In its annual report on the state of the Czech economy, the Organisation
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says steps need to be taken
for the Czech health care system to remain effective and financially
sustainable in the context of an aging society.
The OECD report says that while the system is now doing well in comparison with other countries, it is challenged by an aging population which will gradually prove an increasing burden. At present seniors use up more than 45 percent of the overall funds spent on patient care and unless action is taken the number could soon reach 75 percent, the report says.
It recommends that GPs be given a bigger share in care for chronically ill patients and for significant investments to be made in developing the areas of community and home care.
Ukrainian parliament deputy Andriy Lozovoy was detained at Prague’s
Vaclav Havel Airport on Monday for paying with counterfeit euro banknotes
at one of the airport’s duty-free shops.
The 29-year old Ukrainian, who is deputy chair of the opposition Radical Party, was released eight hours later.
According to Lozovoy, he was a victim of currency swindlers, who gave his assistant fake cash at an exchange office in Kiev.
Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček, who is part of the Czech
delegation to China, on Monday met with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Minister Petříček brought up the issue of human rights in China
stressing that in future they should be part of the Czech-Chinese dialogue.
He said that as a member of the UN Council for Human Rights, the Czech Republic would be issuing recommendations in the field of human rights as concerns China as well as other countries. Since a meeting of the council on China is due on Tuesday, minister Petříček refused to reveal them to the press in advance.
Cobra, a special unit set up for combatting financial crime, has charged
five people with large-scale tax evasion connected to diesel and gas
transactions made between 2010 and 2012, the ctk news agency reports.
The unit is also reported to be filing charges against an unspecified number of tax office employees, who allegedly helped to cover up the scam. The damage is estimated at over 300 million crowns.
The tax office employees are being charged with abuse of office for which they could face up to 12 years in jail.
Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček has said he wants to help Czech
exporters find new markets outside of the EU, on which they are now largely
Following talks with the Czech Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Minister Petříček said he would push for better coordination in helping Czech exporters. The Czech foreign minister said that next year he hopes to visit Latin America and Africa with this goal in mind.
The ministry is also planning to employ export specialists who will work with Czech exporters in helping to expand their scope.
Approximately 90 percent of Czech companies plan to invest in modernization
and expansion, according to a survey of over 12,000 companies conducted by
the European Investment Bank.
The Czech figure, which is just one percent lower than last year, is still above the EU average of 87 percent, according to the bank’s deputy president Vazil Hudák.
The Czech companies surveyed said their investment plans were complicated by a lack of skilled workers and excessive regulation of the labour market.
The countries of the Western Balkans must be given the chance to join the
European fold, Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček said in an
interview for the ctk news agency.
Petříček said the Czech Republic and Slovakia had agreed to work together to try to convince those EU members who are against further EU expansion of the need for this. He said countries such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and other members of the Visgrad group, which had experience with economic reform and EU accession talks, could assist the Western Balkans in this respect.
The Czech foreign minister stressed the importance of launching accession talks with Albania and Macedonia next year and speeding up the talks with Montenegro and Serbia.
In the interview the foreign minister also said Czech foreign policy should be more focussed on human rights issues in countries such as China, Yemen or Venezuela.
Czech President Miloš Zeman, who is on a three day official visit to
China, on Monday met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for talks dominated
by business. They discussed China’s new Silk Road project which is to
reopen trade channels between China, the Middle East and Europe. The Czech
head of state, who is leading a large business delegation to China, said he
would like to see at least one branch of the new Silk Road lead thorough
the Czech Republic. The $900 billion scheme will involve huge investments
into infrastructure in the regions through which it will pass.
President Zeman on Monday attended the opening of the China International Import Expo, guiding his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping through the Czech pavilion. Among the many Czech firms presented at the trade fare are the Moser glassworks, Petrof piano manufacturer and Tatra truck maker. Škoda Auto, which is already well-established on the Chinese market is presenting its new model Kodiaq GT coupe-SUV, which is to be sold exclusively in China.
Scientific institutions around the country have opened their doors to the
public for the annual Week of Czech Science and Technology, organised by
the Czech Academy of Science.
Czech scientists have joined the EU-wide event for the 18th time this year. The aim is to give the general public a chance to take a close look at scientific work, talk to researchers and see the results of their work.
People can attend lectures, exhibitions, science cafés, screenings of documentary films as well as look into scientific workplaces, laboratories and libraries and learn how science is conducted. All of the workplaces of the Czech Academy of Sciences and more than 70 partner organisations are taking part in the event.