NEWS
KDU-ČSL plans tax increase for the childless
Hospodářské noviny quotes the Christian Democrats’ election programme as planning to decrease the deductible tax rate from the current CZK 24,840 to CZK 21,840 for childless tax-payers and increase tax from 15% to 20% for those earning more than CZK 62,500 a month. The deductible rate will also be decreased for families with only one child while those with two or more will pay from CZK 833 to CZK 2,500 a month less. The Christian Democrats also plan to lower social insurance payments for families with children and those with three or more would be able to look forward to a pension of 50% of gross wage.
Source: HN 1-3

Vaccination against swine flu to start in November
Health Minister Dana Jurásková said yesterday that the regions are ready for the H1N1 pandemic expected in autumn. Jurásková signed a contract for Relenza medication and will talk to the vaccine producers on Friday. Michael Vít, the top state health officer, said the vaccination is likely to start at the turn of November and December, when an approved inoculant should become available.
Source: most Czech press

Rath threatens to close down hospital in Brandýs nad Labem
Central Bohemia Governor David Rath announced yesterday that, unless the private hospital in Brandýs nad Labem fails to eliminate the shortcomings recently discovered by the regional inspection, it could lose its licence. Hospital spokesman Tomáš Cikrt said that the probe had been successful and Rath is only bullying the hospital through media.
Source: ČTK

LN: Foreign workers abused at work
Representatives of several ministries are going to deal with the situation of foreign employees on the Czech labour market today. Only a small fraction of workers from abroad have taken use of the voluntary return programme introduced by the Interior Ministry in February, and many who remain are doing illicit labour or are abused in their jobs, LN says.
Source: LN 1, 2

ODS criticises ČSSD and KSČM for having similar programmes
The Civic Democrats attacked the Social Democrats yesterday over the latter party’s election platform being almost identical to that of the Communist party. ODS Deputy Chair Ivan Langer said the two programmes offer “promises, populism, envy, debts, orientation towards Russia”. The ČSSD claims there are fundamental differences between its programme and the KSČM’s, and called on the ODS to publish its own platform.
Source: Právo 4

ODS publishes invoice for Topolánek’s flight
The Civic Democrats released yesterday the bill that the party had paid for the return flight of leader Mirek Topolánek from his holiday in Tuscany. The charter trip cost CZK 150,000. The party paid for the flight because it had asked Topolánek to return earlier than he planned.
Source: ČTK

ODS has new election logo
The Civic Democrats introduced a new party logo in which the originally blue bird is white and is enclosed by a heart with a blue background. Some party members objected as the new logo evokes the hearts that Václav Havel uses. Deputy Chairman Ivan Langer did not explain the meaning of the heart, saying it is up to people to find the significance themselves. iDnes.cz reports that the new logo is also used on condoms that the ODS distributes with the slogan “Against infection by another party”.
Source: iDnes.cz

People returned 7,897 illegal weapons
Nearly 8,000 illegal weapons were handed over as part of an arms amnesty that took place from 1 February until 31 July. More than 6,000 people delivered guns to police stations. None of the returned weapons had been used in a crime, but some of them were stolen.
Source: ČTK

Neumannová wins first legal hearing
Yesterday, the Liberec court rejected a lawsuit filed by the Merz computer company against Kateřina Neumannová, the president of the FIS World Ski Championships 2009. Merz was supposed to make and provide special computer programs for the championship. Two years ago Neumannová said she could find a company offering programs for half a million crowns rather than the CZK 20 million that Merz has quoted. Merz filed for an apology and CZK 1 million in damages.
Source: Týden.cz

BUSINESS
Komerční banka H1 profit down by 10%
Komerční banka recorded a consolidated net gain during the first six months of the year at CZK 5.76 billion, a year-on-year drop of 10.1%. Last year’s H1 profit was CZK 6.4 billion. Analysts were expecting a worse economic result.
Source: most Czech press

State to give CZK 1.5bn more for unemployment
MPs on the budget committee approved yesterday a CZK 1.5 billion increase of the sum earmarked for unemployment benefits. ODS MP David Šeich said the labour offices had already paid out almost 67% of the money for the whole year by the end of June as the result of growing unemployment.
Source: Euro.cz

Bratislava VW plant to stop production of Octavia
The Volkswagen company’s factory in the Slovak capital will cease to manufacture the Škoda Octavia over the next year. The reason is the launch of a new line of cars from the New Small Family group. Some 18,278 Octavias were put together in Bratislava out of a total of more than 210,000 produced.
Source: ČTK

Passenger car and LUV sales down 13%
The Car Importers Association published the sales results for passenger and light utility vehicles during the first seven months of the year, showing a drop of 12.4% from the same period last year to 107,287 cars. The drop was mainly caused by decreased sales to companies, which fell 25%. The sale of passenger cars grew 8% to more than 93,000, while LUV sales fell 62% to just under 14,000.
Source: HN 13, 14

Some new cars getting more pricy
The stickers of some new vehicles available in the Czech Republic have started to grow slightly. Hospodářské noviny quotes the prices of the Ford Fusion and Renault Thalia models, which have increased by CZK 13,000 and CZK 5,000, respectively, since 1 August. Other brands still keep their prices at the same level or have now introduced discounts, while steeper increases are expected in the autumn.
HN 1, 13

Export of Czech airplanes down
Transatlantic sales of Czech aircraft fell by 50% due to a strong crown, which increased prices by one-third compared to two years ago.
Source: HN 1, 16

Off-exchange electricity trading on the rise
E15 reports that nothing happened yesterday on the electricity market. Since the beginning of 2009, more than 15.5TWh has been sold via the Prague-based Power Exchange Central Europe, an increase by 0.7TWh, even though electricity is now more often traded off-exchange.
Source: E15 6

Bench rejects insolvency proceedings against Shell
The Prague City Court rejected a proposal for insolvency action against Shell Czech Republic filed by company Korunka 2000. The court ruled that the would-be plaintiff had not provided sufficient documents. Korunka 2000 claims that Shell owes it CZK 2.5 million.
Source: ČTK

Court bans commercial comparing UPC and O2 offers
The Prague City Court issued a preliminary ban on an advert by UPC, in which the company contrasts its services with those offered by Telefónica O2. The commercial compares O2’s 8Mbps for CZK 750 with UPC’s 10 Mbps for CZK 490. Telefónica O2 claims that its package includes additional services.
Source: LN 13

Tomi Tour had a pittance in its bank account
The bankrupt travel agency Tomi Tour had only CZK 1 million in its account at the moment of bankruptcy. Jan Papež of the Association of Czech Travel Agents said that an agency of such size should have at least CZK 15 million to CZK 30 million of its own money plus CZK 50 million to CZK 100 million of payments from clients preparing to leave. Mladá fronta Dnes claims that Tomi Tour used all the money it cashed in to pay older debts. The documents also show that Tomi Tour paid EUR 15,000 a month to Germany’s Tomi Tour GmbH for sales and marketing co-operation. MfD reports that was probably Václav Fischer’s salary since he was the marketing director of the German travel agent.
Source: MfD A1, B1, Právo 7

E.ON donates CZK 3,500 to its flood-stricken customers
The energy company E.ON will give CZK 3,500 each to customers affected by this year’s floods. The money should cover the average cost of electricity needed for a constant operation of one dryer for 10 days. Households can apply for the donation until the end of August.
Source: ČTK