16-02-2007

Court throws out amendment on compensating clients of collapsed banks

The Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled against an amendment to a law giving compensation to clients of three bankrupt banks, Plzenska banka, Union banka and Kreditni banka Plzen. The clients could have received up to 3.7 billion CZK (170 million USD) in total, with half going to the investment group PPF, according to some estimates. The bill was overturned because it had been tacked on to an unrelated law.

State bail-out agency makes loss but figures relatively good

The Czech Consolidation Agency made a loss of 1.3 billion CZK (60 m USD) last year, a spokesperson for the state bail-out agency said this week. Despite being in the red, the figures for 2006 are relatively good. The agency usually loses more and only made a profit once - two years ago. It will cease to exist at the end of this year, with outstanding cases being transferred to the Finance Ministry.

Agreement could deal with issue of illegal Ukrainian workers

The Czech Republic and Ukraine could sign an agreement which would go some way to dealing with the issue of Ukrainians working illegally in this country. Ukraine's ambassador to Prague, Ivan Kuleba, told a conference on the issue that a bilateral labour agreement which came to an end in 2002 could be revived. Zdenek Kral of the Czech Interior Ministry said there was a willingness on the Czech side to sign a new deal. But he said the issue of Ukrainian go-betweens luring workers to the Czech Republic with the false promise of legal work also needed to be addressed.

Green group up in arms over brown coal

A protest was held this week against the possible raising of the Czech Republic's limits on the mining of brown coal. Activists from Greenpeace held up banners reading Climate Change Starts Here at the Cernice coal mine in north Bohemia. The environmental group says Czech carbon dioxide emissions are at the level of 12.5 tonnes per capita, which is the fourth highest in the European Union. A spokesperson for mine operators Czech Coal said Greenpeace overestimated the effect of coal mining on the creation of carbon dioxide emissions.

Almost 13 million stay at Czech hotels in 2006, biggest rise seen at upper end of market

A total of 12.7 million guests stayed at hotels and other accommodation facilities in the Czech Republic last year, according to the Czech Statistical Office. That figure represents a rise of almost 3 percent year-on-year. The biggest growth was seen in five- and four-star hotels, due to an increase in capacity. Meanwhile, the Art Nouveau Hotel Riverside in Prague has been rated the eighth most luxurious in the world by the Tripadvisor website.

16-02-2007