In Business News this week: It looks like the national bank will postpone cutting interest rates; Plans to privatise Prague Airport have attracted no small amount of interest; over a quarter of a million foreigners are currently working in the Czech Republic; the insurer Lloyd’s is set to enter into the Czech market, and the discord between piano makers Petrof and their former American distributor continues.
From July, France will open its labour market to citizens of countries, such as the Czech Republic, which joined the European Union in 2004. The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, made the announcement on a visit to the Polish capital Warsaw on Wednesday. France had originally been planning to introduce the change in May 2009. Czechs and other new EU citizens can now work in most ‘old’ states, though Germany and Austria are insisting on keeping their labour markets closed to the newcomers until 2011, which is the maximum period possible under EU agreements.
According to new figures released by the National Security Council of the Czech Republic, more than 392,000 foreigners legally came to live and work in the Czech Republic in 2007, a 22% increase on the previous year’s figures. But what are the implications of this increasing trend of immigration into the country? I spoke with Marie Jelínková of the Prague Multicultural Centre for her insight and began by asking her to explain why the Czech Republic was an increasingly attractive location for migrants.
The number of Czechs living and working abroad has more than doubled in the past two years, according to data released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. A total of 76,000 Czechs worked in 20 European countries last year. The largest number of Czech citizens, about 30,000, worked in Britain and nearly 14, 000 left for Germany. The country with the third largest Czech labour force last year was Ireland with 12,000 workers, almost three times more than the previous year. The ministry admits that the real figures could be different since some countries don’t require employees to report the end of their work stay.
In Business News this week: the Czech Republic receives 15 million euros from the EU’s budget surplus; the number of foreign workers is up in the first quarter of this year; Czech retail sales have grown in February beyond expectation; Czechs are spending more time and money in malls than ever before, and Spar is planning a new chain of small city shops in Prague.
Car making has been one of the motors of the Czech Republic’s economic boom of recent years, and for this edition of Panorama I’ve come to one of the centres of the country’s motor industry. The central Bohemian town of Kolín – around 50 kilometres from Prague – is home to one of country’s biggest and most modern car factories. The Toyota, Peugeot and Citroen automobiles plant – commonly referred to as TPCA – produces an incredible 1100 cars every day. It’s spokesman – and our guide today – is Radek Kňava.
In Business News this week: 43,000 Czechs are working legally abroad in the EU’s 15 oldest member states; the Czech National Bank wants to freeze all proceeds generated by the privatization of state assets; the country’s biggest chain of record shops has announced that it will shut five of its stores; the number of people to visit Czech websites has risen in the last two years by over 1.5 million, and a newspaper accuses Czech Railways of failing to inform clients about discounts that they are entitled to.
President Václav Klaus signed into law a new amendment under which the Czech Republic may limit the access of Bulgarians and Romanians to its labour market. The limitation will also concern citizens of other countries that will join the European Union in future. Bulgarians and Romanians have been able to work freely in the Czech Republic since last January, when their countries became members of the EU.
In Business News this week: Martin Jahn has been appointed general director of the Volkswagen Group in Russia; the American company which bought Čedok is also interested in buying Czech Airlines; Prague stock exchange has lost record 17.4 percent in January; the number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers is increasing and the Czech Republic raises its production of solar panels.