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Breakfast Brief – 30 July 2009

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Table of Contents

HN: Corruption report circulating in ODS is not the original
Hospodářské noviny reported that the eight-page document circulating in the ODS as an anti-corruption police report on the entrepreneur Roman Janoušek, currently under investigation by Swiss police on suspicion of money laundering, is not the report that Czech police had passed on to their Swiss counterparts. Libor Vrba, head of the anti-corruption police, said it was not written by his agency. According to HN, the anti-corruption police sent a three-line statement announcing that the office is not investigating Janoušek. ODS leader Mirek Topolánek said the eight-page report that links him to the entrepreneur through his close friend Marek Dalík is meant to divert attention from controversial Prague City Hall commissions.
Source: most Czech press

Paroubek says co-operation with Communists impossible
ČSSD chairman Jiří Paroubek said that he regards the discussion on the Communist Party’s willingness to apologise for its past as finished. Co-operation between the Social Democrats and Communists on the government level is not possible, he said after KSČM chairman Vojtěch Filip negated the party’s apology for its totalitarian roots.
Source: LN 3, Právo 3, ČTK

MfD: Former intelligence head hired to damage Topolánek’s reputation
Mladá fronta Dnes reports that Karel Randák, the former head of the Czech civilian intelligence (ÚZSI), provided the newspaper with some 290 photographs and about 40 videos of ODS leader Mirek Topolánek and politicians, lobbyists and managers of big companies on holiday together in Italy’s Monte Argentario. The newspaper reported that Randák was hired to collect the compromising material in advance of the elections, but he refuses to tell who commissioned him.
Source: MfD A1, A2, A3

Senators to use German verdict in their new Lisbon complaint
A group of Senators turning to the Constitutional Court to assess the Lisbon Treaty’s compliance with Czech law are finalising the text of their complaint and will submit it to the nation’s highest judicial authority in August, Jiří Oberfalzer, a representative of the legislators, said Wednesday. The Senators, who were criticised for delaying the treaty’s ratification, will take advantage of the German constitutional court’s verdict on the EU agreement.
Source: ČTK

12 new cases of swine flu
The Czech Republic has 12 new H1N1 cases, with all of the patients in good condition, Health Ministry spokesman Vlastimil Sršeň said on Wednesday. The country has registered a total of 75 swine flu cases since the outbreak.
Source: Právo 3

Meteorologists: Flood patrols could prevent disaster
One month after flash floods hit the Czech Republic, meteorologists have come up with a plan to avoid a similar disaster in the future. They suggest flood patrols be established to monitor places where flooding may occur and inform local authorities in case of emergency. Mayors would select flood patrols upon receiving warnings from meteorologists and firefighters.
Source: HN 1, 5

Minister urges Romani visitors to find suitable lodging
Romanian Roma who have come to Prague to support their hospitalised relative, some of whom are staying by a fishpond in the Počernice neighbourhood, should find paid accommodation, Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocáb told the radio station Impuls. He said that the visitors are not poor, drive Mercedes cars and wear golden rings, so in his opinion they should incorporate themselves into local social orders and conform to standard tourist practices.
Source: MfD C1, C3, ČTK

Upper Austrian govt supports Czech Temelín opponents
The regional government in northern Austria supported cross-border opponents of the Czech nuclear power station in Temelín last year as in previous years, according to a report the cabinet of northern Austria published on its website.

Communists want to cancel military missions due to budget
The Communist Party is proposing to reduce spending on projects connected to NATO membership, including military missions, in response to a worsened economic outlook and the threat of a state budget deficit exceeding CZK 200 billion. The party rejects cuts in social spending.
Source: ČTK

ČEZ to pay off J&T
Energy giant ČEZ will pay the J&T company millions of euros to back out of its plans to participate in the construction of a plant at Mibrag, one of the German brown-coal mines the two firms co-own. ČEZ and J&T acquired the mines six months ago, while last month J&T acquired the No 2 Czech energy producer, International Power Opatovice, for CZK 22.5 billion following an agreement that ČEZ will buy the Opatovice heating plant, which is worth an estimated CZK 10 billion.
Source: HN 13, 16, LN 13

