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Breakfast Brief – 23 June 2009

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Czech ministry speaks out against Iranian violence
The Foreign Ministry yesterday told the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Prague it rejected Tehran’s claims of interference in Iranian internal affairs and called on other EU members to speak out against the situation in Iran. The ministry said the EU has the right to question whether democratic electoral standards have been met in any country. It also criticised police violence against the Iranian citizens.
most Czech press

Nova: Pre-school child infected with syphilis
The private television station TV Nova reported yesterday that one of the children attending a kindergarten in Frýdlant near Liberec may have been infected with syphilis. All 90 children from the pre-school must undergo blood testing. School and the town officials have refused to give out more information.

Govt to intensify flu virus protection
The government has told the Health Ministry to buy 500,000 extra doses of anti-flu medicines and additional vaccines against the swine flu virus to enhance protection of the general public, Health Minister Dana Jurásková said yesterday.
ČTK, Právo 3

Rath says region will stop paying health fees if ČSSD loses
The Central Bohemia region will stop covering the CZK 30 health fee for patients treated in regional hospitals if the Social Democrats lose in general elections in October and fail to push through their draft amendment to abolish the fee nation-wide, Central Bohemia Governor David Rath said yesterday.
Právo 2

New sound insulation planned for Rock Café
A total of CZK 15 million will be spent on building better sound insulation at Prague’s Rock Café music club, which was silenced in April for allegedly exceeding noise limits. The Prague City Hall and the Prague 1 municipality will pay about CZK 5.7 million each and the rest will be covered by the club’s operators. The club is expected to re-open in early September.

Flea market to open on náměstí Míru
The Prague 2 district council has approved plans to run a flea market on náměstí Míru every fourth Saturday of the month beginning 25 July.

Municipal anti-corruption bill put aside
The cabinet has postponed a bill that would have imposed greater controls over municipal authorities, who would have been obliged to publish details of any planned sales or leases of property. The bill would have also allowed citizens to sue the town halls over disputed property sales. Hospodářské noviny reports the bill was put aside because of lobby pressure by the association of towns and villages (SMOČR).
HN 1, 4

ODS joins new EU group
Several political groups from across the EU, including the Czech Civic Democrats, yesterday announced the establishment of a new anti-federalist group within the European Parliament: the European Conservatives and Reformists Group. The British Conservative Party and Poland’s Law and Justice are also members.
LN 3, E15 5

ČSSD leader losing public support
According to a June poll by STEM, 37% of Czechs say they support Social Democratic leader Jiří Paroubek, down from 45% a month earlier. ČSSD deputy chair Bohuslav Sobotka remains the most popular politician.
most Czech press

New party supports internet liberalisation
The Interior Ministry has registered a new political party called Česká pirátská strana (Czech pirate party) that is seeking changes to the copyright law and greater liberalisation of the internet. ČPS wants to take part in the autumn elections.
Právo 3, LN 3

Kaplický’s widow to inherit rights to architect’s work
Jan Kaplický’s widow, Eliška Kaplický, stands to inherit the rights to the copyright of the late Czech architect as well as the Future Systems brand, according to family spokesman Radek Zeman. The inheritance procedure will end in the summer.

SkyEurope granted protection from creditors
Slovak-based airline SkyEurope, the second-largest carrier on the Czech market, yesterday announced it was granted court protection from creditors. The airline has amassed around CZK 5 billion in debts and now has three months to reach agreement with creditors. It is reportedly seeking investors to help cover the obligations. The airline has around 200,000 outstanding tickets from Prague and claims customers will not be affected.
most Czech press

Report: Deripaska unwilling to sell Ingosstrach to PPF
The Russian daily Vedomosti reports that the holding company of Russian businessman Oleg Deripaska has refused to sell its majority stake in the Russian insurer Ingosstrach to Generali and PPF. Vedomosti reports that the holding company, Bazel, halted talks after learning that Ingosstrach would be controlled by PPF and not Generali. A Bazel spokesman told Bloomberg News the company is ready to cooperate with Generali but not PPF. Generali and PPF offered almost CZK 18 billion for 60% stake in the insurer.
HN 20, MfD B3

Doosan considers buying Škoda Power
South Korea’s biggest power-equipment maker, Doosan Group, is reportedly interested in buying Czech turbine provider Škoda Power for about CZK 12 billion, according to the Korea Economic Daily. Last year, Škoda Power generated CZK 5.6 billion in revenue. Škoda Power’s owner, Appian Group, has been looking to sell the company since last autumn.
HN 1, 15, E15 8

Eurovia launches CZK 26bn highway project in Slovakia
The Czech construction company Eurovia CS has launched a CZK 26 billion project to build a 52-km long, four-lane highway from Nitra to Banská Bystrica in Slovakia. The project is expected to be finished by 2012 and will be based on public-private partnership.
HN 15-17

Mero signs agreement with Transneft
The Czech state company Mero, owner of the Czech section of the Druzhba pipeline and the IKL pipeline, has signed an agreement with Russia’s Transneft that should prevent any future collapse in oil deliveries from Russia. The agreement obliges the Russian side to inform the Czechs about oil deliveries ahead of time.
HN 19

Kanzelsberger will not close shop on Wenceslas Square
Jan Kanzelsberger, owner of the largest Czech bookshop chain, has announced it will not close its flagship store on Wenceslas Square, Dům knihy, after all. Book sales have increased in the last two months.
HN 18

Banks to offer better loans for home insulation programme
Five banks yesterday joined in the state’s programme to offer subsidised loans to promote energy efficiency as part of an effort to make the programme more attractive. During the first two months of the programme, only 35 people applied for the loans in spite of the CZK 10 billion earmarked for the year. The banks will offer more advantageous loans, mortgages and lower fees for early repayments.
HN 5, LN 16

Vodafone sells Android mobile phones
Mobile operator Vodafone yesterday began offering a new mobile phone device, the HTC Magic, with the Android operating system, becoming the second operator after T-Mobile to launch the service. The new device is sold for CZK 5,777-CZK 11,777 at Vodafone shops.

Central Group reports 20% increase in gross profit
Czech real estate developer Central Group saw gross profit in 2008 rise by about 20% to CZK 808 million, the company reported. Central Group’s subsidiaries posted gross profit of an additional CZK 40 million.

Tax office collects CZK 174bn from companies in 2008
Tax offices collected almost CZK 174 billion in income taxes from legal entities last year, the highest sum since 1993, according to a Finance Ministry report. Income tax collected from employees, however, fell to CZK 115 billion, a drop of CZK 11.2 billion, its first year-on-year decrease in the same period.
HN 16

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