The power producer ČEZ this year will apply for a new ten-year licence for the operation of the first unit at the Dukovany nuclear power plant. The current licence is valid only until the end of 2015. The utility will have to gain the licences for the further operation of the remaining three units in the years 2016 and 2017. Dukovany provides one-fifth of domestic electricity consumption. In the application for the licence, the power plant has to prove to the State Nuclear Safety Authority (SUJB) that it complies with the tougher safety requirements set after the disaster in nuclear power plant Fukushima, Japan, the new head of the Dukovany plant, Miloš Štepanovský, told the Czech News Agency.
The Czech Republic currently has the fifth lowest price of petrol in Europe, the ctk news agency reports. Petrol is currently cheapest in Estonia and Sweden has seen the biggest price slump over the past year. The price of the best-selling petrol, Natural 95 has dropped by over 4 crowns over the past year in the Czech Republic to the present average of 31.7 crowns, while diesel has dropped by 3.7 crowns to an average 32.1 crowns per litre. Significant price reductions have also been registered in Greece, Denmark and Norway.
The Czech Republic´s state budget ended in a 77.8 billion crown deficit last year, lower than the approved 112 billion crown gap for the year, the Finance Ministry announced on Monday. The deficit was lower mainly thanks to the collection of corporate income tax and VAT on the side of revenues. On the side of expenditures, savings were reached in particular by non-investment purchases and related expenditures, social allowances and potentially also by tying expenditures in the General Treasury Administration chapter, the ministry said.
The Czech Republic’s foreign debt increased by 10 billion crowns to 2.77 billion in the third quarter of this year, accounting for 65.5 percent of gross domestic product, the Czech National Bank said on Tuesday. Year on year, the foreign debt was 293 billion higher. The private sector is responsible for 67.7 percent of the long-term external debt, while public liabilities account for the remaining third. Foreign liabilities of the government sector accounted for 21.6 percent of the total external debt.
Economists are forecasting a good year for the Czech economy in 2015 with a predicted growth of 2.5 percent as the economic recovery gains momentum. Supportive financial conditions, government spending, rising confidence and stronger incomes are expected to strengthen domestic demand giving the economy fresh impetus.
The Czech Army is planning to expand its special forces and will invest tens of millions of crowns into a new logistics unit and air squadron, the chief of staff of the armed forces, General Petr Pavel, told Czech Television. The new logistics unit counting 200 men will serve the special forces in Prostejov which are deployed in foreign missions. Czech troops are currently serving in Afghanistan, Mali and the Balkans.
The Czech government has approved a plan to establish a central bank account register. The database, which should be launched in January 2016, will include all private and corporate accounts run by Czech banks and credit unions, Finance Minister Andrej Babiš said. The register should allow tax authorities to monitor the length of existence of the accounts in order to curb tax evasion, according to the finance minister who said that information on account balances will not be included in the register.
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