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General Information on the Czech Republic

Official title: Czech Republic (Česká republika)

Form of government: bi-cameral parliamentary democracy

President: Miloš Zeman

Prime Minister: Andrej Babiš

Date established: January 1, 1993, with the break-up of the former Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia

Area: 78,703 sq. km (30,449 sq. mi)

Number of inhabitants: 10,298,324

Geographical position: landlocked in Central Europe

Neighboring states: Germany (west) , Poland (north), Slovakia (east), Austria (south)

Capital city: Prague (Praha), 1.2 million inhabitants

Other major cities: Brno, 388,596; Ostrava, 325,827; Pilsen (Plzen), 171,908; Olomouc, 106,278

Official language: Czech

Ethnic makeup : Czech, 94.4%; Slovak, 3%; Polish, 0.6%; German, 0.5%; Gypsy, 0.3%; Hungarian, 0.2%; other, 1%

Currency: Czech Crown (Ceská Koruna - Kc), Crowns are divided into 100 smaller units, called hallers (haléř)

Exchange rate: Currently 24.7 Kc = 1CAD. For an up-to-date exchange rate, click here. Crowns are fully convertible on all international markets.

Religion: Atheist, 39.8%; Roman Catholic, 39.2%; Protestant, 4.6%; Orthodox, 3%; undecided, 13.4%

Weather: Mild climate zone with a cycle of four seasons and generous precipitation. Winters are cold and cloudy, and summers are warm. The average temperature in the winter ranges around -5° C (23° F), and in the summer around 20° C (68° F). For an up-to-date weather report, click here.

Time zone : Central European Time (CET)- six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time (one hour added) is used from approximately the beginning of April to the end of October.

Voltage: 220 V/50 Hz

Telephone numbers: The country telephone code for the Czech Republic is 420.

Important emergency numbers: Police - 158, Fire Department - 150, Ambulance - 155

European emergency number: 112

National holidays:

January 1: Establishment Day, commemorating the creation of the Czech Republic in 1993

Easter Monday

May 1: Labour Day

May 8: Liberation Day, celebrating the end of World War II

July 5: Constantin and Methodius Day (Cyril a Metoděj), celebrating the first Christian missionaries to the Czech Republic

July 6: Jan Hus Day, celebrating the religious reformer who was burned at the stake in 1415

September 28: St. Wenceslas Day, celebrating the patron of the Czech State

October 28: Czechoslovak Statehood Day, establishment of democratic Czechoslovakia in 1918

November 17: Freedom and Democracy Day, commemorating the anti-Nazi student demonstrations of 1939 and the anti-Communist demonstrations of 1989

December 24: Christmas Eve

December 25: Christmas Day

December 26: St. Stephen Day

Czechs also have unique personal holidays, called "name days"- every day of the year is assigned a given name. On the day that shares your name, you are treated to greetings, toasts, and gifts from your friends and family.