Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Breakfast Brief – 20 November 2009

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Table of Contents

Van Rompuy, Ashton claim EU posts
Little-known Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy and Britain’s Baroness Catherine Ashton were yesterday elected as the first president and foreign minister of the European Council, respectively. Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer said that both elected politicians have a close relationship with the Czech Republic, and they share ” the potential and the background to carry out their duties very well”.
Source: most Czech press

Chief health officer: Flu pandemic to hit in two weeks
The country’s chief public health officer Michael Vít estimates the global swine flu pandemic will reach the Czech Republic at the beginning of December. Health officers say the number of people infected with swine flu nationally already exceeds the number of cases of ‘regular’ flu. So far, some 650 people have contracted swine flu in the Czech Republic, according to Vít. Vaccinations will start on Monday, with a total of 1,000,000 planned.
Source: most Czech press

Islam critic will not speak in Senate
Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, a critic of Islam, will no longer give a scheduled speech in the Czech Senate, news site Tý reports. Wilders’ participation was cancelled by Civic Democrat Senator Jiří Oberfalzer, who had originally invited Wilders, after objections by the upper house chairman Přemysl Sobotka.
Source: Tý, LN 3

Police probe Charles Bridge reconstruction
Czech police have begun investigating the current rebuilding of Prague’s Charles Bridge after criticism from preservationists of insufficient documentation preceding the reconstruction as well as the repair work itself.
Source: ČTK

Prague 1 mayor sacked over budget
Prague 1 Mayor Petr Hejma (ODS) was dismissed yesterday from his post by council deputies and Věci veřejné (public affairs) party representatives over claims that he had managed the budget poorly. The departing mayor called the move “a political gambit”. He will be replaced by fellow ODS member party Filip Dvořák.
Source: most Czech press

Havel backs ÚSTR resignation in dissident case
Former president Václav Havel has joined a petition put together by activist and former dissident Stanislav Penc demanding the resignation of the head of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR) Pavel Žáček. The petition objects to the institute’s treatment of the case of Civic Forum founder artist Joska Skalník. It states that ÚSTR published claims that Skalník cooperated with the secret police (StB) and denied him space to respond.
Source: most Czech press

ODS voters want new chair this weekend
Almost 60% of Civic Democrat (ODS) supporters want this weekend’s party congress to vote on internal leadership, and 77% would like the current ODS head Mirek Topolánek replaced, according to an internet poll conducted by SANEP. According to Hospodářské noviny, the congress will discuss the party’s agenda for the coming ten years called Vision 2020, and it is unlikely to elect a new chair. Topolánek’s opponents are planning a secret vote on ODS members’ trust in the current head, the daily reports.
Source: HN 5, ČTK, E15 2, 3

Poll: ČSSD would win election
The Social Democrats (ČSSD) would receive 24% of votes followed by the Civic Democrats (ODS) with 18.5%, if national elections were held right now, according to a CVVM poll published yesterday. The poll said TOP 09 would receive 8.5% of votes, with the Communists and Christian Democrats garnering 7.5% and 3.5%, respectively. One-fifth of respondents said they would not definitely vote in elections.
Source: ČTK

Lions kill rare tiger in Liberec zoo
Two lions yesterday killed a rare white tiger in Liberec zoo in north Bohemia, when they managed to enter an outdoor area occupied by the female tiger. The Liberec zoo is the only Czech facility where white tigers are bred, and only several dozens of these animals exist in the world.
Source: ČTK, MfD A1, A4

ODS unrolls VAT reforms
Civic Democrat economic expert Martin Kocourek has announced the party’s plans to introduce a uniform VAT rate as well as cost-cutting pension and health care reforms. Hospodářské noviny writes that this move is an attempt to reach out to rightwing voters. A uniform VAT rate would decrease prices for the majority of goods, while raising the cost of food, medication and public transport, HN claims.
Source: HN 1, 5, 11

