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Breakfast Brief – 9 October 2009

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Table of Contents

Klaus produces new obstacle to Lisbon
Before he signs the Lisbon Treaty, Czech President Václav Klaus wants to add a note to the document about the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Swedish Prime Minister and current European Council President Fredrik Reinfeldt told Reuters news agency yesterday after his telephone conversation with Klaus. Klaus allegedly did not specify what the note should say.
Source: most Czech press

US report: Biden may ask ČR to host missile defence
The Czech Republic could host the headquarters for a newly planned US anti-missile defence system enabling the early targeting of ballistic missiles from Iran, the daily Washington Post reports, citing the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher. US Vice President Joe Biden is coming to Prague this month to discuss the plan.
Source: most Czech press

State mounts new claim to ban Workers’ Party
Eight months after its first attempt to dissolve the far-right Workers’ Party (DS), the government has filed a new action with the Supreme Administrative Court. The claims, which is almost 1,000 pages long, cites evidence including police reports about the party and racially motivated articles published on the DS website. The party has until 15 November to comment on the proposal.
Source: HN 1, 6

Kocáb: Education ad exploits Roma workers
The Minister for Human Rights and Minorities, Michael Kocáb, yesterday condemned as cynical and self-serving a campaign by portal that used Slovak Roma workers to promote education. The Roma repairing pavement in Prague’s centre on Wednesday wore yellow t-shirts bearing the inscription “I should have studied harder”. The Roma received cigarettes and beer for their participation in the campaign.
Source: most Czech press

Govt official: Mafia might be behind Plzeň uni scandal
Head of the Accreditation Commission at the Ministry of Education, Vladimíra Dvořáková, who is heading a corruption probe at the University of West Bohemia’s Law Faculty in Plzeň, said the granting of university degrees to influential public figures who hadn’t completed studies could be due to a mafia-organised plot to bind key people in politics, police and state administration.
Source: most Czech press

Greens: Do not send Klaus to climate conference
The Green Party is demanding that the government prevents President Václav Klaus from attending an international conference on climate change to be held in Copenhagen because of his opinions on climate change. Former party chair Martin Bursík described the president’s views as “unusual”.
Source: ČTK

Christian Dems lose senate faction
The Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) no longer have enough members in the upper house to form a senate club following the departure of Ludmila Müllerová, Adolf Jílek and Václav Jehlička, for new party TOP 09. The four remaining KDU-ČSL senators will now have unaffiliated status.
Source: Tý

D1 marked for massive reconstruction
The D1 motorway connecting Prague and Brno will undergo huge reconstruction beginning next year, Czech Television reported yesterday. The project costing CZK 18 billion should take place over ten years.
Source: LN 1

Swine flu cases top 300
The number of swine flu cases registered in the Czech Republic has reached 302. No one has died of the disease in the country, and no major complications related to swine flu have been recorded.
Source: ČTK

Brussels condemns poorly adopted Czech laws
The European Commission criticised the Czech Republic and Slovakia yesterday for having insufficiently transposed EU laws on rail transport and consumer protection into local legislation.
Source: ČTK

Archaeological find could delay Copa Centrum
MfD reports that construction of the Copa Centrum project above Národní třída metro station could be delayed due to the discovery by archaeologists of gothic cellars left over from houses demolished in the 1970s during the metro construction.
Source: MfD B1, B3, Právo 10

Unemployment climbs to 8.6% in ČR
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic rose to 8.6% in September from 8.5% in August, the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry said yesterday. The number of jobless Czechs reached 500,812 in September, up by 7,061 month-on-month and by 186,254 year-on-year.
Source: most Czech press

Successful deals boost Orco stock
Orco shares climbed by 15.5% yesterday on the news of the company’s dividends of EUR 2.5 million from Czech project Košík, as well as another EUR 3.7 million from the planned completion this year of the sale of a Warsaw real estate project, and the closing of a deal with UniCredit Bank that will help finance 75% of costs for two Hungarian pending projects. Nevertheless, the developer still owes EUR 1.5 billion and is currently facing court orders from creditors.
Source: most Czech press

Gold prices rising on strong global demand
Resellers of gold in the Czech Republic have noted a higher demand for gold triggered by a corresponding trend on world markets. Gold hit an all-time high on the London bourse yesterday, USD 1,061.55 per ounce, and analysts predict the price will reach USD 1,150 at the end of the year. Jan Vízek, head of the Czech Mint, predicts the trend will last until 2012.
Source: HN 17

Govt debt hits CZK 1.168 trillion
Czech government debt amounted to CZK 1.168 trillion at the end of September, a rise of CZK 169 billion since the beginning of the year and of CZK 31 billion over the third quarter of the year, the Finance Ministry said yesterday. Per capita debt exceeded CZK 111,000.
Source: LN 13, Právo 17, ČTK

ČNB cautions against sudden cuts to housing aid
State subsidies for housing construction impose a burden on the budget, but the government must be cautious when reducing them to prevent destabilising the banking sector, Czech National Bank Governor Zdeněk Tůma said in an interview with Hospodářské noviny. His statement came in response to Finance Minister Eduard Janota’s plans to cut state support to home-building savings within the next stage of its austerity plan

Foreign worker numbers down this year
The number of foreign employees in the Czech Republic has been decreasing steadily for the past nine months despite a rise recorded at the end of last year. According to data published on the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry’s website, more than 41,000 foreigners have lost their jobs in the Czech Republic since January, with 243,510 migrants working in the country legally at the end of September.
Source: ČTK

Germany’s Sahm acquires Sklárna Heřmanova Huť
German glass group Sahm has gained control over Czech glassworks Sklárna Heřmanova Huť, which closed down in June after 102 years of operation. Sahm, now the owner of 100% of shares in Sklárna, is not planning to resume glass production there for now.
Source: ČTK

Luxury car market expands in ČR
The demand for luxury cars is rising in the Czech Republic, with seven new Rolls Royce cars sold in 2009 compared to none last year, and Ferrari sales up by one-third annually to 32 cars. Vlastimil Hájek, head of a local luxury car owners’ association, attributed the rise to the Senate’s approval this year of VAT deductions for passenger cars, while Czech Porsche CEO Josef Roider said the company’s target clientele might be unharmed by the economic crisis.
Source: HN 17, 23

More train stations to accept euros
In the next few months, Czech Railways will increase the number of stations at which passengers can purchase train tickets for euros, from the current 50 to several hundred. As of December, passengers will be able to use euros to pay for items on all trains, Czech Railways said yesterday.
Source:, LN 14

Hooters headed for ČR, Slovakia
The US chain Hooters plans to open between five and 15 restaurants in the Czech Republic and Slovakia over the next few years, said Vladislav Svoboda of Na Zdravi Ventures, which has bought a franchise licence to operate the business.
Source: ČTK

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