The lower house of Parliament on Wednesday approved the 2019 draft budget in its first reading. The basic parameters of the budget, such as the deficit goal, are thus definitively set with only minor shifts in funds possible. Government spending next year should prioritize the social sphere, investments, an increase in public sector salaries and pensions.
One of the worst droughts in recent Czech history is still tormenting farmers, with rainfalls in October measured at just a fifth of the monthly average. The total cost of damages to Czech agriculture and forestry has been estimated to lie at around CZK 24 billion so far and some farmers say the government is not doing enough about it.
According the Czech Statistical Office’s estimate, this year’s grain harvest is 7.9 percent lower than that of the previous year. While the yield of several major crops including potatoes, peas and sugar beet has gone down, harvested rapeseed has increased by over 20 percent in comparison to last year.
A number of companies are in the running for lucrative contracts to build new nuclear units in the Czech Republic. Now the head of the State Office for Nuclear Safety says that a South Korean firm looks best placed to get the job. Dana Drábová says KHNP currently has the best references in regards to finishing construction on time and on budget.