Czech President Vaclav Klaus has vetoed a new law on VAT, a move that may complicate Czech trade with fellow EU members after May 1st. The World Bank has encouraged EU newcomers joining next month to adopt more economic reforms. The Czech National Bank has changed its strategy of managing foreign exchange reserves. The inflation rate has quickened to its fastest annual pace in nearly two years.
When did you last see your wife? A Czech man was married for a whole year without being aware of it. A jubilee car: the one millionth Fabia RS produced by the auto maker Skoda is bound for Great Britain. How many bureaucrats does the Czech Republic actually have? Politicians are placing bets on that but nobody really seems to know. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
The unemployment figure for March has dropped to 10.7 percent, the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry announced on Thursday. Compared to February, when the ministry announced a record-high 10.9 percent, the number of jobless people decreased by some 11,000 to reach 559,822 (almost 560 thousand). Compared to figures in March of the previous year, the number of unemployed increased by more than 30,000.
Changes are in the pipeline for both the employed and unemployed - a new Labour Code is being processed and parliament has passed a new bill on employment policies. The European Commission has expressed serious worries about the state of Czech public finances, and the heads of the largest Czech banks and the prime minister have agreed on the need to strengthen creditors' rights by streamlining bankruptcy procedures. The Trade Unions warn against already excessive and rapidly growing household indebtedness. The Finance Ministry is reportedly seeking
Just a few weeks after an amendment to the labour code came into force in March, the Labour and Social Affairs Minister announced he was working on a new, more liberal version. Although the latest version was drafted to comply with EU legislation, the new labour code should be revolutionary in some ways.
The Czech Republic's civil service unions have announced that they are going on a one-hour strike in two week's time in protest at significant cuts to their thirteenth month's salary, a form of bonus. Employees - usually civil servants - receive a thirteenth month's salary just before Christmas, and if they are lucky enough to get a fourteenth month's salary it normally comes at the beginning of the summer.
Employees in the state sector are to go on strike for one hour on the morning of Wednesday, April 21, the chairman of the Czech Medical Workers Union told reporters on Friday. The strike is in protest at government plans to give workers only ten percent of their "thirteenth month's" salary, a type of end-of-year bonus.
The Czech Republic's foreign debt grew by 81 billion in 2003 to 894 billion. Anti-monopoly office fines three largest Czech bakeries for cartel. The Czech government offers US company Boeing 1 crown for its stake in troubled Czech aircraft maker Aero Vodochody. Czech civil servants threaten to go on strike after the government decided to significantly reduce their special end-year bonuses. The Industry and Trade Ministry decides to review a project in support of Iraq because of the involvement of a former communist secret police agent. The Czech Republic
Anyone who has had to wait in line for hours in public offices to sort out things like ID cards and tax returns could be forgiven for thinking that the Czech civil service is not exactly a well oiled machine. This perception has now been borne out by a recent survey, which has found that Czech public administrators are not as professional or motivated as their EU counterparts.
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