FinMin offers female MP bonuses
The Finance Ministry has proposed a law under which an additional CZK 10,000 would be paid to parties for each of their female deputies, provided that 30% of their elected representatives were women. Michaela Appeltová of Forum 50%, an NGO focusing on equal representation of the genders in public office, said that the sum wasn’t large enough to motivate parties, claiming all groups except for ODS currently meet the 30% quota, and revised targets should be discussed at a political level.
Source: LN 1, 4

ČSSD-led councils spend more in 2009
In the first nine months of 2009, the overall spending of Czech regional councils, headed by Social Democrats except in Prague, rose by CZK 7 billion compared to the same time last year when they were led by the Civic Democrats, Hospodářské noviny reports, referring to new Finance Ministry’s figures. The councils recorded a budget surplus last year of almost CZK 20 billion, compared to total losses of CZK 1.7 billion in 2009, HN writes.
Source: HN 1, 4

OECD: Czech GDP to rise by 2% next year
The Prague branch of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) yesterday issued its forecast claiming growth of 2% in Czech GDP next year. Radomír Jáč, the chief analyst at Generali PPF Asset Management, called the estimate optimistic but feasible. The Czech central bank expects GDP to grow by 1.4% next year, while the Finance Ministry has put the figure at only 0.3%, Lidove noviny reports.
Source: most Czech press

ČNB Vice-Governor backs lower interest rate
Czech National Bank ČNB Vice-Governor Miroslav Singer yesterday spoke out again in favour of cutting national interest rates in an online forum, Hospodářské noviny reports. Together with ČNB Governor Zdeněk Tůma and bank board member Vladimír Tomšík, Singer voted for lower interest rates at the last board meeting, but the three were outvoted. The current interest rate is 1.25%.
Source: HN 27

Banks block 10,000 cards, report abuse
Reacting to a Spanish data leak reported by the Czech media on Wednesday, Czech banks have blocked about 10,000 payment cards. The banks have recorded the first cases of card abuse in the form of illegal money withdrawals. Aktuálně.cz reports banks have had problems managing the influx of requests for new cards and PINs.
Source: most Czech press

Orco’s loss exceeds CZK 5bn
The developer Orco Property Group yesterday announced a net loss of EUR 201.2 million (CZK 5.2 billion) globally in the first nine months of the year, down dramatically from its EUR 29.8 million loss in the same period last year. The group’s worldwide revenues fell 17% to EUR 186.8 million (approximately CZK 4.79 billion).
Source: ČTK, HN 17

Sazka sacks corrupt MP from its board
Shareholders of lottery firm Sazka dismissed former Christian Democrats MP and one-time candidate on the TOP 09 ticket, Ladislav Šustr, from the company’s advisory board yesterday over his willingness to accept a bribe of CZK 1 million at the end of September in exchange for blocking a new lottery law.
Source: Aktuálně.cz

More foreigners lose local jobs
The number of foreigners working legally in the Czech Republic has been falling continually since the end of 2008, according to the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry. More than 3,660 foreign employees lost their jobs in October due to the economic crisis, and some 45,000 foreigners have been sacked from local positions this year.
Source: ČTK

Flat construction market in trouble in Q3
The number of new flats being built in the Czech Republic dropped by 5.7% year-on-year in the third quarter of the year, with only 11, 234 new constructions under way, the Czech Statistical Office said yesterday. The total value of new construction orders sank by 26.4% year-on-year in the same period.
Source: ČTK, E15 9

Survey: One-tenth of Czechs have ‘unbalanced’ budget
Some 30% of Czech households are in healthy shape financially, meaning their incomes and assets greatly exceed their expenses and repayments, a survey by Czech Post savings bank Poštovní spořitelna has revealed. The situation of 28% of households is acceptable, while 10% of households have unbalanced finances.
Source: LN 14, Právo 17

Retail expert: Foreign franchises on the way
Dozens of foreign franchise companies, including Australian Sunshine Kebab, French household linen retailer Descamps, and American The Athlete’s Foot, are mulling entering the Czech market, according to global real estate adviser DTZ. Franchises could account for up to 20% of retail space in shopping centres in the next two to three years.
Source: ČTK

most viewed

Subscribe Now