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Czech News in English » News » Breakfast Brief » Breakfast Brief - 18 September 2009

Breakfast Brief – 18 September 2009

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US abandons plans for Czech radar base
Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer said yesterday the United States had dropped plans to build a radar base in the Czech Republic as part of a US anti-missile shield. He said US President Barack Obama informed him of the decision in a telephone conversation shortly after midnight yesterday. Fischer said the US would continue to cooperate with the Czech Republic on accompanying scientific and technical development.
Source: most Czech press

Top politicians comment on US plans to drop radar
ČSSD head Jiří Paroubek called the US decision to abandon plans to build an anti-missile radar base on Czech territory “a victory for the Czech people”. ODS leader Mirek Topolánek said Washington’s change of position reflected political instability in the Czech Republic and warned against a weakening of the country’s international position. President Václav Klaus, Prime Minister Jan Fischer and Foreign Affairs Minister Jan Kohout all said the decision would have no negative impact on the countries’ bilateral relations.
Source: most Czech press

Klaus: Minimum chance for early elections this year
The two biggest political parties have demonstrated little agreement on how to solve the political crisis, meaning there is only a very small chance of holding early elections this year, President Václav Klaus said Thursday after meeting with ČSSD chairman Jiří Paroubek and ODS chairman Mirek Topolánek.
Source: most Czech press

Fischer says budget gap above CZK 170bn would be critical
Prime Minister Jan Fischer said any failure to agree on a proposal to limit the 2010 state budget deficit to CZK 170 billion would be “critical” for him and make him consider further steps. He made the comment following a meeting with President Václav Klaus yesterday,
Source: most Czech press

MPs to discuss govt austerity package next week
The lower house will discuss on 24 September a government-proposed package of austerity measures aimed at slashing next year’s state budget deficit from CZK 230 billion to a maximum of CZK 170 billion. MPs will deal with the package in a single vote instead of the usual three readings. Tý reports the package includes, among other things, cuts in child allowances and birth grants, and postponed payments of sickness benefits. The Social Democrats say they are prepared to talk about cuts in social spending, a move they considered unacceptable until yesterday.
Source: most Czech press

MfD: Regional money swayed ČSSD decision on elections
Quoting some ČSSD representatives, Mf Dnes reports that one of the reasons the party decided on Tuesday not to support a vote to dissolve the cabinet and hold early elections was that ČSSD regional governors were afraid they could lose state and EU subsidies in case the Constitutional Court would again nullify the decision.
Source: MfD A5

Thais to be able to apply for long-term work visas
As of Monday, workers from Thailand will be allowed to apply for long-term work visas in the Czech Republic, Jan Fischer’s cabinet agreed yesterday. The move comes in spite of continuing high local unemployment of 8.5%. Five months ago the Czech government banned workers from five eastern countries, including Thailand, from getting working permits.
HN 6

Ministry seeking to combine and close down some schools
The Education Ministry is looking to save money by closing down or fusing some basic and secondary schools and reducing rebuilding projects, Minister Miroslava Kopicová said. However, reports said that with the recent baby boom, schools may need to retain the excess capacity.
Source: ČTK

Stibral to remain head of ČTK
The Czech News Agency council has decided the resignation submitted by agency CEO Milan Stibral is invalid. Stibral himself has now taken the resignation back and says he will stay on until 2011 when his term officially expires.
Source: HN 6, E15 4

Communists try to abolish health-care fees again
Earlier this week, Communist MPs presented the lower house with an amendment to cancel health-care fees completely, said Soňa Marková, who submitted the proposal.
Source: ČTK

Czech crown rises against euro, dollar
The Czech crown continued to strengthen with respect to the euro and dollar, climbing yesterday to under 25 crowns per euro and 17 crowns per dollar, its strongest showing since last autumn. Patria Finance analyst Tomáš Vlk said there was optimism in global financial markets and domestic political instability was not disrupting business.
Source: most Czech press

FinMin to issue first eurobonds for domestic investors
The Finance Ministry plans to issue euro-denominated bonds for domestic investors on 30 September, the ministry said yesterday. The six-year bonds will have a floating interest rate, with the total volume projected at EUR 300 million.
Source: ČTK

Central European stock exchanges team up
The Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Ljubljana bourses have teamed up to form a new CEE Stock Exchange Group and introduced two new joint indices as of Thursday, the Prague Stock Exchange said in a press release. The group accounts for two-thirds of share trading in central and eastern Europe.
Source: HN 24, E15 14, 15

ČSA fires dozens of staff
Czech Airlines has dismissed dozens of mostly white-collar workers as part of an austerity plan, spokeswoman Hana Hejsková said. The cuts will affect a few hundred employees from September 2009 until March 2010, she said.
Source: most Czech press

Study: ČR improves ranking in IT sector
The Czech Republic has moved up three notches from last year on an IT industry competitiveness index, ranking 26th among 66 countries. The index was published by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Business Software Alliance.
Source: ČTK

Penta to take over diagnostic labs from rival
Penta investment group is planning to take over a network of diagnostic laboratories from its rival J&T, Hospodářské noviny reports, referring to two independent sources from the healthcare sector. As an owner of 30 laboratories in Slovakia and 10 labs in Poland, Penta is aiming to become a leader in healthcare diagnostics in central Europe.
Source: HN 20

Austrian Vamed enters Czech healthcare market
The Austrian healthcare provider Vamed has completed a 100% takeover of the Czech firm Mediterra. Mediterra operates four healthcare facilities in the Czech Republic. The companies did not disclose the value of the transaction.
Source: HN 1, 17

MfD: Firms not publishing results on time
Mf Dnes reports that more than 75% of Czech companies are breaking the law by not publishing their economic results in the business registry on time. The daily says neither the tax authorities nor the registry courts check up on companies, though they are authorized to levy fines for infractions.
Source: MfD A11

Personal bankruptcies triple
The number of personal bankruptcies in the Czech Republic tripled during the period of January through end-August from the previous year, reaching some 1,326 bankruptcies, according to the Czech Credit Bureau.
Source: HN 18, LN 15

Farmers to sell milk directly to consumers
Dozens of Czech farmers will start selling fresh milk directly to consumers through special dispensers. The move is hoped to help small producers cope with lower purchasing prices for milk. Yesterday, farmers handed upper house chairman Přemysl Sobotka a petition with more than 15,000 signatures demanding compliance with laws on pricing and economic competition. Farmers say the state is not performing price checks at retail chains that sell foods, including dairy products, below cost.
Source: ČTK

SkyEurope fined for deceiving clients
The Hungarian anti-monopoly office has fined the bankrupt Slovak carrier SkyEurope and its rival Ryanair EUR 37,000 each for not informing customers that ticket prices could be adjusted to account for surcharges, service fees and luggage handling, Reuters news agency reported.
Source: Aktuálně.cz

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