The shareholders of the leading Kyrgyz state-owned power company have approved a multi-million dollar contract with the Czech firm Liglass Trading on the construction and operation of two hydro-electric plants in Kyrgyzstan as well as series of smaller electricity-generating projects. The contract was approved by a strong majority of 97.6 percent shareowners despite speculation in the Czech and Kyrgyz media that the Czech company may be unreliable and warnings from Kyrgyz diplomats that Liglass Trading lacked credibility and that a sister company of the firm was on the brink of bankruptcy. The contract with Liglass was signed on July 10 at a ceremony in the office of the government at which Kyrgyz President Atambajev himself was present. Both Prague Castle and the Czech Trade Ministry lobbied for Liglass.
A bill on defence of the state drafted by the Czech Defence Ministry envisages military training of volunteers from the civilian population. If approved the Defence Ministry would spend hundreds of millions of crowns in preparing back-up units from the civilian population who would actively participate in the country’s defence in the event of war. Such a project would involve closer cooperation and financial aid to associations of amateur radio enthusiasts, shooting clubs and cynology experts. Running an administrative and coordination centre for such training would cost 60 million crowns annually.
Czech civil servants are arrogant, careless about the needs of the public and often unable to give advice in their given area of expertise, according to the outcome of an in-depth survey conducted by Brno’s Mendel University. Two thirds of respondents polled said they had bad experience with arrogant civil servants who were unwilling or unable to give them advice. Civil servants in the construction sector who deal with red tape linked to construction permits got the worst marks. People also complained that they need to go to several institutions in connection with a single request.
Three young men have been charged with arson in connection with the fire that destroyed a historic wooden church in the town of Guty, Silesia. The church, dating back to 1563 was one of the best preserved wooden churches in the country. The authorities have already announced that the church will be replaced. Petra Batkova of the National Heritage Institute told the ctk news agency that negotiations underway to secure funds for the project. Besides the insurance money, contributions will be made from state and church institutions and the public. A collection has been launched and a charity concert is being planned to help raise funds for the new church.
Top seed Tomáš Berdych beat Adrian Mannarino 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in Los Cabos, Mexico on Thursday. It was a hard-won victory for the Czech player with Berdych rallying from 1-4 down in the final set to reach the quarter-finals. Berdych is continuing to build on his semi-final run at Wimbledon as he bids for his first ATP World Tour title of the season. He next faces Thanasi Kokkinakis, who beat American Taylor Fritz 7-6(5), 6-2.
Workers have started installing a 45km long electric fence in the Zlin region which is fighting an epidemic of African swine fever. The fence is to prevent the migration of infected wild boar. The animals will gradually be put down. A state of emergency is in place in the region and special measures are in effect to protect private and commercial pig breeders. There are some 400 wild boar in the infected area. Work on the fence is expected to last for another two or three days. Farmers in the high-risk area will not be able to harvest their crops and will receive compensation from the state.
The Czech central bank has moved to increase interest rates for the first
time since 2008. At its meeting on Thursday the bank’s board decided to
raise the two-week repo rate by 20 basis points to 0.25%. At the same time,
it decided to increase the Lombard rate by 25 basis points to 0.50% and to
keep the discount rate unchanged at 0.05%. The new interest rate levels
come into effect on 4 August 2017. Interest rates are now the main tool for
the central bank to adjust the economy after dropping the low crown policy
The Czech central bank also upgraded its economic growth forecast for 2017 from 2.9 to 3.6 percent. It likewise upgraded next year’s forecast from 2.8 to 3.2 percent. Its growth forecast for 2019 is 3.1 percent.
Eleven people were injured in an accident involving three police vehicles and two passenger cars in Prague. The police vans carrying a special unit and riot police used to maintain order during football matches were on their way to Letná stadium ahead of Thursday’s match between Sparta Prague and Crvena Zvezda Belgrade. Of the eleven people injured, ten were reportedly police officers. None of the injuries were reported to be serious. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
The month of July has seen a significant fall in the number of bankruptcies, according to data released by the Czech Credit Bureau. Altogether 45 companies faced bankruptcy proceedings in July, which is the lowest number since 2008. Year-on-year the number of bankruptcies is down by 136. The most bankruptcies were registered among companies involved in business and trade, the construction industry and services.