The European Commission has just released a report on employment urging original EU members to ethink restrictions on the movement of labour from new EU countries. The report was prepared by EU Commissioner and former Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla. It has been nearly two years since the EU expanded to include former communist bloc countries like the Czech Republic, but only three - the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Sweden - opened their labour markets outright. Although estimates show that the number of new migrant workers has been fairly
To conclude the Visegrad Four Prague summit, leaders signed a declaration on Saturday appealing to the governments of EU member states who have not already done so, to open their labour markets to workers as of May 1, 2006. But is the opening of labour markets a realistic request and what countries will most likely do so?
For some 1,300 workers last week as well as the Czech government the suspension of production at the country's LG Philips Displays plant - the 2nd largest investment project in the country - came as a shock. With parent company LG Philips Displays Holding filing for bankruptcy, the obvious question was: would the subsidiary company follow suit? The Czech government - specifically the Ministry for Industry and Trade - has been trying to prevent just that.
The Czech Republic now counts a record number of self-employed foreigners. Vietnamese top the list as the largest nationality, followed by Ukrainians. Despite EU integration making conditions easier for citizens from member states, the large majority of foreigners with business licenses are still from non-EU countries. This, however, shouldn't be taken as a sign that the application process has gotten any easier. Jason Hovet reports.
General practitioners are once again threatening to strike in protest of delayed payments from the General Health Insurance Company, VZP. GPs say they are getting payments up to a month late despite the fact that the General Health Insurance Company is under forced administration, a move that the health minister David Rath said would secure financial stability. The health ministry is likewise under pressure from chemists who are threatening to strike over the government's decision to lower their profit margins by 3 percent as of January 1st. The opposition Civic Democrats have strongly criticized the health minister for his performance in office, saying that the radical measures he has effected have merely heightened the crisis in the Czech health sector.
New head of Czech Airlines (CSA) is a noted restructuring and privatisation expert; Jiri Havel assumes role as Deputy PM for Economic Affairs; Prime Minister unveils half-time private/non-profit jobs scheme in Ostrava; Czech delegation heading to South Korea in hopes of sealing $1.2bn Hyundai deal; Parliamentary commission report on Unipetrol to find 'corrupt' only ex-aide to Prime Minister
This Sunday, New Years Day, will find many Czechs - like people around the world - making New Year's resolutions. But they won't have any say over some changes, which have been decided by Parliament and come into effect on the 1st. Understandably, people are most concerned about those which will have a direct impact on their wallets. 2006 is going to bring an increase in a number of social benefits and also a reduction in taxes for low and medium incomes. But as of January, Czechs will pay more for utilities - which is expected to bring further
Deadline approaching on land-swap deal at proposed $1.2bn Hyundai car plant site; Hourly wages in Czech Republic among the lowest in the OECD; If 'old' EU members keep controls, Czech Republic also will consider labour restrictions against states joining in 2007; Survey shows Czech firms are among Europe's most chronically late payers; Cabinet expected to decide on funding for new Brno medical-research centre this month; Former president Havel weighs in against extending territorial limits on coal mining
European Union leaders meet in Brussels on Friday for a summit dominated by the EU's budget. Indeed talks on the EU's finances are expected to be so tough there will be no room for anything else - certainly there will be little time for negotiations on the transition periods that prevent new members from free access to the EU's labour markets. But the free movement of labour remains uppermost in the new members' minds.
The Interior Ministry has announced plans to reform its network of information offices in foreign countries, as part of the government's attempts to fight on illegal immigration. Existing offices will concentrate on explaining on how migrants can work legally in the Czech Republic. Rob Cameron has more.
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