On June 10th, a new consumer protection website was launched by the Czech Ministry of Agriculture designed to significantly aid in consumer protection. The site is named “potraviny na pranýři” – or “groceries on the stocks” (official translation: “food pillory”), meaning the old-fashioned wooden kind used to publically humiliate wrongdoers. The project has been a huge hit with consumers, while many leading supermarket chains are less than thrilled.
The health ministry has tabled a proposed amendment to the law on advertising which is to prevent funeral services from insensitive advertising, the internet daily idnes reported on Saturday. The paper says that in an effort to sell their services some funeral companies cross the border of good taste placing ads in the close vicinity of hospitals and drugstores. In other cases hospital staff distributed such leaflets to the families of diseased patients. The proposed amendment which to be put to the cabinet, places clear restrictions on where funeral services may advertise.
On Tuesday this week Prague’s Národní třída metro station –one of the busiest in the city centre –closed its doors to the public for two long years. The closure is due to a large developer’s project in the close vicinity of the station where work has already started on a four-storey administrative and shopping centre.
In Business News: Czechs buy a total of 13.8 billion state savings bond units worth 15.3 billion crowns; the Czech Republic could lose roughly 22 billion crowns in EU subsidies in 2012; more than 60 percent of Czechs are in favour of further development in nuclear energy; the Czech Republic remains the most attractive country for foreign investors; at the pump, a drop in fuel prices.
The top 50 Czech exporters saw their exports rise by 8% to 901 billion in 2011, according to the CZECH TOP 100 association. The association’s data shows that the country’s largest exporter was again its largest Czech car manufacturer, Skoda Auto, which raised exports from 197.6 billion in 2010 to last year´s 230.5 billion. Alpiq Energy SE saw the largest growth in exports last year, with foreign sales up by 16 billion. The top 50 exporters also recorded a 30% rise in their exports in 2010, up to 832 billion. Foreign sales of the 10 biggest exporting companies increased by 41 billion to 657 in 2010.
One of the Czech companies which successfully launched an operation in China is the machine tool producer TOS Varnsdorf. In 2006, the firm invested some 2.5 million euro to form a joint venture company TOS Kunming. In this edition of Marketplace, the firm’s financial director Stanislav Linc talks about doing business in China, hiring Chinese employees, and how the Czech government supports Czech businesses in that country.
The Czech travel agency Redgreentours declared bankruptcy on Tuesday after it was unable to pay for the transfer of around 300 clients abroad. The move has left some 100 clients stranded in Turkey and Northern Cyprus. Redgreentours is the second Czech travel agency to go bankrupt this year. The Union insurance company, which insured the agency against bankruptcy, will now pay for the return of the agency’s clients to the Czech Republic.
A good deal of the ongoing economic and financial turmoil on world markets has been blamed on the unscrupulous practices of the international banking and financial sector. Islamic banking, on the other hand, is seen as a fairer and more balanced alternative which has been much less affected by the crisis. Can the Czech Republic benefit from a financial system based on the Islamic law? And can Islamic banking help boost Czech exports into Muslim countries? These are some of the issues debated at an international conference on Islamic banking held
Czech President Václav Klaus has signed into law legislation that will gradually increase emission fees. On Tuesday, the president ratified a law under which firms with a high level of emissions will have to pay 4200 Czech crowns per ton of CO2 emitted starting next year. The fee will gradually be increased to 14,700 crowns by 2021. The new regulation will mostly affect large corporations. The Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic opposes it.
The Czech weekly Ekonom writes that Central Bohemia, which has the country’s highest debt, may face bankruptcy. According to official figures from the Finance Ministry, the region’s debt amounts to some 3.7 billion Czech crowns. However, the actual debt is more than double that figure, the weekly writes, citing former MP Karel Machovec. Mr Machovec has said that the region is facing bankruptcy. Central Bohemia became the focus of intense media attention when its governor was caught with some 7 million crowns in cash on his person. He has been charged with corruption and mismanagement of EU-funds.
Jana Ciglerová: Americans say their lives are fantastic, Czechs say everything is terrible – neither is true
“There is good, better and then there is the USSR.” – New book depicts life in communist Czechoslovakia through memories of people who experienced it
Czech IT specialists organize “hackathon” to give government online motorway vignette sales system for free
CzechTourism head hints attracting tourists no longer agency’s main goal
Minister: Czech Republic won’t take in 40 child refugees from Greek camps