Czech state-owned brewery Budějovický Budvar sold more beer in 2018 than
in its entire 123-year history, following a 7.3 percent rise in sales to
2.57 billion crowns.
Budvar, which has been in a long legal dispute with U.S. giant Anheuser-Busch over use of the “Budweiser” brand, said output rose 3.6 percent last year to 1.602 million hectoliters. The growth followed a 4-percent decline in 2017, caused by shifting production to a premium brand.
In 2019, the brewery plans to build a third bottling plant. It said its focus on premium lagers is paying off.
The volume of new Czech housing loans declined in December to the lowest
level in two-and-a-half years. The drop was driven by stricter
recommendations from the central bank and strong frontloading in the second
half of 2018, ING says.
The total volume of housing loans slowed to 23.8 billion crowns in December. Looking at new loans without refinancing, the volume declined to 14.8 billion, the lowest figure since mid-2016.
This development most likely was driven by substantial frontloading of mortgages during June-October last year, before stricter central bank recommendations kicked in. In 2019, the market expects the volume to fall by around 10 percent, according to ING.
The Czech Ministry of Finance says that if the United Kingdom leaves the
European Union without having reached a deal it would lead to poorer
economic results in the Czech Republic. A no-deal Brexit would result in
GDP growth of below 2.0 percent this year, between 0.6 and 0.8 percent less
than would otherwise have been expected.
The data is contained in a new Ministry of Finance prognosis quoted by the newspaper E15. If the UK exits the EU with a deal the Czech economy should expand by 2.5 percent in 2019, ministry officials believe.
The Roman Catholic Church will wait for a Senate decision on taxing
compensation paid out to churches in restitution before making a decision
on how to proceed, Cardinal Dominik Duka said after a meeting of the Czech
Bishops’ Conference. The head of the Catholic Church in the Czech
Republic said it would coordinate its response with other churches and the
Federation of Jewish Communities.
The Chamber of Deputies last week approved a Communist Party proposal to tax the compensation received by churches in lieu of properties seized under the previous regime.
Cardinal Duka described the vote as a black comedy directed by the Communists, adding that compensation was never taxed. The Senate is regarded as likely to reject the bill.
The Czech Republic obtained CZK 45.3 billion more from the coffers of the
European Union last year than it put in, according to figures released on
Thursday by the Ministry of Finance. The difference in 2017 was CZK 56
Ministry officials said the gap had decreased partly because of higher Czech contributions to the EU and partly because a rise in the use of EU funds for the 2014 to 2020 period had not offset a decline in EU budget revenues in the previous seven-year period.
The Czech Republic has been a net beneficiary of EU funds every year since it joined the bloc in 2004.
Nine out of 10 people in Prague say that they feel safe, suggests a survey
carried out by the agency Ipsos Public Affairs. In some parts of the city,
as many as 98 percent of respondents said they had a feeling of safety.
Under 30s were the population group who considered themselves most in danger, according to the results of the study, in which over 1,100 Prague residents and 100 tourists were interviewed.
Respondents identified drug-related issues, vandalism and street crime as the city’s biggest problems.
The seventh annual Dry February, aimed at highlighting the dangers of
excessive drinking, will begin in the Czech Republic on Friday. The event
is organised by the group League of Open Men but is also encouraging women
to not drink a drop of alcohol during February.
The group has a dedicated website offering tips on exercises and alternative, non-alcoholic drinks, as well as advice from psychologists. Czechs rank among the top five nations in the world in terms of annual consumption of pure alcohol per head.
The Senate has approved October 8 being made Sokol Memorial Day in honour
of the Czech gymnastics and sports association. If the president signs the
legislation, the date in question will become a “day of significance”
rather than a state holiday.
Sokol was founded during the Czech National Revival in 1862, making it one of the country’s oldest organisations. Around 1,500 of its members were arrested by the Gestapo on October 8, 1941.
Senators also voted to have November 17, the Day of Struggle for Democracy and Freedom, officially mark International Students’ Day in the Czech Republic, as it did in the past.