Three-party talks between the Social Democrats, ANO and Christian Democrats on forming a new government have hit a major stumbling block. The Christian Democrats are insisting on their party running the Ministry of Agriculture. The party, led by Pavel Bělobrádek, has 14 MPs in the new parliament, far fewer that ANO’s 47 and the Social Democrats’ 50. It has already been complaining about the number of ministries – two instead of three – it will be able to run in a future coalition government. Now a new battle is afoot, with the party threatening
As coalition talks continue, the Social Democrats say they will not give up the agriculture portfolio. The smallest party in the nascent three-party government, the Christian Democrats, have insisted that they get agriculture, and the issue has proven to be a sticking point in negotiations. On Wednesday, the Social Democrats said they were pushing for a cabinet in which they would have eight seats, ANO seven and the Christian Democrats three; the latter would include the Ministries of Labour and Social Affairs and either Transport or Regional Development, along with a deputy prime minister’s post.
The Czech Food Inspection Office has warned there is still unlicensed and potentially dangerous alcohol on the market. In the third quarter inspectors checked out over 1,000 sales outlets and came across three which had alcohol without license stamps on stock. The warning comes ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations when the sale of alcoholic beverages skyrockets. Police say that in the wake of the methanol scandal which killed close to 40 people in the Czech Republic there could still be thousands of litres of dangerous, methanol-laced spirits on the market.
The Czech Food Inspection Office has warned there is still unlicensed and potentially dangerous alcohol on the market. In the third quarter inspectors checked out over 1,000 sales outlets and came across three which had alcohol without license stamps on stock. The warning comes ahead of the Christmas and New Year’s celebrations when the sale of alcoholic beverages skyrockets. Police say that in the wake of the methanol scandal which killed close to 40 people in the Czech Republic there could still be thousands of liters of dangerous, methanol-laced spirits on the market.
The Budějovice Budvar beer producer has won a dispute with the international group Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI) in Portugal over the use of the brand name Budweiser in the country. The Portuguese trademark authority turned down an appeal by InBev in which it challenged a 2003 decision to block the registration of four of its products with the name Budweiser. The Czech beer maker has been selling its own traditional Budweiser brand in Portugal since the 1990’s. Budvar and Anheuser-Busch have had legal disputes over the use of Budweiser in most countries around the world for more than a century.
The prices of goods and services rose in November by 1.1 percent year-on-year after four months of steady numbers. The rise is presumably related to intervention by the Czech national bank aimed at weakening the Czech crown to improve conditions for export and spur consumer spending at home. The steps were introduced in the first week of November. Foodstuffs including dairy products, non-alcoholic beverages and vegetables as potatoes saw the highest price increases.
MP Martin Komárek of the ANO party has floated the idea that spirits should be banned on the premises of the lower house of Parliament. Mr. Komárek expressed the view that there was no reason for deputies to drink spirits at work and beer or wine with lunch or dinner should suffice. Although other ANO deputies have backed the idea, it has evoked little enthusiasm among others with the Speaker of Parliament Jan Hamáček saying he was prepared to discuss it but personally saw no reason to effect any changes in this respect. A previous attempt to ban spirits was short-lived. It came in the wake of an incident in which the former Civic Democrat MP Petr Kott got so drunk he had to be physically carried out of Parliament.
The Wallachian frgál tart has been granted EU protection. The traditional pastry with fruit, poppy seed or curd cheese topping was included in the European Commission’s list of products with protected geographical indication; only tarts made in the eastern Czech region of Wallachia will be allowed to be sold under the name of valašský frgál. Over 30 Czech products have so far been granted EU protection including spa waffles and Pardubice gingerbread.
Cigarette makers Philip Morris are to discontinue production of some forms of the Start and Petra brands. Petra will disappear completely but the Petra Klasik will remain on the market, while regular Start will be renamed Start by Chesterfield and short Start cigarettes will continue to exist. Philip Morris, which dominates the local market, is retaining unchanged only one traditional Czech brand, Sparta. The reason for move is that sales of the “old school” lines have been falling faster than sales of cigarettes in general.
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