In Business News: average monthly wages grow by 6.9 percent - 3.9 percent in real terms; the government approves a steep rise in excise duty on tobacco products; tens of thousands of Ukrainian workers are taking the opportunity to legalise their status and escape the influence of criminal middlemen, says the country's ambassador; sales of downloads slow a continuing fall in overall music sales; the BBC changes its licence and gets to stay on the Czech airwaves; and Eurotel is now operating under the name O2.
In Business News: the public finance gap will again exceed euro adoption criteria next year - the outgoing finance minister says that will not impact plans to adopt the currency in 2010; leasing offices and commercial spaces is more profitable in Prague than almost every other capital in Europe; the Czech crown reaches an all-time high against the dollar; and the country is experiencing a boom in the construction of wind power stations.
In Business News this week: the Czech crown reaches a record high against the Euro; the Euro is accepted by half the country's chain stores; RWE Transgas is hit by the biggest fine ever levied by the Czech anti-monopoly authority; home starts grow by 14.2 percent; the world's biggest glass maker is opening a new plant in Teplice; and a family-owned car maker unveils its new model.
Japan's largest glass maker, Asahi Glass, said Thursday it plans to invest 100 million euros (128 million dollars) in the building of a new glass furnace in the Czech Republic. Construction of the furnace with a capacity of 700 tonnes a day will start later this year at a factory owned by its European subsidiary Glaverbel S.A., the Japanese company said in a statement. Full-scale production of float glass, which is mainly used for construction and automobiles, will begin at the furnace in 2008.
Figures just released by the Czech Statistical Office indicate that in spite of the country's drawn out political crisis and the growing price of oil on world markets the country's economy is booming. The Czech Republic is currently the world's sixth biggest exporter, with the highest export figures in Europe.
From the start of this week two advertisements for Prague have been appearing several times a day on the international TV station CNN, drawing attention to the Czech capital's many charms. The campaign is sponsored by Czech Airlines and is set to run until October; it's Prague's first campaign of this type. At the ads' launch, I spoke to the city's mayor, Pavel Bem, and asked him what kind of tourists he wants to attract to Prague.
Three more Japanese companies will set-up shop in Moravia, the eastern region of the Czech Republic. The announcement was made on Monday by CzechInvest, an agency which coordinates investment in the Czech Republic. A spokesman for CzechInvest said that the Japanese companies figure in the automobile and electronics spheres, but the names of the companies involved and their intended locations in the Czech Republic have not yet been revealed.
A new report indicates that Czech industrial profits for 2004 to 2004 tripled to 179 billion crowns (over 8 billion USD), as the workforce decreased by 35,000. Business analysts predict a revised trade surplus of 5 to 6.5 billion crowns (223 to 291 million USD) for the month of May. The German company Teleplan will open new Czech branch by the end of July. SPGroup will invest 12 billion crowns (5 billion USD) into the transformation of the Prazsky Veletrzni Areal exhibition facility into an Olympic-class sports facility. New code-share cooperation
In Business News: the Czech Republic is on course to join the euro in 2010, though the OECD warns of some risks; inflation reaches 3.1 percent, but should fall sharply; Hyundai finally sets a date for construction work on its Moravian factory; Skoda Auto - the country's biggest exporter in 2005 - plans to put the Yeti prototype into production; and Slivovice makers Rudolf Jelinek report big sales increases last year.
Archaeologists unearth seven graves dating back to Great Moravian Empire
“Einstein in Bohemia” – Part II: how alienation in ‘half-barbaric’ Prague led him to a new theory of gravity, eventual love of a free Czechoslovakia
“Einstein in Bohemia” – part 1: how a Prague sojourn sparked his theory of general relativity, journey of self-discovery
Valentine’s Day 1945 - When the Americans bombed Prague
Film about tragic fate of great Czech actress highlights communist atrocities in the 1950s