In Business News: new legislation should make bankruptcy proceedings run more smoothly, while a labour code approved this week has been dividing opinion; the OECD gives the Czech Republic advice on how to improve its economy; it seems the Czech Republic may renege on a pledge to increase the share of its power generated from renewable resources; digital broadcasting can now be received by a third of Czech households; and beer exports were up 17 percent last year.
The unemployment rate in the Czech Republic last month was just over 9 percent. This is not as bad as in neighbouring Germany, or Poland, but it does give cause for concern. The Labour Ministry has now drawn up a plan to find work for more people without actually having to create new jobs. The cabinet launched the pilot project on Wednesday.
Social Democrat and Communist Deputies joined forces to push through a
much disputed new labour code during a session of the Lower House of
the Czech Parliament on Wednesday. The opposition Civic Democrats and
the two junior ruling coalition parties, the Christian Democrats and
the Freedom Union, have expressed fears that it would increase the
authority of trade unions and threaten the flexibility of the labour
The lower house also approved an amendment to the consumer protection law, which - among other things - would allow for entrepreneurs who violate the law to be fined up to 50 million crowns. The maximum fine currently stands at one million crowns. The labour code and amendment have yet to be approved by the Senate and signed by the President.
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
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott
In memoriam: Karel Gott, the ‘Bohemian nightingale’