Czech Republic

Czech national budget is to have the deficit of 90 bn

31 August 2014

According to the interview with Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka the Czech national budget is to have the deficit of 90 bn CZK which is significantly less than previous estimate of 112 bn CZK. According to the estimates presented by the Prime Minister the economy should grow steadily in the next two years by 2.5 %. This gives the government the opportunity to rework the budget and to allocate more money to some areas. So far Ministry of Finance counted with the deficit of 100 bn and already allocated 16 bn more to the particular resorts. With the estimate of the deficit of 90 bn the amount of allocated money could be even better. The deadline for the government to present its proposal to the Parliament is set to the end of September. The government coalition accordingly to its programme wants to use the money to boost the industrial growth.

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Czech economy stagnated during the second quarter

29 August 2014

According to the data provided by the Czech Statistical Office on Friday 28th August the Czech economy stagnated during the second quarter compared to the previous quarter. In year-on-year comparison the Czech economy grew by 2.6 %. As expected the Czech economy was affected by the development on the markets in the neighbouring countries as the whole European Union is affected by the sanctions imposed on Russia and vice-versa on EU member states. According to the Czech Statistical Office the Czech import grew in the second quarter by 0.3 and export fell by 0.4 % and thus the external trade is no longer the key aspect of the creation of GDP compared to the first quarter. The costs of final consumption remained unchanged during the second quarter. Professor Kamil Janeček, member of the banking council of the Czech national Bank, said in his interview that the growth despite the ongoing exchange rate intervention would not exceed the 4 % in the long-term mainly because of some structural problems.

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Government approved the transfer of the civil service agenda

27 August 2014

On Wednesday 27th August the Czech Government approved the transfer of the civil service agenda from the Office of the Government to the Ministry of Interior. This is a result of political negotiation and subsequent compromise between coalition and opposition made on 6th August. Minister of Interior Milan Chovanec is also expected to provide new timetable for the implementation of the Civil Service acts and its implementing legislation by the 15th September. As it was already said the adoption of Civil Service Act was an ex-ante condition in order for the Czeh Republic to be able to draw European Union structural funds.

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Czech Agreement of Partnership with EU accepted

26 August 2014

On Tuesday 26th August the European Commission approved the Czech Agreement of Partnership with EU. This will enable for the Czech Republic to draw structural funds in the total amount of 22 bn EUR which are to be invested until the year 2020. From these funds 2 bn EUR will be used on the development of countryside and 31 million on fishing. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said that by timely approval of the Agreement the Czech Republic accelerated its pace in preparation for the drawing of the structural funds and would also improve the competitiveness of the Czech Republic. During the negotiations the EU Commissioner said that he hoped that the Czech republic will accept new Civil Service act as it was one of the EU requirements during the negotiations with the Czech Republic.

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President Zeman vs. analysts

24 August 2014

On Thursday 21st August president Zeman in his statement  said that the Czech National Bank devaluated Czech currency on purpose and effectively prevented transition to the common European currency in the foreseeable future to prevent losing its powers to European Central Bank. He was in this statement joined by Josef Středula, president of the Confederation of Czech and Moravian Trade Unions. Since that time he was opposed by many analysts. For example Václav Franče from the Reiffeisenbank said that the Czech National Bank primarily strived to prevent the deflation that was imminent. And the transfer to Euro was still the matter of far future. Deloitte analyst David Marek added that the steps of Czech National Bank were logical as in the view of the economic situation at that time. Also UniCredit Bank analyst Pavel Sobíšek doesn’t share president Zeman’s opinion abouth the side motivation of the intervention. On Sunday 24th August vice-governor of the Czech National Bank Vladimír Tomšík said that the Czech crown should definitely not appreciate and that the bank would keep current exchange rate above 27 CZK/EUR at least until 2016.

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Ministers discussed new opportunities with the Czech exporters

22 August 2014

On Thursday 21st August Minister of Industry and Commerce Jan Mládek and Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek met in Černínský palác with the representatives of Czech companies, professional organizations and chambers and discussed opportunities for substitution of Russian markets. The representatives were advised to focus on markets that were equally affected by the Russian sanctions for example Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan or other members of Community of Independent States (SNS). The exporters could also focus on Arabic states such as Saudi Arabia or UAE for food exports or on Philippines for the area of aviation and weapon industry. Exports for the mining industry could be redirected to Canada and components for power plants could be exported to South Korea or some pumps even to Iran. Also Balkan states could be the next on the list of interesting markets.

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Czech Crown Coin enters Czech market

19 August 2014

On 19th August the new Czech electronic crypto currency entered Czech market. The introduction of this first Czech national virtual currency was already announced previous month. This Tuesday the first emission was introduced with the exchange rate of 0.25 CZK for one czc and after approx. half an hour its value exceeded 1 CZK. After selling limited emissions the official trading will begin on 29th August 2014. Among the advantages of Czech Crown Coin compared to other similar currencies is that it enters the market with the fully developed infrastructure and that it will try to avoid the fate of some less successful virtual currencies by regulating the exchange rate during first emissions. Although Czech Crown Coin is new in the Czech Republic, in Europe it joins ranks of Icelandic Auroracoin, Spanish Spaincoin, Greek Greececoin or Scottish Scotcoin.

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Czech Republic provides salary already for 4000 inexperienced graduates

18 August 2014

Within the framework of project introduced by the Czech government to boost employment of fresh inexperienced graduates already 4000 people were employed with the costs 1.3 bn CZK so far and estimate of additional 300 million CZK making it 1.6 bn CZK in total. The programme is very popular among both employers and employees and new funds were already transferred to this project from other less successful projects. The only requirement that employer has to fulfil is to employ graduate that is assigned from the local Employment Office and has less than 2year practice. Then the employer receives funds for the salary of this particular employee for the duration of one year. The salary is limited and differs from region to region and requires only little to no additional salary costs depending on the limit. The number of employees is expected to exceed the count of 5000 eventually.

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The ban on smoking would not affect e-cigarettes

16 August 2014

According to the Minister of Healthcare Svatopluk Němeček who will push the act on ban on cigarettes through the legislation process the ban of smoking in restaurants, bars and discos would not affect so called e-cigarettes. Meanwhile World Health Organization (WHO) wanted to regulate also the e-cigarettes as they don’t create so many toxic fumes but still create addiction and could easily become the entry-level drug for the children. Also US airline companies are among vocal opponents of e-cigarettes as they don’t allow their use on board. However, the number of smoking US high school students is at its 22year low and the share of e-cigarettes in it is growing in favour of classical ones. Also one of the Czech foremost experts on smoking said that smoking e-cigarettes was still better alternative for the addicted people who simply couldn’t stop so easily.

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Group for the assessment of impact of sanctions convened for the first time

12 August 2014

On Tuesday 12th August the Workgroup for the Assessment of Impact of Sanctions originating from Ukrainian crisis convened for the first time. Minister of Finance, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of foreign Affairs and some chosen social and economic partners were present there. State Secretary for the European Affairs said that the main goal of the workgroup was to evaluate data from the sectors influenced by both EU sanctions and sanctions from the Russian Federation side. Ministry of Agriculture will also produce an analysis of impact on agriculture and it is going to present the material in the matter of days and it will also closely cooperate with its partners in EU. Ministry of Industry and Commerce will on the other hand observe the situation of procurement with oil and natural gas and the amount of Czech reserves. The group is to convene on 18th August again and the outcomes of it would serve as a material for the Government meeting.

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