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Czech News in English » News » Breakfast Brief » Breakfast Brief - 1 October 2009

Breakfast Brief – 1 October 2009

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Senate Lisbon complaint questions compliance with other treaties
The complaint lodged with the Constitutional Court by senators opposed to the Lisbon Treaty not only questions the treaty’s compliance with the Czech constitution but also its compliance with the EU’s founding document, the Treaty of Rome, and the Maastricht Treaty, according to wording of the complaint posted to the Constitutional Court website. Senators are also contesting planned guarantees for Ireland in connection with that country’s holding a repeat referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, ODS Senator Jiří Oberfalzer said yesterday.
Source: LN 1, 2, ČTK

ČSSD to propose Špidla for EU Commissioner
The Social Democrats will back Vladimír Špidla as the next Czech European Commissioner, ČSSD head Jiří Paroubek said yesterday after meeting with European Commission chairman José Manuel Barroso. The Greens will promote economist Jan Švejnar, Green Party chairman Ondřej Liška said.
Source: E15 4, Právo 2

Czech Television claims thousands in back fees from Vietnamese
Czech TV has begun claiming tens of thousands of crowns in back fees from Vietnamese shop owners who use television sets to monitor their shops. Czech TV is demanding a CZK 135 monthly fee for each month of the television’s operation and a CZK 10,000 fine plus court costs per one TV user. Shop owners say they did not know they should pay the licensing fees, but Czech TV spokesman Ladislav Šticha said ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Source: MfD B2

Kocáb to present plan to fight underage smoking, drinking
Human Rights Minister Michael Kocáb will present proposals to combat underage smoking and drinking that include raising prices for cigarettes and tobacco products and increasing fines for restaurant owners who sell alcohol to minors. According to a 2007 European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD), 60% of sixteen-year-olds drink alcohol regularly and minors between 15 and 18 years of age are more likely to smoke than adults.
Source: MfD A4, Právo 5

Lower house scraps bill on lobbying
ODS deputies, some Communists and unaffiliated deputies yesterday voted against a ČSSD-proposed bill on lobbying that would have required deputies to announce scheduled meetings with lobbyists and obliged lobbyists to register, make public their income and state whom they work for.
Source: most Czech press

Czech threatens US school with shooting
An anonymous email sent from the Czech Republic threatened an armed attack on a high school in the Pennsylvania town of Murrysville on Tuesday morning. HN reports it is not likely that the offender will be caught.
Source: HN 5

Power failure hits Prague
Several areas of central and southern Prague were left without electricity yesterday morning. The power outage temporarily disrupted road and public transportation.
Source: most Czech press

Fischer: Science, research among govt’s priorities
The caretaker government of Jan Fischer places a high priority on funding science and research, Fischer said yesterday at a ceremony to mark the opening of the academic year at the Technical University of Ostrava. The Ostrava town hall, regional authorities and local universities say most EU resources to support science go directly to Prague.
Source: ČTK

Vlček calls on MPs to stop insulting each other and work together
The chairman of the lower house, Miloslav Vlček, yesterday called on MPs not to turn parliamentary sessions into election campaigns, to stop insulting one another and to start working in their committees again. The statement came in reaction to last week’s seven-hour debate on the government austerity package, among other things.
Source: ČTK

Sole bidder offers CZK 1bn for Czech Airlines
A consortium of Unimex and Travel Service hoping to buy Czech Airlines has offered CZK 1 billion for the state-held 91.75% stake in the carrier, Travel Service spokeswoman Vladimíra Dufková and Finance Ministry spokesman Ondřej Jakob said yesterday. The Finance Ministry has said it would make its sale recommendation to the government by 20 October. Unimex CEO Jiří Šimáně said the company must have zero equity value and that major lay-offs would be needed if his company wins the bid.
Source: most Czech press

MPs approve ban on Prague Airport sale
The lower house yesterday approved a ČSSD-proposed bill that would make it impossible to continue plans to sell off Prague Airport. Finance Minister Eduard Janota told that the caretaker cabinet of Jan Fischer, which will govern the country until the spring 2010 elections, would not privatise the airport by any means.
Source: most Czech press

Škoda Auto to reduce working house, cut jobs
Škoda Auto plans to reintroduce a four-day work week and reduce the number of agency workers, board member Klaus Dierkes told an international conference on the car industry yesterday in Mladá Boleslav. He did not say when the measures would take effect. Škoda Auto expects a drop in sales and worse economic results in 2010 compared with this year.
Source:, HN 1, 20

Delta Air Lines to boost Prague-New York flights
US carrier Delta Air Lines will raise the number of Prague-New York flights from three to five a week as of November and relaunch flights from Prague to Atlanta on 3 May 2010. As of autumn, Delta will be the only airline operating direct flights between the Czech Republic and North America.
Source: ČTK

Stocks post strong gains in Q3
The PX Index rose 28.8% in Q3, its best quarterly result since 2000, maintaining the steady increase in stock prices during the previous quarter. Stock have now risen 84% since bottoming in February, though analysts say the rise may not continue as investor optimism may have outpaced developments in the real economy.
Source: HN 17

ČR sells more emission allowances to Japan
Environment Minister Ladislav Miko yesterday signed an agreement selling 20 million greenhouse gas emissions allowances to the Japanese concern Mitsui & Co. The price of the transaction was not disclosed. In spring, the Czech Republic sold 40 million emission allowances to Japan.
Source: ČTK

Russian power company sweetens bid in ČEZ project
Atomstrojexport, a Russian firm bidding in a ČEZ tender to build two blocks at the Temelín nuclear power plant and possibly three more later, is looking to co-operate with the Atomex Group, an association of Czech companies that make equipment for the nuclear power industry. The company is offering Czech firms possible participation in Russian projects and in the ČEZ project in case the company wins the Temelín bid. The tender is estimated at around CZK 500 billion.
Source: MfD B3

Household debt climbs 15% in year
Czech household debt held by banks and other financial institutions rose to CZK 950.8 billion in August, an increase of CZK 122.4 billion, or about 15%, over the past year, the Czech National Bank said yesterday. The amount was CZK 7.8 billion higher than the previous month. The proportion of unpaid loans could grow up to 7% next year, according to Jan Frait of the central bank.
Source: most Czech press

Foreign debt drops to 40% of GDP
Czech foreign debt decreased by CZK 17.9 billion on the year to CZK 1.47 trillion in the second quarter of this year, accounting for 40% of the country’s gross domestic product, the Czech National Bank said yesterday.
Source: ČTK

Tůma among world’s top seven central bankers
The magazine Global Finance included Czech National Bank governor Zdeněk Tůma among its list of seven best central bankers in the world last year, the ČNB said yesterday.
Source: ČTK

PPF completes Russian acquisition
Czech financial group PPF yesterday completed its acquisition of a majority stake in Russia’s biggest electronics retail chain, Eldorado, PPF spokesman Alexej Bechtin said.
Source: ČTK

Bill would help villages near nuclear power plants
Social Democrat MPs are proposing that municipalities located near the nuclear power stations Dukovany and Temelín get money from the state as compensation for limits to their development. The measure would cost some CZK 137 million a year.
Source: ČTK

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