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Czech News in English » News » Breakfast Brief » Breakfast Brief - 29 September 2009

Breakfast Brief – 29 September 2009

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HN: MPs conspire against Klaus
The cabinet along with heads of ČSSD and ODS have began discussing ways to address President Václav Klaus’s reluctance to signing the Lisbon Treaty, including filing a legal complaint and tightening the Prague Castle administration’s budget. PM Jan Fischer said that criticism from abroad is rising.
Source: HN 1, 2, 3, 10

MPs pass spending shake-up, Fischer stays
All parties, except for the Communists, on Friday passed a fiscal reform package through the lower house that will reduce public spending and increase consumption taxes. The bill, proposed by PM Jan Fischer’s caretaker cabinet, will reduce next year’s public sector deficit from CZK 230 billion to CZK 162.8 billion, or from 7% to 5.2% of GDP. HN reported that the bill heavily favours gambling and tobacco lobby. Fischer said by Wednesday his cabinet will present a trimmed budget for next year and a policy statement for the rest of his term, ending in May.
Source: most Czech press

Legislators also cut their own wages
The lower house on Friday passed a bill reducing the salaries of 4,800 state employees next year, according to Labour Minister Petr Šimerka. These employees include the president, MPs, senators, cabinet ministers, judges, prosecutors and other top officials, whose salaries should decrease by 4%. This same cut awaits public sector employees under the fiscal reform passed earlier that day. The Greens pushed for an 8% reduction for top officials and the Social Democrats sought a 20% cut.
Source: most Saturday press

Fischer: Joblessness will grow next year
PM Jan Fischer said Sunday that recession has not yet fully affected Czech households, as further job cuts are expected. Fischer expects a zero economic growth next year and an unemployment rate of some 10%.
Source: ČTK

Regulated rent to soar in 2010
About half of municipalities in the country will raise regulated rent to its highest possible rates next year. In Břeclav and Náchod, for instance, rent will increase by 57% over this year.
Source: HN 3

Outflow of foreign labour continues
The number of foreigners working legally in the Czech Republic was 245,808 in August, about 39,000 fewer than at New Year, when the previously increasing number of foreign workers started shrinking. The largest groups are Slovaks (96,295), Ukrainians (69,831), Poles (19,474) and Moldavians (7,390). The number of legal Mongolians and Vietnamese has shrunk most over the past year.
Source: ČTK

Chairs swinging under KSČM officials
Communist Party leader Vojtěch Filip has called for the ousting of his deputies Jiří Dolejš and Čeněk Milota, after Mf Dnes reported they showed willingness to accept bribes. Ladislav Šustr, an MP for Top 09, was also caught by the paper and resigned his seat in parliament on Saturday.
Source: most Czech press

120,000 came to see pope in Brno
Benedict XVI preached to 120,000 people at Brno Airport on Sunday. The night before authorities closed a 7 km stretch of the nearby D1 motorway and converted it into a parking lot for 2,000 buses. The pope also visited Prague and Stará Boleslav.
Source: most Czech press

Poll: Klaus, Motejl and Fischer most trusted
A CVVM survey shows President Václav Klaus, Ombudsman Otakar Motejl and PM Jan Fischer have the top approval ratings among Czech officials, at 59%, 58% and 56%, respectively.
Source: ČTK

Sacked employee shoots manager in Zlín
A worker of the Zlín-based printing company Graspo on Thursday attacked two managers with a gun after receiving notice and then killed himself. One of the two victims died in hospital Friday, while the other remained seriously injured.
Source: most Saturday press

Liechtenstein won’t push restitutions in ČR
Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein said Friday in Mikulov that his dynasty will not fight for its extensive properties confiscated by the Czechoslovak state after World War II, but would appreciate it if the state returned them.
Source: Právo 11 Sat

ČVUT campaign to lure hip hop aficionados
The Czech Technical University in Prague launched an unconventional campaign yesterday to win over hip hop fans who comprise a substantial chunk of the teenage population, said ČVUT’s marketing specialist Alexandra Hroncová. The campaign attempts to mend the drop in student numbers in the coming years due to low birthrates in the 1990s.
Source: MfD A1, A9 Sat

Prague expands bike routes
Another 654 meters were added to the 14-kilometer bike route along Rokytka from Libeň to Dolní Počernice on Friday. The route expansion cost CZK 12.7 million.
Source: Pd 2 Sat

ČSA considers teaming with Letište Praha
If the last tender contestant for the privatisation of Czech Airlines fails to submit an acceptable proposal by Wednesday, ČSA plans to gradually link its property assets with the airport’s. The Finance Ministry Supreme Director Tomáš Uvíra told HN that the supervisory board is considering all options, including merging with Letiště Praha and capitalising on ČSA’s loan from the state-owned Osinek.
Source: LN 15 Sat, HN 17-19

Prague hotel revenues drop by 45% in Sep year-on-year
Hotel owners in Prague have reported a 45% year-on-year decrease in revenues per room in September due to a decrease in foreign visitors and the subsequent forced lowering of prices, head of Radisson SAS Alcron hotel and board member of the Prague branch of Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants Michal Chour said.
Source: HN 17

Russian oil companies step up to enter Czech energy market
During the last intergovernmental meeting between Russia and ČR, the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Alexander Zhukov announced that Russian oil companies would like to participate in tenders for shares in Czech companies. Czech ambassador for energy security Václav Bartuška told E15 that Russian presence would undermine stability and that the sector is becoming more aware that “there are things we can’t allow for”.
Source: E15 1, 9

ArcelorMittal will expand Czech unit
North Moravian steel maker ArcelorMittal Frýdek-Místek said Friday its recent CZK 2.5 billion investment will significantly expand production and potentially create dozens of jobs.
Source: ČTK

Struggling Orco will redraft rescue plan
Orco Property Group will rework its restructuring plan, rejected by creditors on Thursday, CEO Jean-François Ott told Reuters. The listed Czech developer is in administration.
Source: HN 17, 24, E15 14

IT firm plans to enter stock exchange
The Brno-based software developer Zoner Software scheduled to publish bonds worth CZK 50 million at the beginning of October. Company owner Milan Behro said that with the financial crisis, the Zoner Software is turning away from bank loans.
Source: HN 20

President stops retail regulation
Václav Klaus on Friday vetoed a bill that would impose fines up to CZK 10 million on retail chains that abuse their market power. The president called the regulation unsuitable and flawed.
Source: HN 21

MPs pick KPMG to audit state auditor
A lower-house committee has selected the local branch of the Dutch firm KPMG to examine the finances of the public finance watchdog, the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ).

Bernard brewery campaigns on pope’s visit
The Bernard brewery put up 21 billboards in Brno featuring its owner Stanislav Bernard dressed in pope-like attire as part of its long-term campaign concept “The world has gone mad” which highlights the absurdities of everyday life. Bernard said that the billboards spoke out against the absurdity of closing down the D1 highway for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit.
Source: LN 13, 14 Sat

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