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Breakfast Brief – 3 November 2009

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Table of Contents

Pospíšil chosen as dean of Plzeň Law Faculty
Former Justice Minister Jiří Pospíšil has been selected as dean of the scandal-ridden University of West Bohemia Law Faculty, beating out Prague lawyer Karol Hrádela. The university yesterday appointed a committee to look into allegations of cheating and improper behaviour in awarding degrees and evaluating dissertations at the faculty.
Source: most Czech press

Top court to decide on Lisbon Treaty today
Constitutional Court judges today will rule on whether the Lisbon Treaty conforms to the Czech constitution. A group of senators who had previously challenged the EU reform treaty filed a third complaint on Friday, media reported yesterday.
Source: LN 4

Dlouhý ready to become EU commissioner
Former Industry and Trade Minister Vladimír Dlouhý said that although he has not officially been offered the post of EU commissioner, he spoke about it some six weeks ago with Prime Minister Jan Fischer. Dlouhý said he told Fischer he would be willing to accept the post if the political parties could not agree on a joint candidate.
Source: most Czech press

MP Benda seeks to rewrite his Plzeň law thesis
ODS MP Marek Benda admitted yesterday that the doctoral dissertation he submitted to the Plzeň Law Faculty earlier this year was too short and failed to meet degree requirements. Benda was reacting to unfavourable media reports. He has asked the faculty for permission to defend his dissertation again, but said that he was using his degree title legitimately.
Source: Tý, LN 3, MfD A1-A3

Čelákovice loses AACSB accreditation
The CMC Graduate School of Business in Čelákovice, the oldest provider of MBA degrees in the country, has lost its AACSB accreditation, the daily E15 reported, citing two independent sources and the Chicago-based DePaul University. The university ended activities in the Czech Republic after the school was unable to pay for American lecturers and courses. Current students will be granted a lower MSM degree.
Source: E15 1, 3

Report: Men who assaulted Topolánek were not hired
Aktuálně.cz cites an unnamed source as saying Břeclav police have determined that the four men who assaulted ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek during a campaign event in Hustopeče in August had not been hired by anyone. Topolánek suffered minor injuries in the attack.
Source: Aktuálně.cz

Liberec may face fines for ski championship
The anti-monopoly office has launched 11 administrative proceedings against the city of Liberec in connection with a series of tenders called by the city to host the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships last February. Liberec faces fines of up to millions of Czech crowns, the office said yesterday.
Source:, MfD A6

Police investigate ministry’s lease contracts
Anti-corruption police and the Finance Ministry are investigating the lease of several houses in Czech spa towns owned by the Interior Ministry, Právo reported yesterday. Current Interior Minister Martin Pecina said the contracts concluded under then-Interior Minister Ivan Langer are unprofitable for the state.
Source: ČTK

Prague mayor wants Topolánek to defend his ODS post
Prague Mayor Pavel Bém yesterday called on ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek to defend his leadership post in a secret ballot at the party congress later this month, reported. Topolánek reportedly rejected the demand.

New computerised correspondence system collapses
A new computer system designed to handle official correspondence collapsed yesterday on the first day of operation. The system is intended to replace print communication. The problems were especially bad in the courts, where the head of the judges’ association (Soudcovská unie), Tomáš Lichovník, blamed outdated computers and networks.
Source: most Czech press Only three bidders for Temelín tender
The news portal reported yesterday that only three companies will compete for a tender to expand the Temelín nuclear power plant. A deadline to submit bids expired Friday. Bidders include Russia’s Atomstroyexport, in a consortium with the Czech Škoda JS, the French company Areva and the US Westinghouse. Earlier reports speculated that the Japanese company Mitsubishi would also take part. Meantime, HN is reporting that leading government officials are seeking to influence the tender, but have not yet said if they are considering eliminating some bidders.
Source: HN 13, LN 1, 13,

EBRD chief economist praises ČR for waiting on euro adoption
Erik Berglof, the chief economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), yesterday praised the Czech Republic for delaying euro adoption, saying it had spared the country an even greater impact from the economic crisis. Berglof was speaking in London at a conference on the fall of communism.
Source: LN 1

State budget deficit grows by CZK 50bn from September
The Czech state budget deficit grew to CZK 138.1 billion in October, an increase of CZK 50.8 billion from September, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday. The deficit was originally expected to reach CZK 38.3 billion by the end of the year.
Source: E15 3, ČTK

Unipetrol probably will not seek to raise stake in Česká rafinérská
The petrochemicals group Unipetrol will probably not bid to buy a 16.3% stake in the Czech refinery Česká rafinérská that Royal Dutch Shell has put up for sale, said Jacek Krawiec, the head of Unipetrol’s majority owner PKN Orlen. Unipetrol already controls 51% of Česká rafinérská.
Source: HN 14, E15 4

Bankruptcies rise 71% from last year
The number of bankruptcies in the Czech Republic in the first 10 months of the year rose 71% from the previous year to 7,458 cases, according to Creditreform, Reuters reports. Of the total, 4,290 bankruptcies involved companies. Politicians said they expect more company losses as a result of the economic crisis, according to Reuters.
Source: HN 16, ČTK

ČEZ bids to buy two Polish plants
Energy giant ČEZ is bidding to acquire Polish state power and heating plants in the cities of Zabrze and Bytom, Patria Online reported, citing the Polish Finance Ministry. Other participants in the tender are the Scandinavian Fortum, Slovak PPC Energy Group and Dalkia, a joint venture between Électricité de France and Veolia Environnement.
Source: ČTK

Sports associations want restaurants to pay for TV broadcasts
Jiří Kejval from the Czech Olympic Committee has proposed that sports associations could raise money by charging restaurants that broadcast sports events a portion of their sales. The associations are looking to supplement revenue that was originally supposed to be paid by Sazka, which is running out of cash. The associations are also demanding changes to the law on lotteries among other possible revenue streams, HN reports.
Source: HN 13-15

Less & Forest wins majority of Lesy ČR tenders
Less & Forest has won more than half of 60 tenders called by the state forestry manager Lesy ČR. The total value of commissions on forestry work in 2010 will be CZK 1 billion.
Source: ČTK

České Radiokomunikace losses in 2008 rise to CZK 444 million
A major Czech provider of radio and television services, České Radiokomunikace, suffered a loss of CZK 444.4 million in 2008, compared with a loss of CZK 236 million in the previous year. The company decided earlier this year to sell its retail telecommunications services to T-Mobile.
Source: ČTK

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