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Breakfast Brief – 30 November 2009

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Table of Contents

Czech EU commissioner to be in charge of enlargement
Štefan Füle, the new Czech European commissioner, will be in charge of EU enlargement, European Commission head José Manuel Barroso said on Friday. Lidové noviny has reported that the post is among the more prestigious.
Source: most Czech press

Schwarzenberg becomes TOP 09 chairman
Karel Schwarzenberg was elected chairman on Saturday at the founding congress for the new TOP 09, as expected. Former Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has become first deputy chairman.
Source: most Czech press

Hussein planned attack on RFE/RL
Saddam Hussein planned a terrorist attack on the headquarters of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in the former Federal Assembly building in Prague in 1999 in order to silence the radio broadcasting criticising his regime, TV Nova reported on Sunday, citing a report by the Czech counter-intelligence service BIS.
Source: LN 1, 4, MfD A2

Environment Minister wants to deal with climate change
Environment Minister Ladislav Miko wants individual government departments to propose measures to combat climate change and to present analyses and calculations showing what the cost of inaction would be.
Source: ČTK

Police investigate schools providing Czech exams to foreigners
The Interior Ministry filed 19 complaints against foreigners applying for permanent residency who, despite submitting certificates stating they passed the language exam, could not speak Czech, Tý reports. Police are investigating two private schools in Moravia suspected of allowing stand-ins to pass the tests instead of the foreigners who applied for the exam.
Source: Tý

Czech team to play Davis Cup final this weekend
Yesterday, Radek Štěpánek, Tomáš Berdych, Jan Hájek and Lukáš Dlouhý started their preparations for the match against the Spanish team led by world No 2 Rafael Nadal. The Davis Cup final will be played in Barcelona at the weekend.

Forty percent of Czechs breathe carcinogenic substances
Two-fifths of Czechs inhaled too high of a concentration of carcinogens last year, according to a report to be presented to the cabinet today. A year-on-year comparison shows, however, that air quality has improved, and emissions limits are exceeded in fewer places.
Source: Aktuálně.cz

Youth getting into politics
The ODS and ČSSD have both recently increased their numbers, thanks mainly to students and young people. The Communists are the only major party to report a decline.
Source: MfD A1, A3 Sat

Two cops keep traffic fines
The police inspection detained on Friday two Prague officers suspected of keeping money collected from drivers, spokeswoman Martina Lídlová said.
Source: ČTK

Czechs prefer cooking to eating out
On Saturday Právo reported that, as a result of the economic crisis, more Czechs prepare meals at home instead of eating out. Before the crisis, meals were cooked on a daily basis in 53% of households, according to a CVVM poll.
Source: Právo 1, 7 Sat

Most people want total smoking ban in restaurants
A poll by medical students has revealed that more than half of Czechs want a complete ban on smoking in pubs and restaurants.
Source: ČTK

EC inspectors finish probe at ČEZ headquarters
European Commission investigators finished an inspection at ČEZ headquarters on Friday, taking with them several documents that will be subject to further examination. The EC is probing into whether a possible violation of competition rules on the Czech wholesale electricity market reinforced ČEZ’s position.
Source: most Czech press

TOP 09 runs on cutting budget gap by 1% of GDP annually
The political party TOP 09 has announced its goal of reducing the state budget deficit by 1% of gross domestic product a year, which could result in public finance stabilising within five years, according to party chairman Karel Schwarzenberg.
Source: Právo 2, E15 2

Prazdroj to raise beer prices
The biggest Czech brewery, Plzeňský Prazdroj, will increase beer prices by an average of 4.6% as of January, meaning a rise of between 60 hellers and CZK 1 per half-litre, in response to higher excise duties and VAT.
Source: Právo 1, 9 Sat, E15 8

ČNB board member: Household debt low, but rising
Credit to Czech households accounts for some 20% of gross domestic product, compared with over 55% in the eurozone, but it is increasing quickly, and the economic crisis probably slowed the growth of debt only temporarily, Czech National Bank board member Eva Zamrazilová said at a conference on financial literacy Friday.
Source: ČTK

FinMin to revise bonuses for managers at state-run firms
A spokesman said on Friday that Finance Minister Eduard Janota is planning fundamental changes to remuneration paid to state representatives in the management of nationalised companies, in particular members of boards of directors and supervisory boards. He added that the bonuses can be expected to decrease.
Source:, Právo 7 Sat

Share funds growing in value
Over CZK 9 billion has been invested in share funds in October as their cost-effectiveness has increased by over 100% during the year, according to data from the Czech Capital Market Association. This is largely due to the growing prices on exchange markets.
Source: HN 1, 17, E15 13

AVG could enter Warsaw bourse next year
The Czech software company AVG could be traded on the Warsaw Stock Exchange in the second half of next year, the Polish daily Parkiet reported, citing a top executive from Enterprise Investors, AVG’s biggest shareholder.
Source: ČTK

Solar power plants increasing in ČR
The number of stations harvesting the sun’s energy in the Czech Republic is up tenfold over the last two years, and their output is almost 40 times higher. As of 1 November, the country had 3,136 solar power stations with total installed output exceeding 133 megawatts.
Source: ČTK

Airlines keep high fuel surcharges despite favourable oil prices
On Saturday Právo reported that despite the favourable development of oil prices this year, airlines operating on the Czech market have not lowered their fuel surcharges in an effort to improve their economic results.
Source: Právo 1, 7 Sat

50 people send money to reduce budget deficit
About 50 have contributed to the Finance Ministry’s reserve fund in order to keep the deficit down, the daily Mladá fronta Dnes reports. Some CZK 10,000 was collected in the first two days since the ministry’s announcement last week. In a survey by Mf Dnes, 2,299 readers said that they would contribute; 16,714 said the opposite.
Source: MfD B6

Premium cars still sell during crisis
Although registration of premium and small cars in the Czech Republic has fallen by 20% year-on-year, representatives of luxury brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz said their sales have not been affected by the financial crisis. Jan Kuhn of Mercedes-Benz ČR said that the volume of signed contracts is not expected to fall compared to last year even though the number of registered cars will be down due to the lower quantity of individually imported cars. The situation is the same for Audi and BMW, according to HN.
Source: HN 21

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