Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek has told journalists that if revenue
from the planned autumn issue of retail bonds topped 10 billion crowns,
issue would be a success. Investors will be able to order state bonds from
November 5 to November 30. The period, however, can be shortened by the
Finance Ministry. The ministry will also offer a premium bond with a
three-year maturity and annual average yield of 2.77 percent. The bonds
will be distributed through branches of postal service operator Česká
pošta and of banks Česká spořitelna, ČSOB, Komerční banka and
The first retail bond issue took place a year ago and investors ordered over 20 billion crowns worth of bonds; the spring issue this year generated around 15 billion. Bonds were available for both Czechs and foreigners, civic associations, foundations and churches, among others, and in the spring also included regions, towns and public universities.
A new poll released by the CVVM agency has suggested that if the national election were held ‘next week’, it would be won easily by the Social Democrats. According to the survey, the leftist party would secure 33 percent of the ballot, followed by 22.5 percent for the Communist Party. The right-of-centre Civic Democrats would come in third with just 16.5 percent. Other polls have also suggested a rise in voter preference for the oppositon, along with a marked drop in support for the coalition leader. If the election were held next week, the survey estimates that 58 percent of voters would take part.
A group of rebels from within the ruling Civic Democratic Party will not
vote for the government’s tax package unless it is changed so that taxes
are not raised, the group´s informal leader, MP Petr Tluchoř, said on
Monday. He did express confidence an agreement on the legislation could
still be reached. In his view, there is a “broad consensus” within the
party that taxes not be increased; he also rejected the notion the rebels
were trying to subvert the government, which has linked the tax package to
a vote of confidence.
A party working group will discuss the package again on Tuesday morning before meeting with the deputies’ group. Until now the government has maintained the a proposed VAT hike is essential for it to meet its fiscal target in 2013 – to lower the gap in public spending to below 3 percent of GDP. In view of the fact that no compromise has been reached yet, there have been calls from within the party for the vote on the crucial bill to be postponed until after the Civic Democrats’ party conference in early November.
The Social Democratic party’s candidate for president, Jiří Dienstbier, has surpassed the minimal 50 thousand signatures needed to run. Mr Dienstbier opted to gather the necessary signatures even though he is guaranteed backing from enough party MPs and senators as his party’s nominee. Others who have met the necessary requirement, or passed the threshold, are former prime minister Jan Fischer (who remains a strong favourite, according to polls), politician Jana Bobošíková, Euro MP Zuzana Roithová, former prime minister Miloš Zeman, and former finance minister Vladimír Dlouhý.
A hospital in Prostějov registered a new case of methanol poisoning on Monday, admitting a 48-year-old man in serious condition. In the Olomouc region, it is the sixth case of methyl poisoning since an outbreak related to bootleg liquor began in the Czech Republic in mid-September. Thirty people in the country have died as a result of drinking laced alcohol: two men succumbed to poisoning last Friday.
Petr Hájek, the deputy chancellor to President Václav Klaus, has written
that the Czech Republic’s first president, the late Václav Havel,
“served as a tool of Satan” spreading “hatred and lies”. The
controversial presidential aide – who in the past questioned the
existence of Osama Bin Laden or questioned who attacked the US on 9/11 –
the statement in a new book to be published in November, Parlamentní
reports. In Death in Velvet (Smrt v sametu), Mr Hájek reportedly does not
hold back on his own boss, saying that many of the current president’s
political aims were in shambles, arguing that democracy had been replaced
by the rule of the media and charging that the political right had been
replaced by a “Europeiste” (or pro-European) caricature. Petr Hájek
known for no shortage of controversial statements in the past, calling
homosexuals “deviants” and mocking Darwinism.
Czechs in November, when the book is to be released, will mark the 23rd anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, in which Václav Havel played a key role.
Czech banks tightened credit standards overall for corporate loans and loans for house purchase in Q3 2012, while leaving them unchanged for consumer loans, according to the Bank Lending Survey published by the Czech National Bank (ČNB) on Monday. The tightening of standards for both corporate and housing loans was due mainly to perceptions of risks relating to expected general economic activity and manifested itself during the approval of loans chiefly via a higher collateral requirement for corporate loans and a rise in margins, the national bank said. The demand for corporate loans and loans for house purchase declined. By contrast, demand for consumer loans increased, the central bank said. In Q4, banks expect credit standards to tighten for corporate loans and to ease for loans for house purchase. According to banks, demand for corporate loans should continue to fall. On the other hand, banks expect demand for loans to households to rise, the survey suggests.
Government officials, former dissidents, family and friends on Sunday attended the unveiling of a plaque to Zdeněk Urbánek, novelist, translator, Charter 77 signatory and a close friend of the late Vaclav Havel. The plaque was unveiled on the 95th anniversary of Zdeněk Urbánek’s birth and placed on the Prague building where he lived and worked. His former home, a frequent meeting place of Czech dissidents, is linked to the birth of Charter 77. The unveiling ceremony was attended by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, Defence Minister Alexander Vondra, actor Pavel Landovský and other close friends of Zdeněk Urbánek from the dissident years.
Senators for the Social Democratic Party will file a complaint to the Constitutional Court against the introduction of electronic S-cards for pensions and welfare benefits. Speaking shortly after the party’s election victory in senate elections, party leader Bohuslav Sobotka said this would be one of the first of many government steps the party would try to get revised. The new S-card system has evoked enormous controversy, with critics pointing out that pensioners living in small villages may have problems getting to a money machine and would inevitably lose money on the transaction from their already meagre pensions. Senators moreover point out that people will be forced to have an account at Česká Sporitelna -selected by the government to run the operation - even if they already have an account elsewhere.
Czech-Japanese entrepreneur Tomio Okamura, who won a seat in the Senate in the weekend elections, has announced his candidacy for president. Mr.Okamura who is a well-know personality in the Czech Republic said that his success in the senate elections had convinced him he could do a lot for the country by entering public service. Mr. Okamura made it clear he would be losing out financially by entering politics but said it was time for people like him to show initiative and turn around the negative course of developments. Unlike many of his rivals, Mr. Okamura refused to invest in billboards and other traditional forms of campaigning opting instead to meet with voters in person and discuss their concerns.
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Czech Republic goes into quarantine to slow down coronavirus spread
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Czechs resort to making DIY facemasks in face of their shortage