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Breakfast Brief – 4 August 2009

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Table of Contents

University poll: ODS leading preferences with 33.7%
According to a survey by the Philosophical Faculty of the Palacký University in Olomouc released yesterday, the ODS would win the parliamentary elections were they held today with 33.7%, leaving the ČSSD behind with only 25.1% and the KSČM with 12.6%. TOP 09 would gain 9.8%, and the KDU-ČSL 5.7%. The Greens would not make it into the parliament. The rightwing government would have 113 MPs, the survey said, contradicting last week’s survey by Factum Invenio, which predicted the majority for a leftwing coalition at 102.
Source: most Czech press

Tuscany villa has connection to J&T
The Italian home where former Prime Minister and ODS leader Mirek Topolánek spent his holiday was sold with the help of J&T investment group manager Ondřej Popelka. The villa, which Topolánek claimed he rented from his lobbyist friend Marek Dalík, was bought in spring by a Liechtenstein-based company, Raben Anstalt. Dalík said that he did not know there was any J&T connection while the investment firm denied any connection to the villa.
Source: most Czech press

ČR won’t get flu vaccine from Baxter plant
The US pharmaceutical company Baxter, which manufactures a swine flu vaccine among other things in its plant in the Czech Republic, would not cover the country in the case of a pandemic, although the nation had been counting on the company, according to media reports.
Source: ČTK

Romani prince dies in Prague hospital
A 17-year-old Roma from Romania who had almost drowned in Stará Boleslav died Monday in a Prague hospital of complications from the incident. Dozens of Roma have come to Prague from Romania and other countries in recent days to support the prince. His relatives want to take his body to Romania.
Source: most Czech press

Chamber opens tender for audit – of the Supreme Audit Office
The lower house of Parliament has opened a tender to carry out an independent review of the performance of the Supreme Audit Office. The office’s president, František Dohnal, was criticised for wastefulness and is facing a criminal complaint for property mismanagement.
Source: ČTK

Doctor caught taking bribes from pharmaceutical company
A Czech Television hidden camera recorded Dr Eliška Jugová of the St Anne’s University Hospital in Brno explaining to a fictitious representative of the pharmaceutical company Novartis how she used to get CZK 10,000 a month for prescribing the drug maker’s products. Jugová was dismissed immediately. The State Institute for Drug Control has already started an investigation. Novartis is also looking into the matter.
Source: HN 1-3

Doctors want to ban children from solaria
Doctors from the Czech Society of Dermatology and Venereology have demanded that children and youth be banned from solaria. Petr Arenberger, head of the society, said that one in 10 people between 10 and 17 visits solaria on a regular basis and that solaria pose a threat to them as they have been proven to increase the possibility of melanoma. The Health Ministry will look into the proposal as soon as possible.
Source: Právo 3, MfD A4

Parties start election campaign
ODS chairman Mirek Topolánek officially started the election campaign on Monday in South Moravia, where he is his party’s regional leader. Social Democrats launched the party’s election campaign on the internet yesterday.
Source: most Czech press

All nurses should get CZK 2,500 pay hike
A promised CZK 2,500 increase in wages should apply to all nurses in the Czech Republic, Health Minister Dana Jurásková said on Monday. Money from health insurers will cover one-half to three-quarters of the pay rise, and it is up to hospital management to find the additional resources, she said. The health sector employs roughly 90,000 nurses, but is still short some 6,000, according to a survey by the Czech association of nurses.
Source: ČTK

Criminals change names to hide from public
An increasing number of felons in the Czech Republic are changing their surnames, some repeatedly, in order to remain anonymous. Most of these are people who committed serious crimes and recidivists.
Source: ČTK

US astronaut brought back collection of poems
Andrew Feustel, currently visiting the Czech Republic, brought back the Jan Neruda volume Písně kosmické (Cosmic Songs) that he had taken into space. Feustel, whose wife has Czech origins, asked Czech scientists at the Astronomical Institute a year ago what object he should take with him to represent the Czech Republic, and the poems were the answer.
Source: most Czech press

Budget gap for Jan-July at CZK 76.2bn
The state budget deficit amounted to CZK 76.2 billion in the first seven months of this year, almost double the full-year gap approved at CZK 38.3 billion and the highest July deficit since 2000. Finance Minister Eduard Janota said this year’s state budget deficit would reach some CZK 165 billion due to the economic crisis.
Source: most Czech press

Czech Coal protests International Power share sale to J&T
Czech Coal, the leading brown-coal supplier, filed a complaint at the antimonopoly office yesterday against the sale of International Power Opatovice (IPO) shares to J&T. Czech Coal was also interested in the shares. The company’s chairman and CEO, Petr Pudil, said that the joint actions of ČEZ and Dalkia, participants along with J&T in the IPO acquisition, have created an energy oligopoly that can add to the imbalance on the electric and brown-coal markets.
Source: HN 14

ČEZ opens tender for Temelín expansion
The state-run energy company has launched a public tender for a supplier of two more units for its Temelín nuclear power station. Construction could take roughly 15 years.
Source: most Czech press

State pays CZK 230m as firms falter
In the first half of this year, the state paid CZK 230 million in wages to employees whose places of work had become insolvent, compared with CZK 150 million paid out as compensation in all of last year.
Source: Tý

ČSA to cut up to 860 jobs
Czech Airlines will announce to the employment office later this week that it plans to dismiss as many as 860 employees between September this year and March 2010. ČSA employs roughly 4,600 people.
Source: Právo 5, HN 15

Toll collection drops 12% in July
Lorry operators paid CZK 474 million for the use of selected roads in July, down 12% against the same month a year ago. Toll collection for January-July decreased by nearly 15% to CZK 3.15 billion from nearly CZK 3.7 billion in the first seven months of 2008.
Source: HN 16, Právo 13

Automotive output drops 11%
Passenger car production in the Czech Republic decreased by 11% to 470,667 units in the first half of the year. Lorry production fell by 54% to 625 units, and motorcycle output was 61% lower, at 372 units.
Source: ČTK

British insurer to enter Czech market
Lloyd’s, the UK-based provider of luxurious exclusive insurance products and policies, is finalising with the Czech branch of the London law firm Lovells the conditions under which it will enter the Czech market. Neither Lovells nor Lloyd’s would comment on the move.
Source: E15 1, 6

Nowaco gets new owner
The South African concern Bidvest bought Czech frozen food producer Nowaco ČR together with Polish Farutex for EUR 250 million (CZK 6.4 billion).
Source: HN 1, 13

CCG, Finaero to build aircraft paint-shop in Ostrava
Central Connect Group and France’s Finaero have concluded an agreement on their joint construction of a shop to paint aircraft near the Mošnov airport in Ostrava. Both partners plan to invest roughly CZK 250 million in the project, which should give rise to a minimum of 100 new jobs.

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