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Czech press review – Tuesday 13 January 2009

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Čunek to leave cabinet

KDU-ČSL party leader Jiří Čunek announced yesterday that he would resign from the cabinet. His post as Deputy Prime Minister will be filled by Defence Minister Vlasta Parkanová and as Regional Development Minister by Cyril Svoboda. He will remain the head of KDU-ČSL. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek yesterday named three other cabinet ministers expected to resign by 23 January: Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Džamila Stehlíková (Greens); Health Minister Tomáš Julínek (ODS); and Transport Minister Aleš Řebíček (ODS). Stehlíková will be replaced by Green Party nominee and singer Michael Kocáb.

most Czech press

Transport unions agree on strike

Representatives of 13 transport trade unions yesterday agreed to call a strike in the near future in reaction to a Finance Ministry plan to cut some tax benefits. The unions will meet with Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek tomorrow before naming a strike date.

most Czech press

ČSSD would swap missions for fees

ČSSD leader Jiří Paroubek yesterday said his party would support extending Czech military missions abroad in exchange for abolishing medical fees. Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek has refused to connect the two but wants to discuss extending the military missions with parliamentary representatives responsible for security issues.


Czechs unveil provocative map of Europe

The Czech EU presidency yesterday in Brussels unveiled a controversial sculpture of Europe representing the stereotypes and clichés of the 27 member states. The large-scale map called “Entropa” was created by Czech artist David Černý, together with 26 other European artists.

most Czech press

Two new parties announced

Two new political parties were introduced to the general public yesterday. A new pro-European Liberálové.cz (LIB) will promote establishing a United States of Europe. It follows from the failed Liberální reformní strana (LiRA), which ceased last autumn. The new right-wing Strana svobodných občanů (SSO) rejects the Lisbon Treaty and is demanding holding a referendum on adopting the euro. The party is led by Petr Mach from the Centre for Economics and Politics.

most Czech press

Litvínov’s Janov to be part of project tackling social exclusion

The cabinet yesterday endorsed a proposal by Minister for Human Rights and Minorities Džamila Stehlíková to include the Janov section of Litvínov as part a project for integrating Romani localities.


Electronic IDs and registries as of 2010

The cabinet yesterday approved a bill that will pave the way for issuing electronic ID cards and forming information registers. According to the bill, data would be collected in four basic registers and would be available to public institutions as of 2010.

Scientists discover Indium supplies in Krušné hory

German scientists have discovered a large supply of the relatively rare metal Indium in Krušné hory on the Czech-German border. Scientists from the Freiberg technical university said there are about 1,000 tonnes of Indium in the area, most likely the world’s largest supply. The value of Indium has grown from EUR 70 to EUR 700 per kilogram in the past five years.


Most Czechs prefer to stay outside politics

A STEM survey shows that 62% of Czechs think it is better to stay outside of politics otherwise one might “get burnt”. The polling agency conducts a survey of perceptions of politics every four years.



Natural gas flows to resume this morning

Russian natural gas supplies were expected to resume today at 8am CET, Gazprom head Alexandr Medvedev said yesterday. The European Commission, Russia and Ukraine yesterday in Brussels signed an agreement on monitoring gas supplies.

most Czech press

Hyundai slows output due to lack of orders

The Hyundai Nošovice car plant will halt production this week starting tomorrow and will be closed next week on Friday because of a lack of orders from dealers. An earlier announced plan to curtail production on Fridays will continue throughout January.

most Czech press

Cabinet to discuss Prague Airport sale next week

The cabinet on Monday is expected to discuss amended conditions for the sale of Prague Airport, Finance Minister spokesman Ondřej Jakob said yesterday.


Škoda Auto in Mladá Boleslav resumes production

The Škoda Auto plant in Mladá Boleslav resumed operations yesterday after a three-week break.


Economists: Financial crisis almost over

Economists surveyed by ČTK say the world financial crisis has reached a climax and is now giving way to economic recession. David Marek from Patria Finance said financial institutions have already written off a majority of their losses and the fear that more important banks will go bankrupt is decreasing.


Banks toughening terms for consumer loans

Banks are imposing tougher lending terms for consumers, HN reports, quoting analysts who cite the financial crisis as the reason. Česká spořitelna several months ago raised its minimum loan from CZK 15,000 to CZK 30,000 and other larger banks no longer provide loans for under CZK 20,000.

HN 13, 15

EU threatens to stop subsidies if ČR doesn’t improve monitoring

A deadline on two tenders announced by the Ministry for Regional Development before Christmas to supply a new system for monitoring EU subsidies expired on 12 January. European Commission said earlier it had doubts over the management and control systems used in the Czech Republic for administering EU subsidy money and threatened to suspend the money flow unless the system improves.

HN 3

Financial crisis makes selling companies harder

Hospodářské noviny reports that selling a company has become more difficult as a result of the financial crisis. Company prices are falling and buyers are scarce. The consultancy company Raedbank said prices for companies have fallen by 15% on average. Josef Kotrba from the company Deloitte said unsuccessful sales were a rarity in the past.

HN 15

Sazka surprised by number of online bettors

Sazka has had to stop a campaign to offer a CZK 2,000 bonus to every new registered online bettor, as the number of people responding to the offer far exceeded expectations. Now, only those who deposit CZK 2,000 will get the bonus.

HN 1, 13

Stock-Plzeň sales rise

Stock-Plzeň Božkov, the largest domestic liqueur producer, saw its sales rise last year by 3.3% year-on-year to 27.53 million litres. Exports rose from 3 million litres to almost 4 million. Sales of imported alcohol grew by 28% to 1.5 million litres.

HN 16, ČTK

Over 2,000 personal bankruptcies registered

Some 2,382 people have asked for their debts to be discharged a year after a law on personal bankruptcy came into force, according to Finance Ministry data. Of these, some 648 bankruptcies have already been granted and a further 1,713 have been approved by the courts. Only 21 were rejected.


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