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Breakfast Brief – 29 May 2009

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Table of Contents

Police protection promised for political meetings
In a television debate yesterday, Interior Minister Martin Pecina criticised recent egg attacks at ČSSD officials, saying that the police had agreed to monitor future party meetings. Police have charged a Brno man with assault for throwing eggs at Wednesday’s event at Prague’s Anděl. Lukáš Botka, the first man to throw an egg at the ČSSD leader, called for an end to attacks.
most Czech press

State has no money for teacher bonuses
The Education Ministry does not have enough money in its budget to cover a 3.5% salary hike mandated by the previous cabinet and scheduled to take effect in June. The ministry will instead divert funds from the CZK 4.5 billion set aside for bonuses for top teachers last year. Ministry spokeswoman Kateřina Bohmová said the across-the-board wage hike would cost about CZK 1.3 billion.
HN 1, 4

Kalousek will leave KDU-ČSL
Former Christian Democrat chair Miroslav Kalousek announced his decision to quit the party at a meeting yesterday. KDU-ČSL leader Jiří Čunek accepted Kalousek’s decision. Hospodářské noviny, quoting party members formerly allied with Čunek, reports that he plans to run for re-election as chairman but is losing support within KDU-ČSL and faces a likely defeat.
most Czech press

Prague to invest billions in metro extension
Prague councillors yesterday agreed to earmark CZK 10.7 billion for the extension of metro line A from Dejvická to Motol by 2015. Prague will also receive more than CZK 8 billion for the project from EU funds. Construction should start in December.
LN 6, PD 1, 2

Ministry plans anti-extremism unit
The Interior Ministry intends to establish a special team to combat extremism, former head of the National anti-drug centre Jiří Komorous said at a lower house security committee meeting yesterday.
ČTK, MfD A1, A3

New visa issuing system on the way
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is about to launch a new system for issuing and registering foreigners’ visas that will replace the telecommunication centres now used at embassies. More information is expected on Monday.

Lower house to dissolve in October
The Chamber of Deputies will wind up on the date of the early elections, which should take place on 9 and 10 October at the latest, the Senate voted yesterday.
most Czech press

Radar area to open to public
The army will open the site known as “height 718” in Brdy to the public this weekend. People currently need permission to access the site that might host the US missile defence base.
Právo 7, ČTK

Vršovice Bohemians win dispute over team name, logo
Vršovice-based football club Bohemians Praha 1905 is the only football team that may use the name “Bohemians” and a kangaroo logo, the Industrial Property Office decided yesterday. The decision follows four years of disputes between Bohemians 1905 and Bohemians Praha (Střížkov).

Moody’s: Crisis nearing end in Czech Republic
Rating agency Moody’s said yesterday that the threat of the financial crisis in the Czech Republic and its neighbours has faded. Though these countries’ economies are weak, there is no threat of investors stemming the flow of money into them or of foreign banks getting rid of their local subsidiaries, Moody’s said.
HN 1, 15, E15 6

Ministry crafting tighter regulations on financial services
The Finance Ministry is crafting a new law on financial products designed to make insurance, mortgage and building society services more transparent. Elements of the legislation include evaluation of providers by the Czech National Bank, creation of a central register of financing firms, and a requirement that clients be informed about payments their financial adviser receives from a bank or insurer for having secured a loan or policy.
E15 1, 4

Česká pojišťovna no longer No 1
The insurer Česká pojišťovna for the first time lost its number 1 position in the Czech non-life insurance market in Q1, according to Czech Insurance Association. Kooperativa ranked first for the quarter, moving up from the second place.
E15 1, 8

Pegas stock gains on sound Q1 results
Textiles maker Pegas Nonwovens announced a 41% fall in first-quarter net profit to EUR 6.8 million, but its operating profit grew by a third to EUR 14 million. Sales rose by 5.5% to nearly EUR 36 million. The figures sent Pegas shares up 8.82% to CZK 370 on the Prague bourse yesterday. The firm’s board of directors has proposed a EUR 0.9 per share dividend, slightly higher than that paid to shareholders last year.
HN 23, E15 12

ČEZ: 75% of scrapping bonuses used up
Three quarters of the scrapping bonuses that the power company ČEZ introduced in mid-April have been used up. ČEZ is offering a CZK 1,000 subsidy to customers buying new, more energy-efficient household appliances in Datart and Euronics stores.

‘Gourmet palace’ to open in Prague
Slovak company Gourmet Europe plans to transform the current Vinohradský pavilon shopping centre into a market offering fresh, high-quality local food. Max Immo, the centre’s landlord, is in talks with 20 potential tenants, including delicatessens Aromi and Robertson.
LN 1, 16

Sotheby’s realty arm entering Czech market
Sotheby’s International Realty has opened a branch in Prague. The franchise, operated by Czech Republic Realty, will focus on luxury properties.
HN 15

Czech betting reaches record heights
Spending on lotteries and betting games in the Czech Republic reached a record CZK 128.5 billion in 2008, a year-on-year rise of 18.6% and much faster growth than in previous years, the Finance Ministry reported yesterday.
MfD A9

HP to move part of production to ČR
Computer company Hewlett-Packard will relocate some storage and server production from Germany and Scotland to the Czech Republic as part of the company’s global restructuring, Reuters reported yesterday. Pardubice-based Foxconn should take over HP’s local production, according to ČTK reports.

ČSSD wants higher tolls on lorries
The Social Democrats want to increase motorway tolls for lorries to raise more money for road construction, Shadow Minister for Transport Roman Oderka announced yesterday.

Panasonic to launch production in Žatec
Plzeň-based Panasonic AVC Networks Czech will start production of LCD televisions on Monday in Žatec. The firm is planning to hire 300 people and produce 1 million TV sets by the end of March 2010.

PSE’s profits down, dividends at all-time high
Prague Stock Exchange’s 2008 net profit fell by 21.5% year-on-year to CZK 155.8 million. The group’s pre-tax profit fell by 13.7% to CZK 227.2 million.

More redundancies at Jablonex
Glass and bijouterie producer Jablonex Group will lay off another 70 employees by the end of May as part of its restructuring. The company shed 115 workers in April.

Pars nova wins contract to modernise trains
Šumperk-based firm Pars nova has won two orders worth more than CZK 2 billion from Czech Railways to modernise diesel trains and reconstruct old mail carriages.

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