In this week’s Business News: The minimum wage will rise in August; Food prices in 2012 grew by a larger margin than in any other EU country; Czech Airlines has withdrawn from its contract with the unions; Fuel prices around the Czech Republic have gone up again; Škoda has signed an almost 1 billion crown contract to deliver trams to Bratislava.
A 63-year-old man died of methanol poisoning in a hospital in Kladno on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the hospital has said. The man was admitted to hospital after he collapsed on Friday. The police believe the man probably became another victim of the methanol crisis which hit the Czech Republic last year when over 40 died after drinking tainted liquor.
Agriculture Minister Miroslav Toman on Wednesday denied reports of a massive debt incurred by his family firm, Agrotrade. The weekly Respekt reported that the firm got hundreds of millions of crowns in credit from banks, and later transferred its assets to another company, leaving Agrotrade some 600 million crowns in the red. However, Mr Toman said he was stationed abroad at that time, and never served on the company’s board. The firm said it would sue the magazine for an apology and damages.
The authorities have discovered antibiotics in a shipment of Polish chicken meat, a spokesman for the Czech Veterinary Administration said. In total, 1,200 kg of tainted meat has been ordered off the shelves. The authorities said most of the meat had already been distributed to shops in eastern Bohemia.
Following a recent food safety scandal in Poland dubbed the “Antibiotic Affair” and a similar revelation in neighbouring Slovakia, where traces of antibiotics were uncovered in animal farming, the Czech authorities last week launched tests on imported poultry. The inspection team tested an overall 61 samples – luckily all were found to be negative.
The hype over Western supermarkets of the 1990s started fading for Czechs sometime in the early noughties. As healthy eating became more of a priority for some Czech city dwellers, small organic food shops began cropping up in most cities. Organic was all the rage. Yet, many of the products sold in organic food shops were not locally grown, leaving a gap on the market for small and medium Czech farmers to fill.
The state Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority have been carrying out an extraordinary inspection of chicken meat in Czech stores imported from Poland throughout Tuesday, after inspections in Slovakia revealed that imported meat from Polish farms contained medications that are banned in the European Union. The screenings are looking specifically for the drug called metronidazol, which is prohibited from being used for animals.
In Business News this week: Český aeroholding announced it made 1.8 billion in operating profit for last year; the Senate has approved legislation which would require large stores to remain closed during state holidays; billionaire buys major Czech publisher; fruit growers have reason to be happy, citing a 25 percent jump in fruit crops.
In Business News: a major investigation reaching into the upper echelons of government will not negatively impact markets say analysts; the Agriculture Ministry revises the damage figure to the sector from recent floods; the Czech Republic moves up seven notches on KPMG’s VAT list; Czech companies could provide amphibious vehicles for Libya, E15 reports; the TOP 100 association releases its list of top Czech exporters last year.
Over 1,000 skeletons discovered during renovation of Kutná Hora “bone church”
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Why are Russian and Chinese spying activities in Czech Republic so intense and how exactly do they do it?
Prague’s historical Koh-i-noor factory to be converted into residential area
The history of the “German Czechs”