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

Czech press review – Wednesday 21 January 2009

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

Download Breakfast Brief in PDF »


Topolánek wishes new US president well

Czech PM Mirek Topolánek said yesterday he expected “excellent” Czech-American relations to continue under new President Barack Obama. “I wish him courage, toughness and faith”, he said.

Právo 1, 2

BIS: Gas crisis could happen again

The gas crisis that resulted from a dispute between Russia and Ukraine will likely happen again, according to Czech intelligence services. Meanwhile, gas supplies from Russia to the Czech Republic resumed yesterday evening. Natural gas prices for Europe are expected to rise by up to 50% in the second quarter of 2009, which could affect prices of gas for households, Czech distributors said.

most Czech press

Havel’s condition improving

The health of former president Václav Havel improved slightly on Tuesday, according to a spokeswoman at the Motol teaching hospital. Havel, who is being treated for a lung infection, slept well Monday night but his condition remains serious.

Právo 7, ČTK

Topolánek: Černý’s apology is enough

According to PM Mirek Topolánek, the Czech Republic does not need to apologise to the EU over David Černý’s controversial art installation. He said it’s sufficient that the artist himself has already apologised. President Václav Klaus asked Topolánek’s cabinet last week to publicly apologise for and distance itself from the work of art.

Právo 1, 2

Prague regulates buildings’ height

Prague’s new zoning plan for 2010 restricts the height of new construction to no higher than two stories above the average height of surrounding buildings. Prague is among the first UNESCO protected cities to introduce such regulation.

HN 19

Klaus has most public support

Only 18% of Czechs say they are satisfied with the current political situation in the Czech Republic, according to the latest STEM poll. Of all the state institutions, the office of the president has the most support, at 56%. Only a third of Czechs say the cabinet is doing a good job. About a quarter say Parliament is doing well.

Taxi drivers considering blocking road in protest

A group of Prague taxi drivers is planning to blockade one of the city’s main roads in about a month if City Hall does not increase the limit on fares from CZK 28 to CZK 45 per kilometre. They also oppose new regulations barring taxis that are more than eight years old, and stipulating that taxis must now have air-conditioning and be painted yellow.

HN 5

Home confinement to save money spent on prisoners

In an effort to cut costs, Czech courts will introduce home confinement next year for people charged with less serious crimes, such as theft. Prisoners will be given special electronic bracelets that will trigger an alarm if the person leaves his house. The state will invest CZK 70 million in the project this year. It now pays CZK 870 a day for each prisoner. Prisoners in home confinement would cost the state around CZK 300.

HN 4

Kaplický’s funeral to be next week

The family of the recently deceased architect Jan Kaplický announced that a public funeral will be held next Tuesday afternoon at the former Church of St Anne in Old Town, Prague.

Právo 9


Retail sales dropping

Small retailers experienced a 6.3% drop in sales last November, the biggest monthly decline since December 1998, according to the Czech Statistical Office. Car dealers experienced the biggest fall-off in sales.

most Czech press

ČSOB starts laying off staff

The largest domestic bank group, ČSOB, has started laying off employees because of the global financial crisis. More than 200 people were told to leave as of the end of January. Petr Hutla, responsible for HR, said 500-600 people will be made redundant within the first quarter of 2009.

HN 16

ČMKOS: Czech industrial outlook catastrophic

Czech industry is “on the verge of collapse”, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (ČMKOS) said yesterday, referring to their own economic analysis. The unions said the impact of the global crisis could be bigger in the Czech Republic than in other western economies and that the government should not waste public resources on cutting taxes or social insurance obligations.

ČTK, Právo 18

Kalousek calls for greater budget discipline

Czech Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek yesterday called on the EU for greater efforts to hold the budget deficit at under 3% of GDP as was endorsed by the eurozone. Finance ministers of other EU countries yesterday accepted a Czech appeal to hold down deficits, but it is not binding in any way.

most Czech press

Telefónica O2 to sell former headquarters

Telefónica O2 is selling its former headquarters in Žižkov, which includes two buildings and 12,500 square metres of parking, to Pražská správa nemovitostí and Central Group. Central Group is planning a luxury project of interconnected buildings with glass towers.

E15 8

Pharmacy owners file lawsuit over stopped fees

The owners of pharmacies in central Bohemia filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the central Bohemian government over its decision to cancel paying prescription fees at pharmacies. At the same time they asked a court to have the region stop paying doctors’ fees for patients. The central Bohemian regional government has been paying doctors’ fees since 1 January. Other regions expect to follow 1 February.


Court rules Crystalex insolvent

The Prague City Court ruled on Tuesday that the Crystalex glass manufacturing plant in Nový Bor, part of the group Bohemia Crystalex Trading (BCT), was insolvent. Creditors now have 30 days to file for their outstanding debts.


Regions want share of Czech Railways

Regions in the Czech Republic are seeking shares in Czech Railways (ČD) in order to have better control over the subsidies they pay the company each year. ČD incurred heavy losses last year, and regions decided last week to pay 6% more in subsidies than last year. The state should pay CZK 3.2 billion to cover the remaining losses. Last year, regions paid ČD 4.6 billion in subsidies.

E15 4, Právo 18

Czech TV council might call early vote on chairman

The Czech TV council is considering calling a vote on its leader in the spring before the mandate of a third of the councillors terminates in May. Up to 12 of the 15 council members favour standing head Jiří Janeček, who has been in the position since 2003 and whose mandate ends in July. New councillors are likely to be elected in June by the lower chamber.

HN 2

Albatros must pay fine over Czech Harry Potter book

Albatros, which publishes the Czech translations of the Harry Potter series, must pay a CZK 313,000 fine over its agreements with distributors. The antimonopoly office decided that Albatros had illegal deals with distributors that limited the pool of retailers to whom the distributors could sell some of their books, including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, the last book in the Harry Potter series.

Environment Ministry plans support of renewable energy sources

The Environment Ministry on Tuesday presented a new programme that would subsidise renewable energy sources in 2009. The subsidies could, for instance, help people switch from coal heaters to a more environmentally friendly form of heating. Just in the first quarter of this year, subsidies in the program will total CZK 40 million.


New computer virus threat

A new computer virus called Conficker has infected some 9 million computers around the world, including some in the Czech Republic, within a few days. Michal Trs from Alwil Software said his company has registered thousands of affected PCs, mainly in small and medium-sized businesses. Computers with outdated anti-virus programmes and Windows patches that are exposed to company networks are in the greatest danger.

HN 15, 18

most viewed

Subscribe Now