Around 100 Czech steelworkers took part in a demonstration in Brussels on Wednesday over a European Commission decision about China’s market status. A decision whether to recognise China as a market economy would make protective European measures against cheap Chinese steel imports much more difficult. Chinese imports have been stepped up because of the slowdown of the domestic economy. Czech steel workers say around 15,000 jobs, mostly at steel plants in the east of the country, as well as 45,000 jobs indirectly linked to the plants, are threatened. They also warn that the next steps in EU moves to penalise polluters could seriously damage the continent’s steel sector.
Vítkovice Power Engineering, one of the key daughter companies of the engineering conglomerate Vítkovice, has filed for “reorganization“ bankruptcy. The company reportedly owes close to two billion crowns to over 700 creditors. The regional court in Ostrava, which was due to deal with a proposal for bankruptcy against the firm by one of its biggest creditors, Westag Invest, on Friday has cancelled the hearing.
The vast majority of the European Union funds drawn by the Czech Republic have gone to state projects in areas such as transport, education and science. Of private companies, steel producer Třinecké železárny has benefited the most, says financial daily Hospodářské noviny in the first report of its kind, which was published on Wednesday.
Czech companies are increasingly being hit by anti-dumping measures, the business daily e15 reported on Wednesday. Most recently, such measures have hit the Arcelor Mittal Czech steel giant in Ostrava. Earlier this year, China imposed customs duty of 46.3 percent on flat roll electrical steel produced in the European Union.
Over 100 representatives of Czech steel producers travelled to Brussels on Monday for a major protest. They joined thousands of others from around Europe in demanding that China not be granted market economy status – a move they say would make it harder for European companies to protect themselves from cheap Chinese steel imports and cost thousands of jobs.
Over 100 representatives from Czech steelworks will be taking part in street protests in Brussels on Monday in an attempt to stop the European Union from granting market-economy status to China later this year, a move that would make it harder for European companies to protect themselves from cheap Chinese exports. Thousands of steelmakers from around the EU are expected to take part. The Czech steelworks represented are Třinecké železárny, ArcelorMittal Ostrava and Vítkovice Steel whose top managers are going along to the protest.