HN: ODS wants two people for chair and party leader
Hospodářské noviny reports that ODS is mulling a change in its organisational structure that would make the chairman of the party and its political leader, the prime minister if the Civic Democrats win in the spring general elections, two different people. HN says the current ODS Deputy Chair Ivan Langer would probably become party chairman.
Source: HN 4
Health Ministry issues new measures on flu
The health and labour ministries yesterday announced that doctors in regions undergoing a flu epidemic could issue sick notes retroactively for five days. Health Minister Dana Jurásková also recommended that doctors have patients sign an agreement that they had been informed about the swine flu vaccination and to sign a statement if they refuse to get vaccinated.
Source: ČTK, LN 3
Plzeň Law Faculty to lose PhD accreditation for now
The Accreditation Commission (AK) is planning to temporarily suspend Plzeň Law Faculty from accepting doctoral students and ban the faculty from awarding PhDs. Currently enrolled students will be allowed to finish their studies. The faculty will be permitted to continue with its master’s degree programmes.
Source: most Czech press
Budget Committee rejects subsidy demands for next year
The Committee on the Budget yesterday rejected demands from municipalities and organisations for CZK 2.5 billion in subsidies from next year’s state budget. The committee recommended that the lower house approve the current budget proposal.
Source: ČTK, HN 6, MfD B2
New cabinet members to be appointed Monday
Prime Minister Jan Fischer said yesterday that three new ministers will be appointed Monday. Aktuálně.cz reports that the appointees will include new Environment Minister Jan Dusík and new chair of the Government Legislative Council, Pavel Zářecký. A new minister for European affairs has not yet been named and ODS leader Mirek Topolánek plans to hold talks with the prime minister today.
Source: Aktuálně.cz, LN 3
Committee supports proposal to let foreigners buy property
The Committee on the Budget yesterday recommended the lower house approve a cabinet proposal allowing foreigners from the EU to buy property in the Czech Republic. The proposal would not affect farmland. The lower house rejected the proposal in June.
Source: ČTK, Právo 4
Ministry: Roma still discriminated against in schools
A recent survey by the Ministry of Education shows that not much has changed in the past two years in educating Romani children. Up to a third of Romani pupils attend schools for children with learning disabilities and some 10,000 are sent there erroneously. The Education Ministry has invested CZK 200 million from EU funds to support equal opportunities in schools and plans to invest CZK 800 million more.
Source: HN 5, LN 5, Právo 4
Supreme Administrative Court rules against Brno-Vienna motorway
The Supreme Administrative Court has rejected a zoning plan for the Břeclav region that would include a project to build a motorway from Brno to Vienna. The court ruled in favour of a number of municipalities and individuals who had opposed construction of the R52 motorway. The ruling takes effect immediately.
Police to demonstrate on 9 December
Novinky.cz reports police are planning to hold a demonstration in front of the government offices on 9 December to protest plans to cut salaries. The head of the police union, Milan Štěpánek, confirmed the protests. Other unions support the demonstration and are demanding CZK 7 billion more next year in salaries for civil servants.
Source: Novinky.cz, ČTK, Právo 5
Survey: Czech patients more satisfied with hospital quality
The number of patients who say they want the quality and safety at hospitals to be checked regularly has fallen from 85% in 2007 to 62% this year, according to a study by the Ostrava-based HealthCare Institute among more than 35,000 patients. The most popular hospital for patients is Hospital Podlesí in Třinec, while among big hospitals it is Prague’s Vinohrady teaching hospital (VFN).
Source: HN 1-3
Wilders’ lecture location is still uncertain
Petra Salavová, a representative of the Palác Aventin that had allegedly planned to host a lecture by controversial Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, has denied that the lecture was supposed to take place in the building and distanced the organisation from the event. ODS Senator Jiří Oberfalzer, who had invited Wilders, said the Palác Aventin had originally agreed to host the lecture.
Ministry to propose plan to prevent domestic violence
The Ministry for Human Rights and Minorities is putting together a national plan to prevent domestic violence that would provide assistance to victims, including children. Some 10,000 people in the Czech Republic this year have sought help or advice because of domestic violence, with 92% of them women.
Hradec Králové named ‘family-friendly’ town
The towns of Hradec Králové, Hodonín and Tišnov u Brna have been awarded the title of most “family-friendly” in a competition organised by the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry, the Commission on Family Issues and a number of NGOs.
Source: MfD A4
Janota wants to cut bonuses for former ČSA management
Finance Minister Eduard Janota said he would do everything he could to prevent a CZK 120 million bonus from being paid to the former ČSA management under Radomír Lašák, saying the amount is inappropriate considering the company’s losses. The bonus system sets 2005 as a base year and was approved by former Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka. It was beneficial for ČSA management as the airline’s finances were in bad shape that year, Janota said.
Source: LN 1
Transport Ministry wants private companies to build motorways
A new strategy of the Transport Ministry would rely on public-private partnerships (PPPs) to build motorways worth some CZK 120 billion by 2013. Deputy Transport Minister Roman Kramařík said there was no other way to finance the roads since there was no money in the budget. No PPP projects have yet been undertaken in the Czech Republic, though a tender for such cooperation has been launched for finishing the central military hospital in Prague.
Source: E15 1, 4-5
ČEZ CEO says EC confiscated his computer
ČEZ CEO Martin Roman told Euro.cz his computer was confiscated as part of a European Commission investigation into an agreement between ČEZ and J&T. Petr Pudil, the CEO of Czech Coal, which allegedly filed the complaint with the EC, said his company considers a joint move by ČEZ and J&T to be unfavourable to the energy market and that his company would protect itself by all legal means.
Source: most Czech press
Aero wins order to rebuild planes for CZK 200m
The Czech army has awarded aerospace manufacturer Aero Vodochody an order to rebuild two disabled L-159 combat aircraft. E15 reports the order may exceed CZK 200 million. The aircraft will replace the army planes to be exchanged with Spain for one CASA 295E transport plane as part of an earlier deal that includes buying three additional CASA aircraft worth CZK 3.5 billion. E15 hints the Defence Ministry and Aero frequently cooperate and the price of the deal appears to be excessive.
Source: E15 1, 6
Report: Ministry purchased illegal software program
Mladá fronta Dnes reports that according to internal documents of the Ministry for Regional Development, the ministry paid CZK 500 million in 2001 to Tesco SW and ICL (later S&T) for an illegal computer program to monitor cash flow from the EU. The cost of operating the system could run to an additional CZK 300 million since the ministry is waiting until the 2014-20 period, when structural funds from the EU will be drawn again, to purchase a legal program.
Source: MfD B3
State to pay less for solar energy
The Energy Regulatory Office (ERÚ) has lowered the purchase price of solar energy by almost 5% as of 1 January. Investors who open small solar plants next year will receive CZK 12,250 for one megawatt hour from the state.
Source: E15 11
Survey: Number of high-growth Czech tech companies falls
The consulting company Deloitte has published a list of the 500 fastest-growing tech companies in Europe, Middle East and Africa and included only five companies from the Czech Republic. Last year the list, called the Technology Fast 500 EMEA, named 11 Czech companies. The network of insurance brokers, Insia, ranked highest among Czech companies at 214th.
Source: E15 7
Thun 1794 hires workers of bankrupt KP
The Thun 1794 porcelain works has hired some 700 of 1,600 former employees of bankrupt porcelain-maker Karlovarský porcelán (KP). Thun has also taken over five of KP’s former plants and says it expects to end the year with a moderate profit. Thun chairman Michal Bíman said the company had managed to establish ties with most of KP’s former customers.