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Czech News in English » News » Breakfast Brief » Breakfast Brief - 14 May 2009

Breakfast Brief – 14 May 2009

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ČSSD expands list of demands for new cabinet
ČSSD yesterday expanded its list of conditions from 21 to 27 that the party says must be met for it to support the caretaker government. The prime minister said he would take the list into account but would consider them more as recommendations.
most Czech press

Klaus asks Fischer to lead June EU summit
President Václav Klaus yesterday asked new Prime Minister Jan Fischer to head the June EU summit. Klaus met with Fisher and Foreign Minister Jan Kohout.

HN: Foreigners’ police has special guidelines for Vietnamese
Hospodářské noviny got hold of a document with guidelines for the foreigners’ police on how to treat requests for residency permits from Vietnamese applicants. The document requires a thorough investigation of family ties if a person asks to be reunited with his or her family and only allows student visas if a student has already been accepted by a university. The document was suspended earlier this year, but a spokeswoman for the police said they still follow the recommendations.
HN 3

Kocáb wants to create Lety foundation
Michael Kocáb, the minister for human rights and minorities, wants to create a foundation to buy the pig farm in Lety located on a former Roma concentration camp. Kocáb said he would appeal to big companies like ČEZ or the mobile phone operators to donate money to close or move the farm.

Železný to remain Libertas EP candidate
The Libertas party has rejected an offer to resign by MEP candidate Vladimír Železný, saying a recent court ruling that Železný failed to pay taxes on imported paintings was “purpose-built and connected to the EP elections”. Železný received a two-year suspended sentence in the case.

Bill to allow arms trading without state control
The lower chamber yesterday passed changes to the weapons law that allow companies to participate in negotiations concerning weapons exports without first obtaining approval by the state. The changes were not included in an original cabinet proposal, though MPs said they were suggested by the cabinet. The lower chamber website says the changes came from the Committee on Security.
HN 4

KSČM aims for voters turned off by ČSSD, ODS
KSČM plans to appeal to voters who say they are disillusioned by the “silly disputes” taking place between ODS and ČSSD. Miloslav Ransdorf, the head of the KSČM EP election list, said his party would not use unfair methods in the campaign.

Parties take advantage of online social networks
Several political parties are using online social networks as part of their European Parliament election campaigns. The Green Party, ODS and KDU-ČSL use Facebook. ODS is also taking advantage of Twitter. Neither ČSSD nor KSČM use online networking much.

Female offenders treated more lightly by the courts
A study by the Institute of Criminology and Social Prevention of women imprisoned for the first time shows that female offenders are often treated more leniently by the courts. The study said women usually get shorter sentences initially and are more likely to have their sentences further reduced once they are in jail.
LN 1, 5

ČEZ posts big Q1 net profit, pays out dividend
Energy firm ČEZ posted net profit of CZK 19.4 billion in the first quarter of 2009, a 23% increase year-on-year. Revenue rose 10% to CZK 53.3 billion. The company will pay out CZK 26.7 billion from last year’s record net of CZK 47.4 billion, shareholders decided yesterday. The state, which holds 70% in the company, will get CZK 18.77 billion.
most Czech press

Prague stocks drop 6.2%
The Prague bourse yesterday plummeted 6.2%, making it the worst performer among world stock exchanges. ECM shares fell by 20% and trading was suspended. The bourse was led lower by a 12% fall in Austria’s Erste Bank. Brokers said further drops could be expected.
HN 19

Czech Television to pay additional CZK 300m to tax office
Czech Television (ČT) will pay additional taxes worth more than CZK 300 million from TV licence fees by the end of next week, HN reports. The Council for Radio and TV Broadcasting yesterday unexpectedly postponed a decision to select five finalists for the post of ČT general director. Council head Jiří Baumruk said the council will re-appoint five members out of 15 at the end of the month.
HN 1, 4, ČTK

Swapping pension funds to cost CZK 800
The lower chamber yesterday approved an amendment that introduces an CZK 800 fee for changing pension funds for clients holding the funds for less than five years. The amendment would also prohibit companies from choosing funds for their employees. The bill could come into force in July or August. Pension funds posted Q1 profit of CZK 885 million, the Association of Pension Funds reported yesterday.
HN 19

Antimonopoly office investigates environmental tender
The antimonopoly office has launched an investigation into a giant tender the state is offering for cleaning up environmental damage created during the communist period. The investigation follows a request by the Czech branch of Transparency International. The tender is worth more than CZK 100 billion.

Developers call for easier bank credit, more state aid
Representatives of 13 property developers and construction companies called on banks yesterday to provide more loans and asked the state for increased support of social housing and the rental market as well as a temporary lowering of VAT.
LN 16, E15 10

ČSOB ‘not affected’ by parent company troubles
Belgian financial group KBC, which owns ČSOB, has again gone to the Belgian government for more guarantees, but ČSOB says it is not affected by troubles at its parent company. The Czech National Bank agrees, saying ČSOB is an independent company whose stability is not directly influenced by developments at KBC.
HN 1, 13, LN 1, 15

Car production plummets in Q1
Some 205,000 cars were produced in the ČR in the first three months of 2009, a fall of 23% from the same period last year, according to the Automotive Industry Association (SAP). It was the first quarterly drop in output in 10 years. Antonín Šípek from the SAP said the fall would have been bigger if it were not for scrapping bonuses introduced in Germany and other European countries.
HN 16

MPs approve CZK 23.6bn bond issue
Following a heated debate in the lower house yesterday on responsibility for the budget deficit, MPs approved a plan to issue bonds worth CZK 23.6 billion to cover part of the shortfall.

ČD call CZK 400m tender
Czech Railways has called a tender to rent eight low-lying train carriages for an estimated CZK 400 million, according to a database of public tenders. The rental period would be six years and the deadline for bids is 29 June. The trains would operate on routes from Prague to Rakovník and České Budějovice.

MPs pass free movement of services bill
A new law allowing for the free movement of services for Czech entrepreneurs working temporarily in another EU country passed a final reading in the lower house yesterday. The legislation could come into force by the end of 2009.

J&T Banka Q1 profit falls CZK 5 million
J&T Banka’s Q1 profit before taxes came to CZK 108 million, a year-on-year decline of CZK 5 million. The volume of deposits payable in 12 months and longer exceeded 50% of all deposits.

LCD TV production could restart in northern Bohemia
The Plzeň-based LCD television producer, Panasonic AVC Networks Czech, is considering restarting production of LCD TVs at the former Hitachi plant in northern Bohemia, according to the Ústí nad Labem region.

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