ČR received CZK 29bn more from EU than it paid in H1
The Czech Republic paid CZK 22.2 billion into the European Union budget and received CZK 51.3 billion from EU funds in the first half of the year, the Finance Ministry announced on Wednesday. The country’s net revenue of CZK 29.1 billion was the highest since 2006, when monitoring of its first-half performance began.
Source: E15 3

ČD slowly ending controversial marketing union
Czech Railways (ČD) spent CZK 500 million on marketing last year, with one-third of the money ending up in a number of companies connected to the controversial businessman Michal Voráček, Lidové noviny reports. The co-operation between Voráček and ČD started in 2004, but the company’s current management is planning to cut commissions for Voráček’s Grand Princ publishing house to 45% in the next year.
Source: LN 1, 2

Eurovia CS taking full control in Dopravní stavby
Eurovia CS, the Czech branch of the road construction firm Eurovia and the third largest construction firm in the country, will take full control over Ostrava-based construction firm ODS-Dopravní stavby, in which it currently holds 50%. The price has not been disclosed.
Source: HN 13

Nova, CME down in Q2
TV Nova’s revenue fell by more than USD 41 million, to USD 71.6 million, with profit down by one-half in Q2. The overall revenues of Nova’s mother company, CME, were down 39% to USD 186.2 million, and net profit fell 62% to USD 24 million. CME CEO Adrian Sarbu said the advertisement markets returned to their 2007 levels, though they should see a revival next year. Media agencies estimate that Czech television channels broadcast 15% less advertisements this year than last year.
Source: most Czech press

Defence Ministry to sell terminal
The Defence Ministry wants to sell the southernmost terminal at Ruzyně to the Prague Airport company for some CZK 200 million this year due to necessary armed-services cost cuts. Most military and government crafts would then land at the Kbely airport instead of Ruzyně.
Source: ČTK

Analyst: Public debt rising by CZK 6,300 per second
As a result of a drop in tax revenues and the economic recession, the growth in Czech public debt has risen to CZK 6,342 per second from the previous CZK 5,705 per second, according to calculations by Raiffeisenbank analyst Aleš Michl.
Source: Právo 17, Pd 1, 9

Inquiry into suspicious ŘSD contracts begins
The Transport Ministry launched an audit Wednesday to look into suspicious contracts at the Road and Motorway Directorate (ŘSD). Especially subject to checks will be orders that may be connected to the sponsorship of the car racing activities of ŘSD managing director Michal Hala.
Source: ČTK

KCP selling property to cope with debt
The Prague Congress Centre (KCP) is planning to sell part of its property to cope with its debt. Milan Richter, chairman of the board of the KCP joint-stock company, said the company wants to keep only the main building for congress events and sell the rest of the property worth some CZK 1.9 billion.
Source: E15 1, 3

Telefónica O2’s H1 profit dips 1.4%
Telecommunications company Telefónica O2’s first-half consolidated net earnings decreased 1.4% to CZK 5.7 billion, while revenues dropped 4.8% to CZK 29.8 billion. Analysts had forecast a moderate profit growth.
Source: ČTK

AEES Stříbro to cut 600 jobs; protests planned
AEES Stříbro (former Alcoa Fujikura Czech), which manufactures cable harnesses in cars, will dismiss roughly 600 employees on Friday, or some 85% of the remaining staff. The laid-off employees are planning a protest march for Monday morning. The company cut 1,000 jobs at the start of the year in its plan to move production to Romania.
Source: ČTK

Žabka chain wants 500 Czech stores in five years
The retail chain Žabka plans to raise the number of its outlets on the Czech market from the current 62 to 500 in the next five years. CEO Zdeněk Linhart told ČTK on Wednesday that the company was in talks on several potential acquisitions, which, if successfully completed, would enable the firm to exceed the planned number of stores.
Source: ČTK

Cinemas show bigger sales, more guests in H1
More than 5.6 million tickets were sold for Czech cinemas in the first half of the year, roughly 357,000 more than during the same period in 2008. Revenues from ticket sales increased to CZK 551.6 million between January and June, up from CZK 512.3 million in the same span last year.
Source: ČTK

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