemstone engravings made by Eva Mrákotová Víšková. Urban created seven replica crowns, including copies of crowns associated with Czech King Charles IV and Saint Wenceslas. The replica of Napoleon’s Imperial Crown took a year and a half to complete, with Urban saying it’s the closest to the original ever made.

11:40 Energy supplier Lumius ceases operations amid crisis

The energy crisis in the Czech Republic has worsened as Lumius, an energy supplier in the Frýdek=Místek region, will stop supplying electricity and gas. The company had about 1,500 customers, most of whom will be transitioned to providers of last resort to ensure they continue to receive power despite Lumius winding down operations. The company blamed unprecedentedly high prices in the international energy market for the situation. It is the latest in a series of Czech energy providers to go out of business, with the most high-profile victim of the energy crisis, Bohemia Energy, going bankrupt last October.

Energy New government plans to phase out coal by 2033

The new Czech government plans to “create the conditions” to phase out coal-fired power generation in just over a decade. The plan is to create an environment where coal power can be phased out by 2033. The Czech Coal Commission had previously recommended a phase-out by 2038.

Even with the new government’s more ambitious plans, the Czech Republic will miss the targets set by global climate agreements. Phasing out coal is a priority to keep global climate increase below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Coal-fired power generation has actually increased in recent months due to soaring natural gas prices.

Policy Large sums spent by Czech parties for October general elections

The main political parties in the Czech Republic have spent huge sums of money on their campaigns ahead of this year’s general elections, according to a report by the Party Financial Management Supervisory Office. The ANO party, which was in government during the election campaign, spent CZK 87.6 million on the campaign, which is CZK 3 million more than in the previous elections in 2017.

Part of ANO’s election expenses went to publishing former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’s book “Share it before they ban it!” The Pirates+STAN coalition spent CZK 81.3 million, an increase of CZK 8.3 million from 2017. The winning coalition SPOLU spent a combined total of CZK 89.8 million, a small fraction of the authorized total of CZK 90 million.

Crime Brno court frees corrupt politician David Rath on parole

The Brno Regional Court has released former Central Bohemian Governor David Rath (ČSSD) from prison after serving more than half of a seven-year sentence for corruption. The court said the prison authorities’ assessment of Rath had been very positive and, despite a complaint from prosecutors, he was granted an early release from prison.

Rath was arrested in May 2012 carrying a CZK 7 million bribe in a wine box. He was later convicted of influencing tenders for the reconstruction of Buštěhrad Castle in the Kladno region, as well as a high school building in Hostivice near Prague. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and a fine of 10 million CZK. He was also banned from political activities in the future.

Berta D. Wells