The troubled national carrier Czech Airlines is looking to drastically lower monthly salaries from the start of next year. According to the daily Lidové noviny, experienced captains with long tenure will be the hardest hit, seeing a drop in wages of up to 30 percent. Younger pilots could see wages drop by one-fifth, at least as evidenced by a wage schedule provided by the company to labour unions.
The three parties of the ruling coalition are poised to fulfill their election promises and scrap the second pillar of the pension insurance scheme introduced by the former center-right cabinet of prime minister Petr Nečas. The Social Democrats and the Christian Democratic Party would like to see it scrapped as of 2016, but Finance Minister Andrej Babiš’ ANO party is advising caution for fear that the move could spark a wave of legal complaints both from clients and financial institutions.
The Labour and Social Affairs Ministry has drafted a bill which would allow thousands of miners to go into early retirement, thereby easing the social impact of the planned closure of the Paskov black-coal mine in north Moravia. The gradual phase-out of the coal mine and its eventual closure is expected to place a heavy social burden on a region where unemployment is traditionally high.
The Czech tram manufacturer Inekon has won a tender to sell trams to the US city of Detroit. The deal, worth 30 million crowns (roughly 652 USD), involves shipping three sets of trams to Detroit by the end of the third quarter of 2016, the server E15.cz reported this week, citing the company’s head of foreign sales Milan Haloun. The company is now seeking to secure bank guarantees.
Czech construction companies believe they have emerged from the worst and are looking for confirmation in 2015 that this is the case. Although some companies in the slimmed down sector say they are operating at near capacity, they argue that more could be done to speed up the throughput of public tenders.
Municipalities around the country are debating the future of water and wastewater management as long-term contracts with foreign firms are due to expire. Within the next five years contracts on water management servicing two million people around the country will expire and city halls need to make a decision on whether to call new tenders or take over the management of this lucrative business themselves.
On the same day the results of a new poll commissioned by the Environment Ministry suggested that only 4 in 10 occasionally buys organic food, there was news that billionaire and real estate magnate Radovan Vítek had bought the company Spojené farmy. According to the Czech daily Mladá fronta Dnes, through the deal the businessman gained control of more than 20 bio farms and 20 thousand hectares of arable or agricultural land in northern Bohemia. The move will make him one of the biggest players on the market.
The all-new Škoda Fabia supermini made its world debut at the Paris Motor Show on Thursday. The latest Fabia model offers a younger, sportier look, a spacier interior, new steering and suspension technology, engines shared with the current Volkswagen Polo and a number of safety and communication elements that have so far been available only in higher-class cars.
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“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
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