In this week’s Business News: Czech wine producers have begun raising prices; the majority of Czechs are far from optimistic with regards to the country’s economy; Prague’s Václav Havel Airport will offer flights to fewer destinations this summer season; unions and automaker TPCA have not found common ground on a collective bargaining agreement.

Wine producers raise price in response to poor crop

Illustrative photo: John Evans / Stock.XCHNGIllustrative photo: John Evans / Stock.XCHNG Czech wine producers have begun raising prices in response to a lesser crop in 2012 (the result, at least in part, of a frosty spell last May). The Czech news agency reports that Znovín Znojmo and Templářské sklepy have both confirmed an increase. A representative of the Czech Winegrowers’ Association said that prices could go up by as much as 10 percent. The trend is similar to that of other countries in Europe. A litre of wine in neighbouring Austria is one-third more expensive than in the Czech Republic. The very cheapest wines available here went up from 12 to 16 crowns per litre already last year.

Czechs far from optimistic on economy

Photo: archive of Radio PraguePhoto: archive of Radio Prague The majority of Czechs are far from optimistic with regards to the country’s economy, a new survey by the CVVM agency suggests. Two-thirds of those queried, according to the poll, see the current situation as negative; of that, 21 percent say the situation is very poor. By contrast, only eight percent overall think the economy is headed in the right direction. At the same time, the polls suggests that around two-fifths of people are satisfied with their standard of living, 3 percent of them evaluated it as "very good" while 35 percent answered “good”. More than one thousand people over the age of 15 took part in the poll.

Prague airport will offer fewer destinations in summer season

Photo: Anna KrálovcováPhoto: Anna Královcová Prague’s Václav Havel Airport will offer flights to 111 destinations around the world as of this summer, 17 fewer than the same period the previous year. There will also be three fewer carriers flying out of the Czech capital. Despite the drop in numbers, the airport expects a five percent rise in capacity. Flights to Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Nice and Munich should all see an increase. The summer flight schedule begins on March 31 and lasts until October 26.

Unions, TPCA at impasse

Photo: Miloš TurekPhoto: Miloš Turek The unions and representatives of the Kolín automobile consortium TPCA on Thursday again reached an impasse on a collective bargaining agreement – even though the existing contract expires on Sunday. The spokesman for TPCA, Radek Kňava, confirmed that negotiations would continue next week. If the two sides fail to agree on an amendment to the existing contract, the Labour Law will be enforced, which would see employees lose benefits such as eight month severance pay or an extra week of vacation. Both TPCA rivals Škoda Auto and Hyundai already have their collective agreements signed, raising tariff wages by three percent.

Each Sunday, participants will be able to vote in our new series Hit of the Century, covering 100 years of music in Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic. (More)