Two of the three main Czech telecommunications operators, Telefonica and Vodafone, will together layoff some 700 employees, according to Czech business website iHned. All three mobile phone network operators in the Czech Republic, which also includes T-Mobile, have faced worsening conditions and a long-term drop in profits. At the same time, the firms have been forced to invest billions of crowns in the next generation mobile phone network. According to the website, Vodafone, the third-largest operator on the Czech market, will let go around 11 percent of its 1,800 employees, continuing in lay-offs from last year. T-Mobile, which let go several hundred people in 2013, confirmed it would lay-off several dozen people this year.
The Social Democrats’ human rights and family spokeswoman Michaela Marksová Tominová is in the frame to become minister of labour and social affairs in the emerging Czech government. The party’s leaders selected her after their previous nominee withdrew citing family tragedy. The Social Democrats are set to have eight seats in the next cabinet, alongside ANO with six and the Christian Democrats with three.
Five women candidates are reported to be on incoming prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka’s shortlist to become Minister of Labour and Social affairs. A Social Democrat spokesman said Thursday that deputy hejtman for the Olomouc region, Yvona Kubjátová, had been added to the existing list. Sobotka is expected to decide who will fill the post on Friday. His previous nominee, Petr Krčál, stood down from the proposed Cabinet position for family reasons. The Social Democrats had no women in their original line up of ministers for the proposed three-way government.
The Social Democrats are looking for a new candidate for labour and social affairs minister after their nominee for the post, Petr Krčál withdrew over family reasons. Party leaders met on Wednesday to discuss the nominations; deputy party chair Lubomír Zaorálek told reporters after the meeting that most candidates for the post are women. The news agency ČTK reported that Zlín regional councillor Taťána Valentová Nersesjan, former central Bohemian councillor Zuzana Jentschke Stöcklová and the party’s human rights and family policy expert Michaela Marksová Tominová were among the candidates.
The outgoing Czech interim government on Wednesday approved a civil
service bill which overhauls the rules for the employment of public
officials, Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok said. If passed by Parliament, the
legislation will protect officials from the influence of elected
politicians. Under the bill, government ministers would be exempt from
legislation preventing former collaborators of the communist secret police,
StB, from holding high public posts. It will also establish the position of
the director general of public administration who will be appointed by the
president. The introduction of the civil service act would cost the state
budget around six billion crowns, according to the government.
The passing of the bill in a first round of debate in the lower house is a condition set by President Miloš Zeman for appointing ANO leader Andrej Babiš finance minister; Mr Babiš faces allegations he worked for the StB in the 1980s. MPs are set to discuss the legislation next week.
The Social Democrats’ nominee for minister of labour and social affairs, Petr Krčál, has rejected the possibility of a cabinet post. Mr. Krčál said he and his family had been shaken by the death of his brother and that he wished to spend time with his wife, who has been undergoing cancer treatment. The Social Democrats are expected to announce a new candidate for the post by the end of the week.
A wave of statistics released Thursday represented mixed economic news for Czechs. November’s unemployment rose to 8.2% from October’s 7.7% with the jobless total now hovering just under 600,000. Using previous methods of calculation, the latest figures could represent the high ever jobless figure in recent Czech history at 10.3%. Higher food prices helped push up inflation to 1.4% in December from November’s 1.1%. On the brighter side, industrial production surged ahead with a 6.2% spurt in November. That is almost twice the rise of the previous month.
The outgoing Czech government on Wednesday rejected a civil service bill
put forth by the Social Democrats. Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok said the
draft legislation could not be implemented as some of its provisions were
likely in contradiction to the Constitution. In a reaction, Social Democrat
chairman Bohuslav Sobotka said the bill was carefully designed, and
expressed hope the legislation would be approved by the lower house.
The adoption of a civil service act might be crucial for the appointment of the new government as it would allow leader of one of the coalition parties, Andrej Babiš, hold a ministerial position despite being listed as a collaborator of the communist secret police.
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