Klaus signs free carbon credits, smoking bill into laws
Electricity producers including the state-run ČEZ will be able to get some emissions allowances for free in exchange for modernising their production facilities, says an amendment to the law on excise duties that President Václav Klaus signed on Tuesday. Klaus also signed a bill on smoking, according to which restaurant owners will be able to choose whether smoking will or will not be allowed in their facilities.
Source: most Czech press
Ministry introduces backup plan for ‘green subsidies’
Petr Štěpánek, the head of the state environmental fund, said that in case of low demand for home-insulation subsidies, the Environment Ministry would use the funds to insulate public hospitals, schools and municipal offices. The plan is to distribute CZK 25 billion among 250,000 households by 2012.
Source: HN 5
Řebíček’s former firm Viamont successful with tenders
Hospodářské noviny reports that ODS member and ex-Transport Minister Aleš Řebíček’s former company Viamont posted a net profit of more than CZK 293 million and won 25 tenders last year. The daily claims that the construction company has won tenders worth CZK 14 billion since Řebíček entered politics in 2001 and many of the tenders were assigned by state companies controlled by Transport Ministry. Řebíček claims he got rid of his one-third stake in Viamont before the elections in 2005.
Source: HN 2, 3
KDU-ČSL wants Hybášková as Central Bohemia election leader
The KDU-ČSL presidium has decided to change the already approved list of candidates for the October elections in Central Bohemia and replace its regional election leader Lenka Ptáčková Melicharová with former MEP Jana Hybášková, the chairwoman of the European Democratic Party with which the KDU-ČSL is co-operating in the election campaign. Party members in the region voted unanimously against the move yesterday.
Source: Týden.cz, Právo 2
ČT will not re-air Jacques biomass mishap
Jan Kraus, host of the popular Czech Television talkshow Uvolněte se, prosím, said yesterday on radio’s Frekvence 1 that the television station has decided not to repeat the episode with Green Party MP Kateřina Jacques, who was unable to explain what biomass was. Kraus explained that the channel is repeating all this season’s episodes during the summer but the programme committee decided this particular episode would be left out. Green Party spokesman René Kubášek told iDnes.cz that the party has nothing to do with the decision.
Source: most Czech press
Over 50% of MPs running in elections again
More than half of standing MPs are likely to return to the Chamber of Deputies after the October early elections as they occupy more electable positions on the lists of candidates than potential newcomers do, ČTK found out based on a comparison of already approved regional lists of candidates.
KDU-ČSL to spend CZK 30m on election campaign
The Christian Democrats will spend CZK 30 million on their election campaign. KDU-ČSL chairman Cyril Svoboda on Tuesday objected to the information that the party would borrow money for the purpose because it is facing financial difficulties. He said taking a loan for elections was a traditional approach in the party. The Communists admitted they failed to find sponsors for its CZK 33 million election campaign and would finance it from their own resources.
Source: ČTK, Týden.cz
Klementinum reconstruction to start in autumn
The National Library’s historical Klementinum building will undergo extensive reconstruction beginning this autumn. Part of the CZK 1.9 billion project, scheduled for completion in 2017, will be the reconstruction of all Klementinum buildings, a new entrance to the library from Platnéřská street, a new underground storage area to hold up to 2.5 million books and a large garage space.
Source: E15 8
Ambulance service says it was not officially notified of Madonna concert
The Prague ambulance service has complained about a shortage of information on big culture and social events. Zdeněk Schwarz, in charge of the service, said that Thursday’s Madonna concert was a typical example: Nobody had officially informed paramedics about the huge concert. Live Nation, which organised the concert, has dismissed the accusation.
Prague fines itself for Charles Bridge repairs
The city of Prague has imposed a CZK 54,000 fine on itself for faults in the Charles Bridge reconstruction. City Hall’s Jan Kněžínek said that those were minor shortcomings that did not damage the bridge, but a Culture Ministry inspection accused the city of having significantly damaged the value and authenticity of the monument.
Industrial output drops 12.2%
Industrial production in the Czech Republic decreased by 12.2% year-on-year in June after a 22% fall in May, the Czech Statistical Office said on Tuesday. Construction output in constant prices rose by 0.1% on the year in June, while in May it dipped by 2.1%.
Source: most Czech press
Power consumption down 7% in H1
Net electricity consumption in the Czech Republic decreased by nearly 7% to 28.98 terawatt hours in the first half of the year from 31.11 TWh a year ago, the Energy Regulatory Office said on Tuesday.
Leasing market drops by over 50%
The leasing and financial association ČLFA, which represents 97% of the Czech leasing market, said on Tuesday that its members registered a decrease of over 50% in leasing of movables to CZK 22.8 billion in the first half of the year, from CZK 50 billion in the same period of 2008.
Developers to launch construction this year
Hospodářské noviny reports that developers are planning to start projects they had been holding back on as soon as this year. The projects are mainly located in Brno and Prague, where property prices have held steady or even gone up after a year of falling. Ekospol head Evžen Korec said that his company considered postponing the launch of construction but the demand for their projects has continued. Central Group and Finep had similar experiences and will also start building this year.
Source: HN 13
Army tender for new weapons uncertain
E15 reports that the expected contract worth hundreds of millions of crowns between the Czech Army and the armament producer Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod is likely to be postponed due to budget cuts. The armament plant has created a new weapon to replace the type 58 standard service rifles. The army originally planned to exchange the weapons in 2010.
Source: E15 1, 8
NERV to end activity by September
The government’s national economic council NERV, established by former PM Mirek Topolánek at the start of this year as an advisory body dealing with the crisis impacts, will end its activities at the end of August or at the beginning of September, the radio station Radiožurnál reported Tuesday with reference to NERV member Jiří Rusnok.
Source: Právo 2
Paroubek wants to cut electricity prices by up to 30%
The key points of the ČSSD energy policy include a prompt launch of construction of the third and fourth blocks of the Temelín nuclear power station, extending the service life of the Dukovany nuclear power station, a 20% to 30% cut in electricity prices and increasing the country’s self-sufficiency in energy supplies, ČSSD chairman Jiří Paroubek said.
Source: Euro.cz, Právo 3
ECE suing Czech state for CZK 1.8bn
The investment branches of the German property developer ECE Projektmanagement are suing the Czech Republic for EUR 70 million in compensation. The firm said the reason for the arbitration was the illegal conduct of Czech authorities when permitting the construction of the Galerie Liberec shopping centre that ECE planned to build. The Finance Ministry rejected the company’s demands.
Seznam.cz to launch online radio for women
The leading internet portal in the Czech Republic is preparing to launch an online radio station for women by the end of the year. Pavel Zima, the executive director of Seznam.cz, said the aim of the station is to support its women-oriented website Prozeny.cz. The company is planning to launch more stations if the pilot project is successful.
Source: HN 13-15
SkyEurope flights grounded in Vienna
The Vienna airport grounded SkyEurope flights for several hours on Tuesday, citing the Slovak low-cost airline’s debts, Reuters news agency reported. The airport operator said that if the airline fails to settle its debt by Friday, 3 pm, the airport will stop providing its services.
Relax Max Tours facing trouble
Travel agency Relax Max Tours is no longer able to provide services, Etics ITP, the Czech representative of the Europaische Reiseversicherung insurance company, said on Tuesday. The insurer and Czech Airlines will secure the transport of almost 60 clients from Morocco to the Czech Republic.
Source: most Czech press