In Business news this week: Czech public debt is the second smallest in the EU but the gap widens between the country’s GDP and EU average; Škoda Auto seeks factories to produce its new SUV model; government plans to cap salaries of state-owned firms; Czech Post suspends deliveries to Syria; and a new study predicts how many medals Czech athletes will win at London Olympics.
Czech Republic’s public debt second smallest in EU
The total debt of the Czech Republic, including the debt of the government
sector and that of Czech households reached 110 percent of GDP, and made
the country the second least indebted country in the EU after Romania, the
Czech Statistical Office said on Thursday. The debt of the Czech public
sector, which last year amounted to 3.1 percent of gross domestic product,
puts the country in ninth place among the 27 EU nations, up from 13th place
the previous year.
… but the gap widens between Czech GDP and EU average
The gap widens between Czech GDP and the EU average. According to figures
released by the Czech Statistical office this week, Czech GDP per capita
reached 80 percent of EU average while in 2007, it was at 83 percent. In
2000, GDP per capita in the Czech Republic amounted to 71 percent of the
average levels in the EU. The decrease is largely due to the slowing down
of the Czech economy; in the first part of the last decade, the country was
among the top ten fastest growing economies of the bloc while last year it
ranked in the middle.
Škoda Auto seeks production plant for its new SUV
The German-owned, Czech-based automaker Škoda Auto is seeking production
facilities for its new SUV model which should be launched in 2014, the
weekly Ekonom reported. The firm originally planned to produce the model at
its plant in Kvasiny but was unable to acquire the land needed for the
expansion of the factory. Škoda is now looking in Russia, according to the
reports, where the new SUV could be made in Nizhny Novgorod. The new model
would become the second Škoda produced abroad, after the small Citigo
which is made at a Škoda plant in Bratislava.
Government to cap salaries of state-owned firm
The Czech Finance Ministry has announced plans to change the rules for
remunerating the salaries of managers of state-owned firms. The ministry is
now reviewing their salaries to see how they compare to the private sector.
As of January 2013, managers’ salaries in state owned firms will either
increase or decrease depending on whether their current paycheques are
higher or lower than those in private companies. The new rules should apply
to large companies such as ČEZ and Czech Airlines as well as smaller firms
where the state or other public entities have at least a one-third stake.
The government however does not plan to release the managers’ actual
Czech Post suspends deliveries to Syria
The state-owned postal company Czech Post on Friday stopped accepting all
shipments addressed to Syria. A spokeswoman for Czech Post said the
decision was taken in view of the poor security situation in that country,
adding that there was no way of telling when shipments to Syria could
resume. Last year, Czech Post delivered 231 kilograms of letters and 89
parcels to the conflict-ravaged country.
PwC study predicts Czechs will win six medals at London Olympics
An analysis by the consultancy Price Waterhouse Coopers released this week
predicts the medal tally for the Summer Olympics in London. Based on
factors such as past Olympic performance, population growth, average
income, and state support for sports, the study says that US athletes will
top the medal count with 113 medals, three more than they won in Beijing.
China ranks second with 87 medals, 13 fewer than four years ago, and Russia
comes in third with 68 medals, five less than at the previous summer
Olympics. The analysis places the Czech Republic at 32nd place with six
medals which is how much Czechs won in Beijing as well.