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Breakfast Brief – 16 September 2009

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Table of Contents

Early elections not to take place this year
Yesterday, the Chamber of Deputies failed to discuss proposal to break the legislative body up, a move aimed to allow for early elections, after the Social Democrats surprisingly changed their stance and decided not to support the lower house dissolution. General elections will therefore not take place on 6-7 November as scheduled, but probably at the end of the lower house term of office late next May. President Václav Klaus will discuss the political and economic situation in the country with ČSSD chairman Jiří Paroubek on Wednesday and with his ODS counterpart, Mirek Topolánek, on Thursday. In reaction, Topolánek stepped down as a member of parliament yesterday, saying that he is re-evaluating his role as a politician.
Source: most Czech press

Klaus blames political chaos on court
The situation in government is the result of the Constitutional Court’s decision last week to cancel the October early elections, President Václav Klaus said yesterday, adding that the blame was not on political parties.
Source: Právo 2

Fischer says he will continue as PM if budget cuts put in place
Prime Minister Jan Fischer said yesterday that if his cabinet is to stay in office until the elections next spring, he insists on a renewed mandate for his government, which would probably mean a repeated confidence vote. Moreover, MPs would have to accept austerity measures aimed to curb the rising budget deficit, Fischer said.
Source: most Czech press

Ultrarightist launches online legal consulting
The prominent extremist Filip Vávra founded a web-based legal consulting for “political dissidents” that was launched last week. “The service isn’t only meant for the ultraright, but, let’s be honest, that no one’s civil rights in this country but the ultraright’s are being hampered,” Vávra told Lidové noviny.
Source: LN 4

Klaus to visit Moscow in October
President Václav Klaus is preparing a visit to Moscow for the middle of October to discuss the economic relations between the Czech Republic and Russia, E15 reported with reference to well-informed sources, including Russian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Alexey Fedotov.
Source: E15 4

Medical staff and ill people get preference for flu vaccines
The first wave of vaccination against swine flu should concern 250,000 chronically ill patients and 160,000 medical staff members, according to a strategy presented by Health Minister Dana Jurásková yesterday. In the second wave, some 90,000 employees necessary for the country’s operation would get the vaccine.
Source: most Czech press

Janota wants lower wages for state employees
Finance Minister Eduard Janota presented yesterday a 3% wage cut for state employees as part of a package to save money. The proposal, expected to reduce spending by CZK 6 billion, is opposed by the ČSSD and endorsed by TOP 09 and the ODS.
Source: HN 4, Právo 3

Russia’s Atomstroyexport bidding for Temelín extension order
The nuclear facilities supplier Atomstroyexport has sent its bid in a CZK 250 billion tender to build two new units at the Temelín power station, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Zhukov said yesterday. Another bidder in the tender is the US company Westinghouse.
Source: ČTK

Prague City Council pushes for transparent moneychangers
Prague Deputy Mayor Rudolf Blažek plans on requiring all exchange offices to post the Czech National Bank’s currency rates next to theirs. Blažek expects to figure out the legislative aspects for implementation by the end of the week.
Source: HN 7

ČS offers discount for new mortgages
Česká spořitelna will offer a one percentage point allowance toward one-half of the clients’ mortgage as of next Monday. ČS CEO Gernot Mittendorfer said it is a way of contributing to reviving the economy and mortgage market. Other providers said the move will not affect their strategies as the ČS offer requires clients to take on compulsory insurance and a minimum maturity of 20 years and might limit them from refinancing.
Source: most Czech press

T-mobile to buy contracts for thousands of new customers
The mobile network operator T-mobile is planning to announce today its purchase of tens of thousands of České radiokomunikace contracts. According to Hospodářské noviny and, the operator is going to also get an infrastructure for internet connection via landlines, which could give the operator room for new services, such as IPTV digital television. T-mobile purchased 20,000 customers from GTS Novera in March.
Source: HN 17

Used car dealer to sell three stores
In an attempt to acquire cash, AAA Auto plans on unloading unprofitable branches in Brno, Kladno and Tábor, for a total of CZK 243 million.
Source: E15 14

Money transfers to go through one day quicker
According to the new EU law on online money orders to come in effect on 1 November, some transfers will only take two days as opposed to the current one to three days, as the regulation obliges banks to credit the sums to clients’ accounts on the day it receives them. The current practice allows banks to credit the amount the following day.
Source: Právo 4

Govt debt grows to over CZK 1.137 trillion
Czech government debt increased by CZK 138 billion and, at the end of June, stood at over CZK 1.1 trillion, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday. Per capita debt exceeded CZK 108,000.
Source: ČTK

Syndicates warn against job cuts
In an analysis of the economic crisis presented yesterday, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS) warned against extensive layoffs of permanent staff at companies threatened with economic crisis because it might raise unemployment rate to 10%.
Source: ČTK

Producer prices fall again
Prices at which industrial producers sell their goods dropped by 5.1% year-on-year in August, the sixth decline in a row and the biggest year-on-year decrease since monitoring began in 1991, the Czech Statistical Office announced yesterday. Farmers’ prices dropped by 23.5% on the year in August.
Source: ČTK

New association wants to promote green buildings
A dozen companies have founded the Czech Green Building Council to promote the construction of environmentally friendly buildings and to lobby during preparations of relevant rules and changes to zoning plans.

Elmarco launches unique nanofibres production line
An Elmarco executive announced yesterday that the hi-tech company has begun producing a new type of nanofibres, the only ones of their kind. The new line will manufacture materials for the cosmetics industry and for solar cells, for instance.
Source: ČTK

Scrapping bonus could boost car output
Automotive production in the Czech Republic could increase to 1 million units this year, up from last year’s 950,000, thanks to European car-scrapping bonuses, Automotive Industry Association head Martin Jahn said yesterday.
Source: ČTK

Unilever likely to leave Czech market
The British-Dutch food and cosmetics producer will most probably pull out of the Czech Republic, the news site reported, citing sources. Unilever spokeswoman Andrea Jandová said in response that the company would announce significant changes in the area of employment policy today.
Source: E15 12

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